While on the mound against the Yankees on July 18 last season, Yonny's 1-2 pitch to ring up Brett Gardner in the 2nd inning sparked Yankees manager Aaron Boone's "savages" tirade with home plate umpire Brennan Miller… the exchange included Boone pointing towards Yonny, shouting, "That guy is a good pitcher."...Yonny lost 15 pounds this winter by running more and improving his diet…he's eating more meat, less rice and smaller portions...Yonny threw his splitter 22.5 percent of the time last season, making it his primary out pitch and 2nd-most-used pitch behind his sinker…he learned the pitch in 2017 from pitching coach Kyle Snyder while with Triple-A Durham...He was never considered a highly-touted international prospect, instead signing with the Rays for $100,000 when he was 18 years old...As a child, Yonny and his friends would play a game similar to baseball that replaced the ball and bat with chapitas, or bottle caps, and a broomstick.
Ranked 3rd on the Rays staff with 9 wins and 133.1 IP, trailing Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough in both categories...Min. 100 IP, ranked among AL leaders in WHIP (1.05, 4th), opp avg. (.225, 8th) and BB/9 IP ratio (1.89, 7th)…his 0.99 WHIP before the All-Star break was the 2nd-best in club history among qualifiers, behind James Shields (0.98) in 2011...In Baseball America's annual Best Tools survey of major league managers, coaches and executives, was ranked as having the AL's Best Changeup...Reinstated from the 10-day IL (right middle finger inflammation) on Sep 20, missing six weeks… his rehab assignment consisted of four bullpen sessions and two simulated games...Went 6-5 with a 3.54 ERA (104.1-IP, 41-ER) in 18 starts, compared to 3-0 with a 4.97 ERA (29-IP, 16-ER) in 8 apps in relief…made 13 straight apps as a starter, May 27-Aug 4, before the injury...Was 5-2 with a 3.10 ERA (69.2-IP, 24-ER) in 14 apps (10 starts) at home, yielding 3 ER (or fewer) in all but one outing and 2 ER (or fewer) 10 times...Made his second Opening Day roster...Became the third Rays pitcher to start a season with consecutive starts of 5 IP (or more) and 2 hits (or fewer), following Jake Odorizzi in 2015 and Matt Moore in 2013…on March 31 vs. HOU, went 7 IP and his only run allowed was a 3rdinning homer by Jake Marisnick…went five scoreless in his next start on April 7 at SF...On April 17 vs. BAL, became the third pitcher in franchise history to make a scoreless relief app of at least 5 IP and allow 1 hit (or fewer), joining Ryan Yarbrough on May 4, 2018 vs. TOR and Esteban Yan on April 13, 1998 vs. MIN…his only hit allowed was a 2-out double in the 2nd inning...On May 27 vs. TOR, his only baserunners allowed in 5 IP were a pair of 2nd-inning walks… was the fourth time in franchise history a pitcher did not allow a hit in a start of 5 IP (or more), joining Blake Snell (5 IP) on Aug 10, 2018, Nathan Eovaldi (6 IP) on May 30, 2018 at OAK and Matt Garza (9 IP) on July 26, 2010 vs. DET...Made seven consecutive quality starts from June 7-July 12, the longest such streak by a Ray since Jake Faria (7) from June 7-July 14, 2017… went 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA (46-IP, 15-ER) over that stretch, but the Rays went 2-5 in those games...On June 7 at BOS, retired his first 15 BF on 50 pitches, escaped a bases-loaded, 1-out jam in the 6th inning with back-to-back strikeouts and was replaced after eight scoreless and 101 pitches… it was the longest perfect game bid of his career and tied for the longest no-hit bid of his career...His start against the Red Sox was the seventh time in club history a Rays pitcher went eight scoreless at Fenway Park…was the third visiting pitcher since 2010 to allow 2 hits (or fewer) in a scoreless start of 8 IP (or more) at Fenway Park, joining two other Rays: Drew Smyly (8 IP) on April 19, 2016 and Matt Moore (9 IP) on July 22, 2013…was the first righty to do this since SEA Félix Hernández on April 11, 2007...Recorded a career-high 8 SO in back-to-back starts from July 12-18 at BAL/NYY (G1).
