The Mariners have made a move this morning, acquiring righty reliever Arquimedes Caminero from the Pirates in exchange for one, maybe two PsTBNL. To make room for Caminero, the Mariners are breaking my heart by designating Blake Parker for assignment.
Caminero, originally a signee of the Marlins back in 2008, has a very simple profile: he throws hard; really, really hard. His fastball has sits at 98 MPH -- not a typo, ninety eight -- and he works with a slider and splitter as his offspeed pitches. If Blake Parker's gone, at least his replacement also throws the split. Last year, Caminero pitched to the tune of a 3.62 ERA, striking out 73 batters in just under 75 innings. The Pirates were hoping he'd step into the role of top right-handed setup man this year, but it just hasn't worked out.
This year, Caminero posted a 5.19 ERA and 6.43 FIP before hitting the DL in late May, but he's been a tad better since returning in mid-June. In 23-plus innings since coming off the DL, Caminero has a 2.28 ERA and a 2.0 K/BB rate, but he's had the luxury of a deflated home-run rate, so his xFIP is 4.70.
Caminero is out of options, so he's going to have to stick with the big league club unless Jerry Dipoto wants to subject him to optional waivers. Maybe the team sees something in Caminero that they can quickly fix, but with Ray Searage in charge of pitching in Pittsburgh, it's unlikely. More likely, the team is banking on the random fluctuation of relievers, and adding a big heater to the bullpen down the stretch gives the 'pen a different element.
If they can get something positive out of Caminero, awesome! He's still pre-arbitration next year, and in a few weeks they can bury him when the rosters expand. While we certainly don't know who the PsTBNL will be, there's probably nothing of note going back to the Pirates. Caminero's worth a shot, and at the very least, we can enjoy saying his name for a couple weeks.