Kyle Lotzkar Rumors

Minor Moves: Nakajima, Jimenez, Lotzkar, Poreda

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • The Athletics have re-signed shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports.  Nakajima hit .283/.331/.367 in 384 PA for Triple-A Sacramento this season, his first in North America after signing a two-year, $6.5MM deal with the A's last winter.  Nakajima was outrighted off Oakland's 40-man roster last August.
  • Left-hander Cesar Jimenez has elected to become a free agent, as reported by the International League's transactions page.  Jimenez was outrighted off the Phillies' 40-man roster to Triple-A last week.  The southpaw posted a 3.71 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 10 walks over 17 relief innings for Philadelphia in 2013.
  • The Rangers signed right-hander Kyle Lotzkar and lefty Aaron Poreda to minor league deals, according to the latest minor league transactions report from Baseball America's Matt Eddy (which contains many more minor transactions). Lotzkar, 23, was released by the Reds in September. A former supplemental-round pick, Lotzkar was said by Baseball America to have some of the best stuff in the Reds' organization, but he's battled through Tommy John surgery and a stress fracture in his elbow in recent years. Though his 8.05 ERA in the minors this season was alarming, he whiffed 41 batters in 38 innings and has a career 10.5 K/9.
  • Poreda, 27, didn't pitch in affiliated ball this season. Formerly BA's No. 63 overall prospect and a White Sox first-rounder, Poreda has a 3.53 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 454 career minor league innings. He reached the Majors in 2009 with both the Sox and Padres, as he was part of the haul San Diego received for Jake Peavy. BA wrote multiple times that he's "built for durability," but his lack of a true plus secondary pitch has led to many struggles.
  • As shown in MLBTR's DFA Tracker, there are currently four players residing in DFA limbo: Pedro Beato of the Red Sox, Peter Moylan of the Dodgers and Tommy Layne and Colt Hynes of the Padres.

Reds Release Kyle Lotzkar

The Reds have released right-hander Kyle Lotzkar, MLBTR has learned. The 23-year-old was designated for assignment earlier in the month along with fellow righty Josh Ravin to clear roster space for Johnny Cueto and Sean Marshall, each of whom was returning from the 60-day DL.

Lotzkar, 23, was a supplemental-round pick (53rd overall) by the Reds in 2007 as compensation for the loss of Scott Schoeneweis to free agency. At the time of the draft, Baseball America wrote that Lotzkar had established himself as the clear second-best prospect in Canada behind right-hander Phillipe Aumont, praising Lotzkar's projectable frame and potential for two plus pitches.

Lotzkar ranked in the Reds' Top 30 prospects, per BA, in each of the past six seasons, coming in at No. 12 prior to the 2013 campaign. In their most recent analysis, BA noted that Lotzkar possessed some of the best stuff in Cincinnati's system when at his best, calling his power curveball and 90-94 mph fastball both above-average. Health has never been a given with Lotzkar, however, as he's battled through Tommy John and a stress fracture in his right elbow since being drafted.

In 38 innings for the Reds this season, Lotzkar posted an 8.05 ERA and 37 walks, though he still boasted an impressive 41 strikeouts. Striking batters out has never been an issue for Lotzkar, and his command has typically been significantly better than it was in 2013, as evidenced by career marks of 10.5 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9.

Reds Designate Josh Ravin, Kyle Lotzkar For Assignment

The Reds have designated right-handers Josh Ravin and Kyle Lotzkar for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Johnny Cueto and Sean Marshall, each of whom is returning from the 60-day disabled list, according to assistant director of media relations Jamie Ramsey (on Twitter).

Ravin, 25, was the Reds' fifth-round pick out of high school back in 2006. The California native posted a 5.82 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 6.7 BB/9 in 51 innings of relief between Double-A and Triple-A in the Cincinnati organization this season. Solid strikeout totals and troubling command have become the norm for Ravin, as evidenced by his career 8.1 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9 in parts of eight minor league seasons.

Lotzkar, 23, was a supplemental-round pick (53rd overall) by the Reds in 2007 as compensation for the loss of Scott Schoeneweis to free agency. Like Ravin, he posted impressive strikeout totals but struggled with his command, particularly in 2013 when he whiffed 41 batters in 38 innings between High-A and Double-A but issued 37 walks. His command problems haven't always been so extreme; in 86 1/3 innings for Double-A Pensacola in 2012, Lotzkar posted a 96-to-53 K/BB ratio.