Totaled 18 apps (7 starts) over two stints with the Rays, his first career major league action…was on the major league roster from Opening Day-June 3-which included a stint on the disabled list- and June 24 through the end of the season...Went 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA (57.1-IP, 18-ER) and .233 opp avg. (48-for-206) in 11 apps out of the bullpen and 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA (32.1-IP, 17-ER) and .288 opp avg. (36-for-125) in 7 starts...Was 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA (37.1-IP, 12-ER) over his final 7 apps of the season, all in relief...Began his career on a scoreless streak of 14.1 IP…it was the longest scoreless streak ever for a Rays pitcher to begin his career, passing Doug Waechter (11.1 IP) in 2003, according to the Elias Sports Bureau...Through the end of April, his 24 SO ranked 2nd among AL rookies behind LAA Shohei Ohtani (26), and his 5 starts tied CWS Carson Fulmer for most among AL rookies...On April 1 vs. BOS, made his major league debut in relief and his only hit allowed in 4 IP was a game-winning single by Rafael Devers in the 6th inning (run charged to José Alvarado)…became the third pitcher in club history with a scoreless app or start of at least 4 IP in his major league debut, following Enny Romero (4.2 IP, start) on Sep 22, 2013 vs. BAL and Scott Kazmir (5 IP, start) on Aug 23, 2004 at SEA…it was the longest scoreless relief outing ever for a Rays pitcher making his major league debut...On April 5 at BOS, became the fifth Ray all-time to go at least 5 IP and not allow a run in his first career start, joining Matt Moore (5 IP) in 2011, Scott Kazmir (5 IP) in 2004, Doug Waechter (9 IP) in 2003 and Jason Standridge (6.1 IP) in 2001… joined Scott Kazmir (6 IP) in 2004 and Steve Trachsel (9 IP) as the only Rays with a scoreless outing of at least 5 IP in their first career game at Fenway Park…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first pitcher to make the first start of his career at Fenway Park and not allow a run in at least 5 IP since ATL Kyle Davies did it in his major league debut on May 21, 2005 (5 IP)...Placed on the 10-day DL on May 1 with a right forearm strain, retroactive to April 29…was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Durham on June 4…was on the minor league disabled list, June 22-July 7, with right shoulder inflammation...From Aug 4-Sep 15, became the first pitcher since Baseball Reference data is available (1908) to go at least 5 IP in eight consecutive apps, with all of them coming in relief...On Aug 9 vs. BAL, recorded his first career win, entering in the 3rd inning…allowed a 2-out single in the 3rd, then retired 10 straight batters before a 7th-inning solo homer to Renato Núñez, his only run allowed...On Sep 3 at TOR, went a career-high 7 IP, replacing Ryne Stanek to start the 2nd inning…his 7 IP tied a franchise record for a reliever, and his 3 GDP tied a club record for a reliever, joining Rob Bell on June 19, 2004 at ARI...Went 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA in 8 starts with Durham…made his first 2 starts there on rehab assignment, then another 6 starts following his option…also made a start with Class-A Charlotte, beginning his major league rehab assignment with the Stone Crabs.
Named Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department…spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Durham, earning a May 2 promotion from Double-A Montgomery…went 13-5 with a 2.73 ERA (168.1- IP, 51-ER) in 27 apps (26 starts) between the two levels... Led Rays minor leaguers in innings…tied for 2nd in wins, one shy of José Mujica (14)…ranked 3rd with 141 SO and 4th in ERA... Despite spending a month at the Double-A level, ranked among International League leaders in ERA (2.74, 4th), wins (12, tied for 4th), innings (141, 5th) and WHIP (0.98, 2nd)... In his third start at the Triple-A level, on May 13 vs. Toledo (Tigers), pitched a 9-inning CG SHO… tied his career high at the time with 9 SO, but surpassed that mark later in the season with 11 SO on July 2 at Norfolk (Orioles)....Named the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July, going 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA (39-IP, 7-ER) and 43 SO in 6 starts... Twice was named IL Pitcher of the Week… received the honor for the periods of May 8-14 and July 3-9....Made 2 starts for the Bulls in the postseason, going 1-1 with a 0.75 ERA (12-IP, 1-ER)…did not allow a run in 7 IP of Game 2 of the IL Semifinals vs. Indianapolis (Pirates), giving Durham a 2-0 series lead…received no run support in a Game 2 loss vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) in the Governors' Cup.... Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 23 prospect in the Rays system following the season… named by the publication to its Triple-A All-Star Team.