Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get these guys- The Pitchers

We are now getting out if the most boring part of the baseball season. In January, Major League teams start to fill their rosters up by signing players to minor league contracts. Here is some pitchers that the Rays should sign to bolster their minor league reserves and possibly on the major league squad.

Jeremy Cummings- There seem to be no spots for a new starting pitcher because the Rays have a few that they bring up, but it never hurts to have a veteran starter. He was really good at Durham last year and went the Beijing to play for the US baseball team which got the bronze. Cummings held opponents to a .228 batting average and only 2.3 BB/9 in 90 innings.

Ray King-A lefty specialist in the majors for 10 years, Ray King had moved around in the minors last year and pitched for three different organizations. King has held lefties to a .214 batting average in his major league career. King also hasn't lost his velocity over the past few seasons and averages about 89 mph. After losing Trever Miller the Rays only have J.P. Howell as the lone lefty in the pen, and Ray King can compete for the open spot. He wouldn't be that hard to miss anyway (see image) he already has the team name for his first name.

Mike Gosling-Another lefty specialist, Gosling held lefties to a .238 batting average the past four years in the minors. Gosling is not well established as King, being up and down the majors since 2004, but he does provide the Rays another pitcher to compete for the bullpen and possibly stay at Durham.

Kiko Calero-A righty this time, Kiko is similar to Dan Wheeler and gives up more flyballs than groundballs, but he does provide good middle relief.

Michael Tejera-The best out of the bunch, he has the best minor league numbers against lefties the past four years, allowing only a .178 to lefties. Not sure why he hasn't been called up since 2005, but he has a low strikeout rate and a high FIP, a 5.24 last in year Pawtucket. Tejera does have a good groundball rate and has an average fastball and two good off speed pitches.

These guys should be signed the a minor league with an invite to spring training. Their chance of making the club is slim, but are available in case of an injury if they stay in Durham and provide decent stuff.

Tomorrow, will look at catchers the Rays could sign to a minor league deal.

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