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A’s Signed Merkin Valdez and More! (Several Weeks Ago)

January 24, 2012


Clay Davenport’s predictions for the A’s came out the other day. He has them going 79-83 and that link will not change even though the content will, so I will have to give you some of the interesting details here, one interesting thing is he has Kila Ka’aihue as the primary DH, designated hitter seems a bit strong given he puts up a .234/.326/.371 campaign with 0.7 WAR, slugging 13 home runs in his 429 at bats. But regardless, I suggest checking there anyhow even if the info has changed, cool stuff. Anyhow looking at the pitching staff there were some cool things and some of the bullpen names took me a second to figure out. Jim Miller? Oh yeah, we covered that right here, he is a right-handed pitcher who pitched in six games last year for the Rockies. He also pitched in 2008 with the Orioles. He has 14 2/3 innings of MLB work over his career, and has posted 8.0 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 but has yet to surrender a home run earning him a 1.84 ERA and 3.35 FIP for a grand total of 0.2 WAR. But then another name was on that list, Merkin Valdez. I had no idea who this guy was.

But I found a tiny mention of the move that I must’ve overlooked at MLBTradeRumors notifying us of this earth-shattering transaction that occurred January 4th and wait… two more pitchers too!

“The A’s signed right-handers Travis Schlichting and Merkin Valdez and left-hander Fabio Castro to minor league deals”

All these guys figure to be Triple-A filler though Davenport at least sees Valdez coming to the Major League squad at some point. Valdez is the cream of this decidedly downtrodden crop, making his MLB debut in 2004 with the Giants and also finding time with the Blue Jays (2010) and Rangers (2011) he has pitched a total of 72 2/3 innings in the pros with a grand total of -0.2 WAR, his high water mark being his “noteworthy” 2008 campaign in San Francisco where he posted a career high 0.1 WAR. He owns a lifetime 5.57 ERA that looks worse than his still pretty bad looking 4.90 FIP. His FIP is terrible because while he has struck out 7.3 per nine, he also allows 5.2 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. Sloppy stuff. He has a live fastball, 95.3 mph on average but clearly doesn’t know where to necessarily put it, or maybe knows where to put it but finds himself unable to put it there.

Schlichting, has had similar outcomes to Valdez with very different stuff (92.1 mph fastball) that has yielded him a 3.55 ERA and 4.11 FIP across 16 major league games all with the Dodgers. He has featured just 5.7 K/9 to 5.3 BB/9 but has kept the ball in the ballpark to a 0.4 HR/9 mark though all this should be taken with a large grain of salt given his career is comprised of a mere 25 1/3 innings of work. He has been worth 0.1 WAR in his career last appearing in pro ball with Los Angeles in 2010.

Castro, the only southpaw of this group, has pitched 43 2/3 innings in the Majors all between 2006 and 2007 in time split between the Rangers and Phillies. He has similar control issues to his two other fellow signees, 5.4 BB/9 which he matches up with a career mark of 6.6 K/9 and 0.6 HR/9. While he has a sparkly 3.30 ERA his 4.52 FIP looks a lot worse though he has managed 0.2 WAR in his career. He has a good speed differential between his primary fastball (90.5 mph) and frequently used change (81.8 mph) but he obviously hasn’t translated it into any sort of success. Since his last MLB appearance he has pitched in Reading (Phillies – AA), Ottawa (Phillies – AAA), Lehigh Valley (Phillies – AAA), New Hampshire (Blue Jays – AA), Las Vegas (Blue Jays – AAA), Pawtucket (Red Sox – AAA) and Tacoma (Mariners – AAA).

I strive to keep readers up to date even if it is several weeks late. In other news, Jonny Gomes should officially join the Athletics today in which case someone will need to be bumped off the 40-man roster. My money is on Sean Doolittle, but my money has been on him since this blog’s inception and yet he remains on the 40-man roster…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasper & Ghosts permalink
    January 24, 2012 2:58 pm

    “No mistake. Too many injuries forced Doolittle away from his role as a position player this year. He’s since been making a transition to the mound, where he pitched quite well while at the University of Virginia. The lefty received good reviews this fall in the instructional league, even reaching the mid-90s”

    What are your thoughts on Sean Doolittle turning into a relief pitcher ? I thought being a pitcher is more active and would make injuries worse. but I never claimed to know anything, haha

    • January 24, 2012 3:03 pm

      More power to him. Others have done is, Sergio Santos coming to mind immediately. Don’t know if they need to save a 40-man roster spot for this experiment though. I have no idea regarding the medical aspects of it so I’m beat there too!

      • Steve Yin permalink
        January 26, 2012 2:57 pm

        It’s Candenas got DFAed instead of Sean.

        BTW, 2012 should be Sean’s 3rd option year, right? So he should be out of options in 2013…….. time is running out, plus even being a pitcher, I am worried about if he may re-injure his knees while fielding a bunt? Lot of question marks.

      • January 26, 2012 5:08 pm

        I don’t know what Doolittle has to hold over Beane’s head. I just don’t get how he still has a place on this roster. Really stymies me.

  2. EddieVegas_NRAF permalink
    January 24, 2012 3:02 pm

    [I strive to keep readers up to date even if it is several weeks late.]

    So YOU’RE the one with the @AthleticsUpdate Twitter account!

    • January 24, 2012 3:04 pm

      HAHA! Well played! I just saw that we traded Trevor Cahill. Who knew?


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