Here are Thursday’s minor moves from around the league…
- The Athletics announced that they’ve signed lefty Tyler Alexander to a minor league deal and invited him to Major League Spring Training. He’s been out of affiliated ball since the 2014 season, pitching on the independent circuit and in the Mexican League. Manager Bob Melvin spoke to Jane Lee of MLB.com and touted Alexander as someone who the A’s have kept an eye on for the past few years, specifically citing this winter’s strong showing in the Dominican Winter League — 2.68 ERA, 48-to-10 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings — as a source of intrigue.
- The Orioles announced that infielder Jack Reinheimer cleared waivers and has been assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk. He’ll be in camp as a non-roster invitee, where he’ll compete with a variety of other players for a shot at some time in the Baltimore infield mix. The light-hitting 26-year-old hasn’t seen much MLB time but bounced around the waiver wire a bit this winter, indicating that teams see him at least as a plausible big-league depth piece.
- Catcher Adam Moore has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers, tweets Jon Heyman of the MLB Network. He’d earn a $600K base salary at the Major League level. Moore, 34, has seen action in nine MLB seasons but played in double-digit games in only one of those. He spent most of 2018 at Triple-A, slashing .219/.260/.347 in 208 plate appearances.
- In somewhat of a blast-from-the-past move, the Blue Jays have added lefty Ryan Feierabend on a minor league deal, per Baseball Toronto’s Keegan Matheson (Twitter link). Now 33 years old, Feierabend has just 7 1/3 MLB innings under his belt since the close of the 2008 season. However, he’s had some success pitching in the Korea Baseball Organization in recent seasons and is now utilizing a knuckleball — a rare pitch in today’s game that is all the more anomalous given that Feierabend is left-handed.
If Feierabend can make it back as a lefty knuckleballer, he’d be the fifth in MLB history, and the first since Danny Boone in 1990. Pretty incredible.
Feierabend uses his knuckleball as a secondary pitch instead of primarily.
Kind of hard to do. Also, knuckleballers often have personal catchers because you don’t want your primary catcher to risk injury by dealing with an unpredictable pitch every fifth game.
Who was the last left knuckleballer? Did either of the Niekros throw lefty?
Did you not read the comment you replied to?
Yes; one of the very best knuckleballers of all-time was left-handed (Wilbur Wood) but Boone is the only post-1980 left-handed knuckleballer (and Boone had a weird career – he didn’t throw a major-league inning between 1982 and 1990, and came back in 1990 after learning the knuckler. He wasn’t good in his brief comeback, but 8 years between appearances is a very rare occurrence.)
Alexander is back after a 3 year weed suspension. Dang hippies and their gateway drugs.
Is that really why he was cut loose by the brewers after only 2 minor league seasons? Las Vegas might not be the best place for him to be then. Regardless, he’s a somewhat intriguing lefty the A’s can stash off at AAA.
Keep in mind that the Brewers let him go about five years ago. A lot can change with a person between the ages of 22 and 27.
3 years for weed? I doubt that. I know in MLB it’s not even a suspension anymore, although minor leaguers can be suspended for weed. As we move towards universal legalization I wonder if, eventually, the minor leagues will ease up; it’s not as though marijuana is a PED.
Great move. Wish there were a few more knuckleballers around.
I’ve seen Alexander pitch many times in the Mexican Pacific League. He’s a great pitcher, but he tends to lose his temper easily. He’s gotten into a few fights with players of my team (mainly Rico Noel), You can see some here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQEK5aapMmY
…yeah well, that Rico Noel character is another “hot head” himself and probably has an even bigger ego than Alexander, so there’s no surprise if those two got into it. Good Luck Tyler…take advantage of the opportunity!
Alexander is determined and on a mission. I follow Winter Ball regularly and he has been consistent the past few seasons in the Dominican and Mexico. He’s going to surprise many people in the league…he’s a gamer and has a lot of passion for the sport…Oakland just got a hidden gem in their system despite his suspension a few years ago…I wish him well…
He will prove everyone wrong.
Such a Feyerabend move…
And I would take issue with the line “a rare pitch in today’s game” anyway; knuckleball pitchers have always been rare. There have only been 29 pitchers in baseball history who used the knuckleball as their primary pitch. That’s an insanely low number. 4 of the 29 are Hall of Famers, which is actually a very impressive ratio, especially when you realize that some of the 29 knuckleballers are very fringe guys, like Boone and Charlie Haeger and Charlie Zink. The four Hall of Famers are Haines, Wilhelm, Niekro and Lyons, although Lyons was a bad HoF selection – part of the Frisch group. But Wakefield, Candiotti, Wood, Dickey and Ciccotte (especially) had very solid careers as knuckleball pitchers. That’s 9 out of 29. So maybe that’s a market inefficiency teams should explore – try turning your failed prospects into knuckleball pitchers…