What a great move.
The Dodgers signed relief pitcher Kiko Calero to a minor league deal today, Ken Gurnick reports.
The Dodgers have been skittish with money this year, even selling potential fifth starter Eric Stults to a Japanese team for a barely-league minimum amount of money in return. This signing comes a bit as a surprise, but a good one at that.
Calero’s been erratic in his seven-year MLB career, but has shown brilliance. His hits/9 has only been above 7.8 once. He lowered it to a career low in 2009 with Florida when he put up a 5.4 hits/9 in 60 innings pitched, which wonderfully set off his 4.5 BB/9.
Calero tends to strike out right-handed batters and walk left-handed batters more. This leads to a wonky split, but the power numbers against him by left-handed batters was .240 last year (.232 for righties) and is still sub-.400 for his career. See for yourself:
Calero split slash stats for 2009:
vs. RHBs: .176/.243/.232
vs. LHBs: .187/.347/.240
For his career:
vs. RHBs: .202/.266/.312
vs. LHBs .244/.352/.373
So at worst his OPS against is .725.
I’m always in favor of taking shots on guys and I’ve loved Ned Colletti’s “throw it on the wall and see what sticks” approach. Aside from the talent raised in the farm system, it’s probably the biggest reason for the Dodgers success since 2008 (lower-tier free agent signings who performed surprisingly well in 2009: Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, Jeff Weaver, Ronald Belisario and Charlie Haeger). Some don’t pan out and we saw a lot of early season failure this season, but not long after, John Ely and Carlos Monasterios took the final two rotation spots by the horns and Broxton, fan favorite Hong Chih Kuo, Weaver and minor league pitcher Justin Miller filled out a surprisingly good bullpen.
How about that?
Calero adds another piece and if all goes well, the Dodgers could bring him up to replace one of the bigger holes in the rotation.