Thursday, 561 minor league players were declared free agents by Major League
Baseball. Of those 561 players, the
St. Louis Cardinals might be most interested in the southpaws as the team
continues to rebuild its left-handed relief corps.
part two of a series looking at how the Cardinals could revamp its ‘pen, a look
at these newly recognized free agents is in order. (Link to part one: “Rebuilding the Cardinals
Minnesota Twins’ farmhand made 50 appearances in Triple-A posting a 3.21
ERA. In 70 innings, Barrett struck
out 81 batters and held opponents to a .218 average. The 27-year-old has spent the last three
plus seasons at Triple-A Rochester where he has 139 appearances during that
time. During his time with the Red
Wings, the Californian has averaged more than a strikeout an inning.
pitched out of the bullpen for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate. Originally signed out of Honduras by the Cleveland Indians, Gomez posted a 2.76 ERA in 56.1 innings for Rochester in 2008. Previously, he had spent seven seasons
in the Indians farm system. If
Gomez makes the Majors, he would become only the second Honduran to become a big
only at Double-A in 2008 but he did strike out 70 in 67 innings while giving up
only 55 hits. The Chicago White Sox
to traded Haigwood, Gio Gonzalez, and Aaron Rowand the Philadelphia Phillies for
Jim Thome in November of 2005. Has
since been traded two more times with the Boston Red Sox being his latest
Virginian is an interesting 30-year-old that could provide nice depth at
Memphis. Last year for the Toledo Mud Hens, he made 44 appearances and posted an ERA of 2.45. In 69.2 innings, Ostlund struck out 77
while walking 17. Ostlund missed most of the 2004 season due to Tommy John
Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers farmhand, Parker is a sinkerballer who has
posted a 2.26-to-1 groundball-to-fly ball ratio in 31 Mexican League
innings. A capable swingman who
made 27 appearances for Frisco including nine starts, Parker posted a 1.7-to-1
groundball to fly ball ratio in the Texas League in 2008.
live-arm Dominican put together another successful year at Triple-A
Indianapolis. In 22.2 innings,
opponents hit only .207 against him while striking out 35 batters. Missed considerable time in 2008 due to
an elbow issue. Now playing in the
Dominican Winter League, the 30-year-old has been tagged for a 12.71 ERA in nine
26-year-old split time between the Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays Triple-A
affiliates in 2008. For Durham,
Phillips posted a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings.
Now pitching in the Mexican League, lefties are hitting only .069 against
him in 31 innings of work. Phillips
possesses a high-eighties sinker to go along with a 12-to-6 curveball.
Illinois native has made six appearances for the Chicago Cubs over the past two
seasons. At Triple-A Iowa in 2008,
lefties hit only .182 in his 45 appearances. Pignatiello has appeared in 285 games in
nine seasons as a Cubs’ farmhand.
journeyman reliever struck out 96 in 62 innings with two organizations in
2008. The former Texas Longhorn
kept the ball in the park, with only three home runs allowed, and hitters
managed only a .172 average against him.
Named in the Mitchell Report, Randolph posted an 8-1 record in 50 relief
appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003.
St. Louis area native was a supplemental first round pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2001. The Missouri State product missed all but two minor
league appearances in 2008 after being diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome,
a shoulder condition that also hampered pitcher Kenny Rogers in the past. Could the Cardinals continue their trend
of inviting local products to Spring Training?
former first round pick was roughed up with the Atlanta Braves in 2008. In 42 games, he was tagged with an 8.46
ERA. At Triple-A, Ring posted an
ERA of 3.00 while holding his opponents to a .167 average. Ring has always had a live arm but
control issues have delayed his career.
Good be worth a flier as a Duncan-project.
28 appearances including 27 starts for the Florida Marlins’ Triple-A
affiliate. The numbers don’t jump
out but he did hold left-handed hitters to a .230 average. He needs to improve his command, with 69
walks compared to 126 strikeouts in 152 innings. The Californian doesn’t have
overwhelming stuff but gets by due to his knowledge of the game.
6-foot-10 giant was released in October after missing all of 2008 due to Tommy
John surgery. Sisco was superb in
2005 after the Kansas City Royals took him in the Rule 5 draft. The former Cub then took a big step
backward in 2006 and was subsequently dealt to the White Sox before the 2007
season. The 25-year-old continued
his struggles on the South Side and finished with an ERA close to eight. If healthy, it could be interesting to
see if the National League is more to his liking. When healthy, Sisco had the ability to
throw his fastball in the mid-to-high nineties.
25 appearances including 22 starts split over four organizations including a
stay in Mexico. In 37 innings in
Pacific Coast League action, lefties hit only .194 against him. The 31-year-old
missed most of 2004 and 2005 due to Tommy John surgery. Once considered one of the top prospects
in the Cleveland Indians organization, Stanford made his major league debut in
minor league relief appearances, Swindle posted a 1.53 ERA while striking out 67
in 53 innings. The 25-year-old made
three appearances for the World Champion Phillies and gave up four earned runs
in 4.2 innings. Now pitching in the
Venezuelan Winter League, Swindle has pitched 12 innings and lefties are hitting
only .154 against him. Swindle has
a five-pitch repertoire including a 55 MPH curveball.
native Californian made seven appearances with the San Francisco Giants posting
a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings for the Giants.
He did struggle with his control during his call-up, walking nine
compared to six strikeouts. For
Triple-A Fresno, Threets recorded over two groundball outs for every fly ball
out over 66 innings for the Grizzlies.
Now playing in the Mexican Winter League, the 27-year-old has a 4.30 ERA
in four starts. Threets was the
number 20 ranked prospect in the Giants system according to Baseball
33-year-old made 33 appearances at Triple-A Albuquerque. For the Isotopes, he held lefties to a
.240 average while posting a 2.46-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio.
Oakland farmhand posted a 2.33 ERA in 47 appearances for Sacramento. Left-handers hit .272 against him while
right-handers were held to a .182 mark.
The 26-year-old is a former second round pick who possesses an excellent
Dustin Mattison can be reached via
email at email@example.com.
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