Tag: Taylor Buchholz

Low Risk, High Reward: Mets Sign Chris Capuano and Taylor Buchholz

Earlier this week, Mets Gazette writer Frank Gray suggested that the Mets look to former Brewers as a means to sure up their pitching staff. The Mets have done exactly what Frank suggested. They signed Chris Capuano to a one-year deal.

In addition to the Capuano signing, the Mets have also signed Taylor Buchholz. In response to these moves, the Mets designated Ryota Igarashi for assignment. It appears as if the Mets are looking to make low risk/high reward signings.

Both Capuano and Buchholz have undergone Tommy John surgery. Capuano has actually undergone the surgery twice. However, both were able to pitch fairly well in the majors last season.

Capuano went 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 24 appearances (nine starts) last season. He has had some solid seasons in the past. In 2005 and 2006, Capuano posted a 3.99 ERA and 4.03 ERA, respectively. In ’06, he pitched well enough to earn a spot on the National League All-Star team.

Capuano provides the Mets with a versatile pitcher, since he has experience pitching in the rotation and out of the bullpen. He could start the year in the rotation and then move to the bullpen once Johan Santana recovers.

Buchholz was rated the 50th best prospect in baseball in 2004. He was originally a starter, but he struggled in that role. He was moved to the bullpen full time in 2008 and he was very successful there, posting a 2.17 ERA in 63 appearances. A pitcher like Buchholz would help fill one of the holes in the Mets’ bullpen.

After undergoing surgery, Buchholz was able to work his way back to the majors for nine appearances in 2010; he was able to post a 3.75 ERA. It is good to see that he was able to pitch well once he returned. He should be able to win a bullpen spot out of spring training.

This could also spell the end of Ryota Igarashi’s time with the Mets. There has been talk floating around that if he is not claimed, the Mets will bring him to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Unless he has learned to adjust to the American game, Igarashi will not make the roster next season.

Could these signings also spell the end of Oliver Perez’s time with the Mets? If both Capuano and Buchholz make the Opening Day roster, Perez might not have a spot. However, there is a chance that Perez would be given the opportunity to play until Johan Santana comes off the disabled list.

To read up on all things New York Mets, please visit Mets Gazette.

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MLB Waiver Wire: Red Sox Claim Taylor Buchholz from Toronto Blue Jays

There’s another Buchholz in Beantown. Long living in the shadow of the more dominant Clay Buchholz, reliever Taylor Buchholz has made his way from the Philadelphia to Houston to Colorado to Toronto and has landed in Boston after being claimed off waivers earlier today, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.

This 29-year-old Buchholz was first drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the sixth round of the 2000 amateur draft. In eight seasons developing and rehabbing at the minor league level, Buchholz owns a 3.95 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

First appearing on the Major League stage for the 2006 Astros, Buchholz was less than stellar over 113 innings in which he posted a 5.89 ERA. However, that rookie year inflates his career numbers significantly. Ignoring that rough first year at the Show, Taylor Buchholz can boast a career 3.40 ERA in 172 innings of better-than-solid relief work for Colorado and Toronto.

Due to Tommy John surgery in 2009, Buchholz became somewhat overpaid for the remainder of his time in Colorado and his brief stint in Toronto. Earning $1.055 million each of the last two seasons and approaching another year of arbitration, Buchholz probably priced himself off the Blue Jays’ roster.

Buchholz joins the Marlins‘ Andrew Miller as the second relief pitcher acquired by the Red Sox in as many days.

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Colorado Rockies Fall Try-Outs Continue with Pitchers

The Rockies have swept the Atlanta Braves and now once again find themselves on the edge of the playoff picture only four games behind in the Wild Card Race.

However, it’s not all good news as reliever Manuel Corpas went down with an injury. Corpas will have an MRI done today, and the Rockies are hoping he won’t have to have Tommy John surgery. Yeah, it’s a bad injury whenever TJ is thrown out there.

When the major league rosters expand at the first of September, the Rockies will be adding several pitching arms. With position players it’s more about a try-out, for many pitchers it’s about getting in bodies and giving a break to an over-worked and injury depleted bullpen.

Previously I looked at the position players the Rox may take a look at, now let’s take a look at the pitchers, those hurlers on the mound that are now the most important position in baseball. Many of these are names we are already familiar with, but the Rockies will be trying to determine where these all fit in the future plans.


Starting Pitching

Ubaldo Jimenez: Jimenez of course will be back in 2011 and the Rockies have him under contractual control for three more years. He may be the only starting pitcher that doesn’t have questions the Rockies will have to evaluate besides how can they afford to pay him.

Jason Hammel: Hammel stepped up this year, and put up some impressive numbers. His stuff is not that great, but he pitched much more aggressively and threw strikes. Hammel has always been looked at as a back of the rotation starter, but for much of the season Hammel was the second best pitcher in the Rockies rotation (which is actually very telling as to why the Rockies are where they are now). How Hammel performs this last month may affect how willing the Rockies are to go after a starting pitcher in Free Agency.

Jeff Francis: Once labeled Jeff “Franchise,” his future is in question. Jeff had a terrible shoulder injury that in 2009 that was pretty severe—about as bad as you can get with out having to have major reconstruction surgery. Still it was an injury many guys don’t come back from at all. Jeff has spent time this year on the Disabled List and is currently on the DL right now. When Francis has pitched this year he’s been surprisingly good. His ERA of 4.56 is below his career ERA of 4.72. Also his Hits/9 HR/9 and WHIP are all below his career averages.

The question around Jeff (the Rockies have an option on his contract for next year at $7 million) is how well can he perform in the future. $7 million for one year isn’t bad for a No. 2-type pitcher, which Francis once was and could be again, but it’s way out of line for an injury damaged pitcher which Francis has been in 2010.

I don’t expect Francis to pitch again this year, unless the Rockies find themselves in a tight playoff race. I do expect the Rockies to re-sign Francis this off-season and even give him an extension, but that extension should be closer to $5 million per year for two years with a third year as an option.

Aaron Cook: Cook is the biggest problem in the Rockies organization right now for pitchers. He’s got one more year on his contract where he’ll make $10.6 million dollars in 2011 including the buy-out for 2012. That will make him the highest paid Rockie next year, tied with Todd Helton. He’s been terrible this year in the majors. I expect the Rockies to recall Cook from his injury rehab assignment, and give him some starts. They need him to perform well, to raise his trade value from near nothing to something, so when they trade Cook this off season, they don’t end up eating too much of his contract.

Jhoulys Chacin: He’s a top prospect for the Rockies. He has four-plus pitches. He’s not an over powering fastball guy, so he has to locate, but his performance for the Rockies in 2010 screams that he’ll be in the Rockies rotation for 2011 and beyond. More outings like Sunday against the Diamondbacks where he went seven and 2/3 giving up only three hits and shutting out Arizona, and he’ll be a great No. 2 pitcher behind Jimenez. Chacin isn’t on any try-out, he’s here to stay.

Esmil Rogers: Rogers has one of the top fastballs in the National League; however, that does not make a pitcher. So far Rogers has been more of a thrower than a pitcher. At times his stuff looks more like he should be a reliever or even a closer, but the Rockies have liked him as a starter. Rogers should get plenty of starts as the Rockies look to see if he will be in their rotation for 2011 or if he’ll be a major trade chip this off-season. Next year Rogers is out of options so the Rockies have this month to decide his future role with the organization.


Relief Pitchers

Samuel Deduno: Deduno is one of those pitchers who has had several starts and stops as he’s progressed through the system. He’s 27 now, and has been a starter in Colorado Springs, but he might be a long guy out of the ‘pen. He’s running out of time, but his numbers have been very solid for the the humidor-less Sky Sox with a 2.93 ERA in six starts with 29 K’s to only 18 walks. He’s on the 40 man. Expect to see him for a cup of coffee as he is on the 40 man roster. Deduno might log several innings as the Rockies give him a good look. Scouting reports project Deduno to be better suited as a reliever in the majors.

Franklin Morales: Yeah, that’s a familiar name. First called up in 2007, Morales helped the Rockies make the playoffs. This year he’s been working mostly in the AAA after starting the season with the Rockies. The Rockies hope he can be a closer, or at least a power set up guy. His numbers have been good in the Springs with a .286 ERA, and he’s walked only 18 in 28 innings which isn’t great, but it’s an improvement. His WHIP is 1.34. Look for Morales to get some work in late in games and even in pressure situations due to his experience.

Since teams always need left-handed pitchers that can throw it 95 mph, Morales has value. Now, we’ll find out if that value can be with the Rox or if it’s going to be with another team.

Edgmer Escalona: Escalona has been a work horse for the Sky Sox this year, logging in 63.0 innings in 51 games. Double E was a candidate to make the Rockies bullpen after a terrific year in AA, but Escalona’s numbers haven’t been great in AAA this year. The question will be whether he can improve his numbers from AAA once he has a humidor helping him out. He won’t be used in any tight situations though. I wonder if he can help the ‘pen out in 2011 or if he just hit his ceiling in AAA. I’m sure the Rockies would like an answer to that question as well.

Chaz Roe: Once a top pitching prospect for the Rockies, he’s logged the most innings pitched this year for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He’s been hittable in AAA with a WHIP of 1.62 and an ERA of 5.81. It will be interesting to see if Roe or Deduno gets a start during their call up. Like Deduno, I expect Roe to be added to the roster as he’s on the 40 man, and also like Deduno I expect Roe to be mainly used in September as a long man out of the bullpen. Roe is not the prospect that he once was and Roe is now looking to be future organizational depth at the starting pitcher or a B level prospect trade throw-in.

