Keeping an Eye on the Waiver Wire
With many teams making a lot of moves recently, the waiver wire is extremely active, with at least six players filched from other teams today. The two who impress me the most are both named Preston — Preston Claiborne, whom the Marlins claimed from the Yankees, and Preston Guilmet, whom the Padres claimed from the Orioles. Both Prestons will be 27 next year.
Preston Claiborne has done more in the majors. He has a career 3.79 ERA in 62 career relief appearances with a pitching line of 71.1 IP, 75 hits, eight HRs, 24 BBs and 58 Ks. He missed some time last year with a shoulder injury, which may have been why the Yankees were willing to drop him from the 40-man roster.
Preston Guilmet hasn’t done much at the major league level, but his minor league numbers are sensational. Despite a 3.91 ERA in his second season in the AAA International League in 2014 and a 4.09 ERA as a starter in his first minor league season in 2009, his numbers have been eye-popping. He has a career minor league ERA of 2.76 with a pitching line of 346 IP, 274 hits, 29 HRs, 74 BBs and 378 Ks.
The home run total is a little high, and the long ball hurt him in 2014, but his strikeout and strikeout/walks rate are terrific. He apparently still needs to learn how to be effectively wild, meaning knowing when not to give in to hitters.
Guilmet had a 5.23 ERA in ten major league relief appearances in 2014, but he struck out more than a batter per inning, and had a 6/1 K/BB ratio. Pitching in Petco Park, Guilmet has a great chance of establishing himself as a major league pitcher in 2014.
In waiver news closer to home, the Cubs claimed former Giants’ prospect Michael Kickham. Kickham has great stuff, but at age 25 in 2014, he still lacks major league command. I’d suggest that the Cubs move Kickham to the bullpen (he’s been a starter throughout his minor league career). However, in 30 major league innings to date, mostly in relief, Kickham has had his brains beaten out.