M's Sign Three Minor League FAs
This is coming via Jeff, from Lookout Landing
, who dropped the note in the comments of the last post, and if we're connecting dots to a similar post on his site, may have been tipped off on all of these by Dave Cameron of USSM. Thanks guys.
The M's have signed RHP Justin Lehr, C Jamie Burke, and LHP Jamie Cerda to minor league contracts.Lehr
, 29, is a former Oakland farmhand noted for being traded along with Nelson Cruz for Keith Ginter. Like a lot of groundball pitchers, Lehr gave up a lot of hits early on in his career and then settled down to around a hit per inning. He puts up better rates than the M's other groundballer experiment, Sean Green, walking two fewer batters and striking out one more per nine, not to mention a clear advantage in outing endurance from his time as a starter, but his groundball tendencies aren't quite so extreme. Nevertheless, I'd probably swap the two without a second thought on the merit of the walks and Ks alone. Lehr isn't great, but we have solid infield defense and he seems like a safer bet to succeed than a number of guys we used this season. He might be one of the best NRI candidates we've brought in in a while.
Before I get to Burke, I'm going to have to set this up a little. Last night, G and I were talking minor league players, and came around to the conclusion that what the Rainiers really
needed was another mid-30s to mid-40s catcher to come in and do the "veteran presence" thing. While I thought this meant we were going to dig up what's left of Wiki Gonzalez and have him slug .500 for three weeks before he suffered an unusual season-ending injury, we get 35-year-old Jamie Burke
instead. Burke is Craig Kuzmic, just older and without the slugging. He can play the corners, and started out there, but these days you'll see him behind the plate more often that not, and that's earned him cups of coffee in Anaheim and Chicago, which is more than Kuzmic ever got.Cerda
, 28, makes me wish that the splits we have went farther back. Here's what we know about Cerda. For one, he absolutely kills lefties, holding them to a .559 OPS compared to his .976 (!) OPS against right-handers. That's the good thing, if you're in the market for a LOOGY. He has over one hundred innings in the majors too, so that looks rather nice on his resume. We also know that he's walked five batters per nine innings in the majors, and that tendency has recently carried over to his minor league numbers as well, which were previously between two and a half and three per nine. He spent last year pitching in Colorado Springs, and the breakdown between his home and road stats is fairly significant. He got his Ks in bunches on the road, and held batters to a low average, but he also walked close to seven batters per nine out there. Ugly, but there's no risk involved in signing him and if the M's REALLY want that option over O'Flaherty, he's okay.
Winter League Stats (11/26/06)
Arizona Fall League (FINAL)
2B Michael Garciaparra: 19 G, 79 ABs, 13 R, 27 H, 4 2B, HR, 13 RBI, 13/1 K/BB, 2 SB, .342/.388/.430
RHP Craig James: 10 G, 0-0, 3.60 ERA in 10.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R (4 ER), 7/6 K/BB, HB
RHP Stephen Kahn: 9 G, 0-0, 8.64 ERA in 8.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R (8 ER), 7/8 K/BB, HB
LHP Bobby Livingston: 6 G (6 GS), 1-3, 10.45 ERA in 20.2 IP, 37 H (2 HR), 25 R (24 ER), 17/3 K/BB, 4 HB
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith: 12 G, 0-1, 5.40 ERA in 15.0 IP, 19 H, 10 R (9 ER), 16/8 K/BB, HB
3B Matt Tuiasosopo: 21 G, 78 ABs, 9 R, 13 H, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 22/6 K/BB, .167/.235/.205
OF Mike Wilson: 20 G, 74 ABs, 10 R, 18 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 27/13 K/BB, SB, .243/.356/.419Dominican Winter League
RHP Julio Mateo: 1 G, 0-1, 9.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, 2 H, R (ER), 1/0 K/BB
RHP Rafael Soriano: 4 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1/0 K/BBHawaiian Winter League (FINAL)
LHP David Asher: 10 G (5 GS), 1-2, 5.68 ERA in 25.1 IP, 33 H (2 HR), 18 R (16 ER), 23/15 K/BB, 2 HB
OF Sebastien Boucher: 26 G, 84 ABs, 18 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 24/14 K/BB, 3 SB, 2 CS, 3 HBP, .179/.317/.321
