CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/18)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/13)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/20)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Jon... (08/18)

August 18, 2014

Transaction Analysis

Closer Reclamation Season

by R.J. Anderson

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

DETROIT TIGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Purchased the contract of RHP Jim Johnson from Triple-A Toledo; optioned RHP Melvin Mercedes to Triple-A Toledo; designated RHP Kevin Whelan for assignment. [8/17]

Would you have believed 12 months ago the team that employed Johnson, Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan, and Joel Hanrahan could still have bullpen issues? Such is the state of the Tigers bullpen. Johnson returns to the majors not even a month after he was released by the Athletics. He appeared in four games with Toledo, and the numbers don't speak positively—then again, it's not like a four-game sample says much anyway. If the Tigers can get Johnson back to throwing his sinker and curveball for strikes, he has the chance to make a positive contribution. At minimum, he has the opportunity to end 2014 better than he started it.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Recalled RHP Kyle Drabek from Triple-A Buffalo; optioned RHP Chad Jenkins to Triple-A Buffalo. [8/16]

Drabek receives his first call to the majors in almost a year. It's not because the Blue Jays need a starter, but rather because they need a reliever. Drabek moved to the bullpen back in June, and has since pitched better than he had in the Buffalo rotation: 21 innings, 12 more strikeouts than walks, just one home run allowed—the negative is he allowed more than a hit per inning. If Drabek is to have a big-league future, it'll come in the bullpen—imagine reading that sentiment a few years back. Stringing together a few solid appearances here would be a good sign.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Acquired OF-R Brett Jackson from the Cubs in exchange for RHP Blake Cooper. [8/15]

Kevin Towers started his Arizona tenure by ridding the roster of high-strikeout types. Here, possibly near the end of his reign in the desert, Towers acquires a player who would be a big-league contributor were it not for severe contact woes. Jackson has struck out 98 times this season in 257 Triple-A plate appearances—or 38 percent of the time, which is the worst mark in the PCL by an embarrassing margin. His other tools are good enough to play in the majors, but he'll be limited to organizational depth. What a shame.

CINCINNATI REDS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Purchased the contract of RHP Dylan Axelrod from Triple-A Louisville; placed RHP Homer Bailey on the 15-day disabled list (strained flexor mass); transferred 1B-L Joey Votto to the 60-day disabled list (strained quadriceps). [8/16]

You have to admire Axelrod's ability to sneak into rotations despite lacking a big-league skill. He doesn't throw a ton of strikes, or coerce a lot of groundballs; he doesn't miss many barrels, let alone bats; and he doesn't have better stuff than results. Yet somehow, someway, he's back in the majors for the time being. Cincinnati's decision to promote Axelrod rather than rush a kid is understandable, it's just amusing to see a pitcher with little discernible value or upside find another start or two through attrition.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Placed 3B-R Juan Uribe on the 15-day disabled list (strained hamstring); recalled INF-R Carlos Triunfel from Triple-A Albuquerque. [8/16]

It's a good thing the Dodgers have a healthy division lead, because they're without both of their starting left-side infielders. Triunfel joins a collection of no-hit infielders that includes Miguel Rojas and Darwin Barney. (Justin Turner's surprisingly competent season spares him mention.) Why did Triunfel get the call over Alex Guerrero, who signed a four-year deal worth $28 million over the winter? Likely because Guerrero has (understandably) struggled since returning from a bit ear. Presumably Erisbel Arruebarrena, the only other infielder on the 40-man roster, was skipped over as a favor to beat writers and announcers alike.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Acquired RHP John Axford off waivers from the Indians; placed RHP Stolmy Pimentel on the 15-day disabled list (sprained ankle). [8/14]
Acquired C-S Ramon Cabrera off waivers from the Tigers; designated RHP Wirfin Obispo for assignment. [8/13]

The Pirates are Axford's fourth organization since the beginning of last season. Chances are, he'll join a fifth before long. Axford signed a one-year deal with the Indians after being non-tendered by the Cardinals. He opened the season as Cleveland's closer, but lost the gig in May following a few rough appearances. Axford has since rebounded, though he remains a true-outcome pitcher: lots of strikeouts, walks, and too many home runs for comfort; that's because his stuff, while good, is often loose within the zone. He'll try to replace Ernesto Frieri as Pittsburgh's reclamation reliever of choice for the rest of the season.

While Axford has two more years of team control remaining, it seems unlikely that the Pirates will tender him a contract this winter. In other words, get ready for this plot to repeat itself again next year.

Cabrera rejoins the Pirates not even two years after being traded to the Tigers for Andy Oliver. Whatever hopes he had of a Brayan Pena-like career have been dashed. He reported to Double-A.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

3 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/18)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/13)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/20)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Jon... (08/18)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Deep League Report: Week 22
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, Septe...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 2, 2015
Premium Article Notes from the Field: September 2, 2015
Fantasy Rounders: Making it Rain in Toronto
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: September 2, 2015
Premium Article The 2015 Arizona Fall League

MORE FROM AUGUST 18, 2014
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Jonathan Lucroy
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 18, 2014
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, August 18
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of August 15-17
The Week in Quotes: August 11-17, 2014
Fantasy Article Closer Report: Week 21
Fantasy Article Interleague Report: Week 21

MORE BY R.J. ANDERSON
2014-08-22 - Premium Article Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Tw...
2014-08-22 - Transaction Analysis: Boston Signs Cuban Sta...
2014-08-20 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Place Their Be...
2014-08-18 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Closer Reclamation Sea...
2014-08-15 - Premium Article Painting the Black: Danny Duffy's Bestie
2014-08-13 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Royals' Struggling Off...
2014-08-11 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Cubs Page Turner
More...

MORE TRANSACTION ANALYSIS
2014-08-25 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Angels Add Post-Post-P...
2014-08-22 - Transaction Analysis: Boston Signs Cuban Sta...
2014-08-20 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Red Sox Place Their Be...
2014-08-18 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Closer Reclamation Sea...
2014-08-13 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Royals' Struggling Off...
2014-08-11 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Cubs Page Turner
2014-08-05 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Reasonable Overpay...
More...