Zduriencik and Co inked up 26-year-old starting pitcher David Pauley, formerly of San Diego, Boston and Baltimore, to a Minor League contract today.
Normally, minor league contracts are not going to get much coverage, but Pauley interests me a bit. Namely because of his minor league swinging strike rate. See, Pauley's not a Morrow replacement. He doesn't throw gas, sitting in the high 80s with his fastball. He's got some other slop as well, mostly a mid-70s curve, to go along, but the fastball is his predominant pitch.
Pauley has spent almost the entire last three seasons in Triple-A and has averaged about 9.3% swinging strikes while staying consistent in that range. He's a moderate ground ball guy, staying just north of 50%. Also, his inning totals in Triple-A? 147.2, 147, 150.1. His strikeout numbers? 105, 103, 106. His walk numbers? 48, 41, 44. I have a good feeling about what he'll do in Tacoma next year...
That's if he stays in Tacoma all year. My limited scouting sense wants to scream that this is just another guy who can get Triple-A bats out but who lacks the stuff to get Major League hitters out. A Quad-A guy in the vein of Bobby Livingston, Jakubauskas, and the myriad other guys whose names I cannot possibly be bothered to remember. The lack of turning swinging strikes into a significant strikeout advantage over three years points to that. If he were left-handed or a harder thrower, I would be more interested. Then again, he's never gotten a real shot in the Major Leagues, so maybe he might be a surprise.
Either way, he looks to be some solid starting depth for Tacoma, with no service time, added for essentially free.