Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rays add Christmas Present: Joe Nelson

The Rays further upgraded their bullpen by adding veteran reliever Joe Nelson. Nelson had a really good year with the Marlins last season, posting an ERA of 2.00, 10 Ks per nine innings, and holding righties to a .189 batting average. The Rays front office know that there is question if Troy Percival can close next year, and that acquiring another good bullpen arm would lead to success similar to last season. Joe Nelson is considered by some as the best value for a reliever on this years free agent market. Nelson signed a one year contract for $1.3 million, and rejected an offer by the Marlins for 650K.

Joe Nelson's pitching delivery includes a high leg kick, similar to Troy Percival. He has an average fastball velocity at 89 mph and a changeup, which he pitches about 98% of the time making him a two-pitch pitcher. Reminds me of Dan Wheeler's stuff, below average fastball and mixes in some off-speed stuff. His high like kick probably gives him some deception, helping him hid his low velocity pitches. I think Nelson can have another good year like last year, but he needs to have good control of his fastball or he is going to get whacked around by the big boppers in the AL East.

Be back online Friday with a few posts over the weekend. Merry Christmas everyone!

Used Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference for statistics..

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