The Royals announced four minor league signings yesterday. Let’s take a look at who these guys are.
From the Royals press release:
“30-year-old left-handed pitcher Francisley Bueno was 7-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 15 starts last season for Monterrey in the Mexican Summer League. Born in La Habana, Cuba, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder is currently 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 10 contests (six starts) for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League. Bueno has made one career appearance in the big leagues, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings for the Braves on August 13, 2008.”
First of all, I love this guy’s name. It sounds like a rich Mexican dandy in the movie Three Amigos. It’s a good start because I like good names, it spices things up. What we know is that he’s a not-so-young Cuban who according to Wikipedia is friends with Brayan Pena. He has 23 strikeouts to 11 walks in 37 innings in the Dominican Winter League. Here is some video
From the Royals – “Right-handed pitcher Juan Gutierrez, 28, posted a 5.40 ERA with no record in 20 relief appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in September. The 6-foot-3, 261-pounder is 5-10 with a 4.79 ERA in 150 career Major League outings for the Astros (2007) and Diamondbacks (2009-11). The Barcelona, Venezuela, resident served as the Arizona closer for portions of 2009 and 2010, going 24-for-28 in save opportunities. Gutierrez will continue his rehab from surgery to begin 2012.”
It seems that the Royals are trying to corner the market on former closers who had major injuries. This move is also indicative of Dayton Moore’s style of playing the odds, which I like. Instead of just hoping for one of these broken relievers, he’ll pile them up and see which one works. Spread the risk out, it’s a pretty savvy move that you don’t see many teams make.
From the Royals – “27-year-old catcher Max Ramirez spent the entire 2011 campaign at the Triple-A level with the Cubs, Astros and Giants organizations. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, batted a combined .278 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 83 games. Ramirez is a career .217 (25-for-115) hitter in 45 Major League games for the Rangers (2008, 2010). He is currently batting .224 in 40 games for Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League.”
You will be shocked to know that Max Ramirez was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves and played for the Texas Rangers. The Royals don’t have much depth at catcher and while Ramirez is 27, he’s had ample experience in the minors and has even shown that he can hit the ball. Word on the street is that his defense is his biggest problem, and he has shown some struggles with the bat at the upper minor leagues. I think he can find a place with the Royals, something tells me the Royals don’t want to go with two inexperienced catchers, but if they do one with a good bat to backup the solid defender (Perez) seems like a good idea to me. Here’s a bit of video
From the Royals – “Outfielder Greg Golson, 26, played a majority of last season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees system, hitting .263 (101-for-384) with nine doubles, seven triples, eight home runs and 15 stolen bases in 20 attempts. The 6-foot, 190-pounder from Austin, Texas, has seen Major League time in each of the past four seasons with the Phillies (2008), Rangers (2009) and Yankees (2010-11), playing all three outfield spots.”
In 2009, Golson was named the “Best Athelete,” “Best Outfield Arm” and “Fastest Baserunner” in the Texas Rangers system (another former Ranger, noooooo). The Royals love atheletes and in a similar vein as the injured pitchers, they like to pile them up and see what sticks (remember the Pat White experiment?) The problem with Golson is that he never developed a bat and some questioned his feel for the game. Last year he hit .263/.330/.385 in AAA. It’s not spectacular and a the age of 26, you don’t project a ton of improvement, but there’s no risk here.
Just some minor signings, but it’s comforting to know that Dayton is still Dayton. He likes injured pitchers, athletes and former Braves.