C Jeff Clement: 21 G, 53 ABs, 4 R, 10 H, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 13/0 K/BB, HBP, .189/.191/.321
1B Reed Eastley: 26 G, 86 ABs, 4 R, 19 H, 3 2B, 13 RBI, 20/7 K/BB, 2 HBP, SB, .221/.292/.256
RHP Joe Woerman: 17 G, 3-1, 4.26 ERA in 25.1 IP, 21 H, 12 R (12 ER), 28/18 K/BB, HB, 2 WPIBAF Intercontinental Cup (FINAL)
IF Yung-chi Chen: 9 G, 36 ABs, 7 R, 17 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, SB, 3 HBP, .472/.537/.694
3B Alex Liddi: 9 G, 35 ABs, 4 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, CS, 9/1 K/BB, .229/.350/.371
OF Kalian Sams: 4 G, 5 ABs, 2 R, 3 H, 3B, 4 RBI, 0/0 K/BB, .600/1.000/.600Mexican Pacific League
RHP Jorge Campillo: 7 G (7 GS), 3-2, 3.07 ERA in 41.0 IP, 31 H (5 HR), 17 R (14 ER), 38/5 K/BB, 4 WP
1B Bryan LaHair: 19 G, 64 ABs, 11 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 16/13 K/BB, CS, .234/.359/.359Venezuelan Winter League
RHP Nibaldo Acosta: 2 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2/0 K/BB
OF Wladimir Balentien: 25 G, 93 AB, 14 R, 27 H, 5 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 29/9 K/BB, 2 SB, CS, .290/.350/.602
RHP Yorman Bazardo: 11 G, 2-0, S, 1.50 ERA in 18.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R (3 ER), 10/4 K/BB, 2 WP, HB
RHP Cibney Bello: 3 G, 0-0, 4.15 ERA in 4.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2/4 K/BB, WP
RHP Ivan Blanco: 10 G, 2-1, 2.60 ERA in 17.1 IP, 10 H (2 HR), 10 R (5 ER), 19/10 K/BB, 3 HB, WP
RHP Rich Dorman: 8 G (7 GS), 1-2, 3.47 ERA in 38.0 IP, 40 H (HR), 15 R (15 ER), 32/17K/BB, 2 HB, 3 WP
LHP Jose Escalona: 7 G, 1-0, 5.40 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2/3 K/BB, 3 WP
RHP Emiliano Fruto: 14 G, 1-1, 5 S, 3.07 ERA in 15.2 IP, 18 H, 7 R (5 ER), 19/7 K/BB
IF Jesus Guzman: 10 G, 17 ABs, H, RBI, 8/3 K/BB, CS, .059/.200/.059
LHP Cesar Jimenez: 3 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1/1 K/BB
IF Jose Lopez: 14 G, 57 ABs, 8 R, 18 H, 4 2B, 5 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, 2 HBP, SB, .316/.361/.381
IF Oswaldo Navarro: 21 G, 69 ABs, 6 R, 18 H, 2 2B, 8 RBI, 9/5 K/BB, CS, HBP, .261/.320/.290
1B Jon Nelson: 7 G, 25 ABs, 2 R, 4 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, SB, .160/.276/.200
C Luis Oliveros: 5 G, 11 ABs, 2 R, 3 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2/0 K/BB, .273/.273/.818
C Guillermo Quiroz: 11 G, 29 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2B, HR, RBI, 5/4 K/BB, .241/.333/.379
The Waikiki Beach Boys lost to the North Shore Honu in the championship game. From what I remember, Eastley had a triple, but that was about all for Mariners contributions.
Boucher had a double and a triple in the final games and boosted his OPS by almost one hundred points, which of course is easier to do when you're not playing that well to begin with. Clement had another home run and that kicked his OPS up about seventy points. Eastley had about the same boost in his performance, hitting two doubles and driving in five runs in thirteen at-bats this week. Can we directly attribute this to the M's hitting gurus coming in for the last week? Maybe, maybe not, but I prefer them ending on a high note anyway. As for the pitcher, Asher seems to have suffered from some pretty bad relief work and pitched decently if not well otherwise. Can't really say the same for Woerman though.
Soriano got four innings in DWL play. Mateo is MIA.
Campillo turned in another goot outing, though how long I'll be able to keep listing him is in question. Nine strikeouts in seven innings, no runs, five hits...
Harris is out of the LVBP stat listing. Blanco continues to do well, and Fruto is getting his time in, but there isn't much to say about the rest of the pitchers. Wlad went the entire week without getting a hit, and the other batters, if they're playing at all, tend to be treading water.
Also of note: Wiki Gonzalez turned up with the Cardenales. Just sayin'.
That's all I have for this round. With the HWL and the AFL done, it doesn't seem quite the same, even though there's a good deal of baseball still to be played.
Here's an article on M's Pac Rim scout Ted Heid
for some reading while we wait for some deals to go down.
Oh, and BA is reporting that LHP Lance Beus was released.