We should also expect to see Taylor Buchholtz (who is on an extended rehab assignment currently in AAA) back with the Rockies. With some roster juggling to get guys on the 40 man roster, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockies, who really need bullpen help, to add a few guys like Al Alburquerque, or even 2009 draft pick Rex Brothers, both currently in AA Tulsa.


This article also featured on The Rockies Reporter, and My Team Rivals: Blake Street Baseball

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The Rockies at the Trade Deadline: The Bullpen

The July 31st Trade Deadline is fast approaching. The Rockies after this last road series, are in need of help, and lots of it. Will the Rockies be serious buyers? Will they be able to upgrade their team for a 2010 playoff race? What areas will the Rockies be looking at? In the next week, I’ll write a series on the Rockies needs at the trade deadline. Today’s will be relief pitching, and later I’ll look at offensive/position players and another article will be starting pitching.

Right now the Rockies bullpen consists of:
Right Handers : Games IP ERA Batting Average Against
Matt Belisle          45 60.1 2.69 .237
Rafael Betancourt 41 34.2 4.67 .277
Taylor Buchholz     1 1.0 18.00 .400
Manuel Corpas     45 51.0 4.41 .244
Huston Street      14 15.0 3.00 .189

Left Handers: Games IP ERA Batting Average Against
Joe Beimel           43 29.2 2.43 .223
Randy Flores       39 22.2 2.78 .182

In AAA the Rockies also have some players like Matt Daley, Juan Rincon, Franklin Morales, Esmil Rogers, and Matt Reynolds that could help out in the ‘pen. Rogers is being used in AAA as a starter. Rincon has an ERA of 7.79. Daley, Morales and Reynolds are options, but Reynolds is not on the MLB 40-man roster so moves would have to be made to add him.

Names that the rumor mill has generated for the Rockies include:

Kevin Gregg , Toronto Blue Jays, 32 years old, Right Hander .382 ERA
Scott Downs , Toronto Blue Jays 34 Right Hander, 2.45 ERA 1.041 WHIP 3rd in the AL with 19 Holds for the Season
Evan Meek , Pittsburgh Pirates 27 Right Hander, 1.34 ERA 0.894 WHIP
Joel Hanrahan , Pittsburgh Pirates 28 Right Hander, .367 ERA 1.056 WHIP

If you’ll notice all of these are right-handed pitchers. Beimel and Flores have done there jobs as situational lefties. However, it’s the inconsistency of Manuel Corpas plus Buchholz looking shaky coming off Tommy John surgery the Rockies would like to upgrade.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post has said that the Bullpen is the Rockies main focus right now at the trade deadline, and their top priority is Kevin Gregg. He would also be the easiest and cheapest to get of those names besides maybe Hanrahan.

My personal choice would be Meek. Meek is a hard thrower with a fastball that averages 95.1 MPH this year. He also has a slider, a cutter and a curve-ball. In the past he’s thrown a Change-up, but according to Fangraphs he’s not thrown that this year. He’s also the youngest and because of that has the best contract.  All that gives him the highest price tag as far as cost of propects the Rockies would have to give up to get him.

But it looks like the Rockies will be going for the player that will have the most experience as a closer and that is Kevin Gregg.

Kevin Gregg came up through Angels system, and went on to the Marlins for 2 years where he was their closer, getting 61 saves over those 2 years. He was with the Cubs for one year, getting 23 saves before signing as a free agent with the Jays where he’s been their closer this season. Gregg has 37.2 innings pitched in 38 games with 22 saves. His ERA in 2010 is 3.82 which is below his career ERA of 4.08. For 2010 Gregg’s WAR is .4 which isn’t bad for a reliever.

Gregg features a fastball, that has averaged 92.5 MPH this year, as well as a slider/cutter that he uses a lot. This year he’s been throwing more of a straight cutter (31.0%) than ever before .

Kevin Gregg has a fairly reasonable contract. He signed for $2.0 million for 2010, with a club option after this year of one year at $4.5 million for 2011 or a club option of 2 years at $8.75 million. There is also a buy out of $750,000 in the 2 year option.

I find it interesting that one of the Rockies main targets is a pitcher with experience as a closer.  Street missed the first two months of the season with injury. He’s been decent since coming back, but he did have his first blown save this week, costing the Rockies a much-needed win. Street’s also not cheap having just signed a new three-year contract that will pay him $22.5 million including this year.

I get the feeling the Rockies are thinking about hedging their bets on Huston Street, if Street becomes an injury risk, a label that many have given Street before he came to the Rockies from Oakland.

What will it take to get Gregg? I never know, but you can expect a couple of prospects at least. The Rockies have several B Type prospects that won’t help the Rockies out much, but could have good careers with other clubs. Assume one pitcher and a position player from the Rockies.

Not So Bold Prediction: Kevin Gregg will be a Colorado Rockie by the end of the week.

This Article is also featured on The Rockies Reporter

and My Team Rivals: Blake Street Baseball

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