Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Breaking Down The 40-Man Roster Day 2

We continue with the roster breakdown with a look at our 2nd reliever. A strength of last year's club, the bullpen lost Eric Gagne, Akinori Otsuka, Ron Mahay, and Willie Eyre. The Rangers made two signings to help reinforce the pen and maintain the strength of the club. So here is a look at one of those two signings.

Eddie Guardado
6'0" 225 lbs
Born: 10/02/1970
Opening Day Age: 37

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 15
Innings Pitched: 13.2
Record: 0-0
ERA: 7.24
Strikeouts: 8

2008 Prognosis:
In 2003 the Rangers added a 32 year-old, left handed relief pitcher to their team. He was coming off a season in which he pitched 14.2 innings and compiled an 8.59 ERA. In four and a half seasons in Texas' bullpen, this pitcher threw 244 innings and compiled a 3.65 ERA. Ron Mahay (the pitcher just alluded to if you didn't know) was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with Mark Teixeira for 5 Braves prospects. He recently signed with the Kansas City Royals and will turn 37 in June of 2008. Over the same time period, Eddie Guardado has pitched 217.2 innings and compiled a 3.27 ERA. Eddie Guardado is not the same pitcher that saved 140 games for the Twins and Mariners from 2002-2005. However, he is a LHP who has limited lefties to a .631 OPS over the course of his career. He can be the LHP out of the bullpen the Rangers lost when they shipped Mahay out last year. He can also shoulder some of CJ WIlson's former duties should CJ win the closer's job. Guardado also has the ability to fill in as a closer in case of injury or poor performance. The signing of Guardado will also allow the Rangers to get another look at A.J. Murray in a SP role. Murray might have been forced to the pen if the Rangers were short a LHP. The Guardado signing will likely allow Murray to start the year at AAA and allow the Rangers to get a better idea of A.J.'s future role with the club. This seems like the classic "aging, injured veteran" signing that Rangers' fans have become accustomed to. However, this low risk move allows a number of other things to fall into place. There is also the chance Guardado becomes a trading chip a la Eric Gagne in 2007. At the very least "Everday" Eddie should be a good mentor for bullpen arms like CJ Wilson, Joaquin Benoit, and Japanese import Kazuo Fukumori. So welcome to the club Mr. Guardado and feel free to conjure up the 2002-2005 version of yourself at any time.

Tomorrow's "Breakdown" post will feature the one and only CJ Wilson.

photo courtesy of