Ball Players Are Out There
One of the things that makes bad teams bad teams is that they don’t keep a proper eye on the waiver wire. Today, the Red Sox claimed 24 year old (in 2010) right-handed pitcher Gaby Hernandez off waivers, who was designated for assignment (in this case, dropped from the 40-man roster) when the Mariners signed Ryan Garko.
Hernandez is a former 3rd Draft pick of the Mets (the 74th player selected in the 2004 Draft), and he looked great at the Class A Sally League and the A+ Florida State League in 2005 and 2006 at age 19 and 20, respectively. He also pitched fairly well in AA at age 21 in 2007. He was over-matched in his first year at the AAA level in 2008, but last year he had a 5.23 ERA at Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League with a line of 146.1 IP, 158 hits and 48 walks allowed and 98 K’s. Not bad for a 23 year old pitcher in the hitter-friendly PCL.
Yet when Hernandez was placed on waivers, approximately 25 teams failed to claim him before the Red Sox did. Since he’s never pitched at the major league level, the Red Sox may not be required to place him on their major league roster, but can instead send him directly to the minors.
Those with a better understanding of the major league waiver rules can correct me, if I’m wrong. Here’s the best on-line article I was able to find regarding the waiver rules.
Meanwhile, in order to find space on their 40-man roster, the Red Sox had to designate for assignment another right-handed pitcher, Robert Manuel. Manuel will be an old 26 in 2010 (he turns 27 on July 9), but he’s closer to being ready to help a major league team.
At AA Chattanooga in the Southern League in 2008, Manuel had an astounding 1.40 ERA in 77 IP, allowing 47 hits and 15 walks and recording 92 Ks. Wow!
Manuel also had a fine year in 2009 at the AAA level, finishing the year with a 2.88 ERA in 51 appearances and 65.2 IP, allowing 50 hits and 16 walks and notching 49 Ks. He started the year at Louisville, the Reds’ top farm team. They called him up briefly in July, where he posted a 0.00 ERA in 3 appearances (4.1 IP). However, the Reds then sent Manuel back down and at the end of July traded him to the Mariners for more highly regarded prospect Wladimir Balentien.
Manuel went undrafted out of Sam Houston State in Texas (is that redundant?), which may explain why he apparently has received no respect in his professional career to date. Nevertheless, he now has a career minor league ERA of 2.89 with a better than 5-to-1 Ks-to-BBs rate, and his numbers the last two seasons contain nothing to refute the assertion that he has been a major-league-caliber pitcher since the beginning of the 2008 season. Don’t take my word for it — here’s his baseball cube webpage.
It’s hard to believe that Manuel wouldn’t be a good bet for any of the three to five teams in MLB with the worst bullpens. The Mariners have had a very busy off-season, signing one major league player after another. As a result, the Red Sox claimed Manuel when the M’s designated him for assignment in November.
The Mariners’ embarrassment of riches has been an opportunity for the also-rans throughout baseball this off-season. Yet, it’s been the even-richer Red Sox who’ve been able to pick and choose between these cast-offs. Someone hasn’t been paying attention.Explore posts in the same categories: Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners