Monday, November 30, 2009

Wil Ledezma

Hey, GW isn't in the habit of cranking out column inches on non-roster pick ups; heck, we'd still be trying to catch up from last season. But lefty Wilfredo Jose Ledezma is the exception.

The Pirates have made no bones about looking for a left-handed hurler or two to add to the bullpen, and we know the propensity for the suits to dumpster-dive, believing that quantity is as good as quality. The guy was DFA'd by the Nats, after all.

The 28 year-old (he'll turn 29 in January) Venezuelan has had quite the career. First, the way he worked his way into a relief role is kinda telling.

Ledezma holds an all-time MLB record: the most consecutive starts of six innings or fewer. He made 31 straight starts with six or fewer innings between 2003-06 - and that's with just 40 career starts under his belt!

After getting yanked from one of those starts in 2006, Ledezma stomped into the dugout, tore his cap up, and began eating it. Yum! Saving up his meal money, we guess.

In 2007, while visiting home during the All-Star break, he threw his papers in the washing machine. The Braves had to briefly put him on the restricted list until he could get a replacement visa & passport.

Anyway, here's his baseball 411. The Red Sox signed him in 1998. Ledezma was a Rule 5 pick of the Tigers in 2002, made it through the 2003 season, and pitched for them until 2007, bouncing between the majors and the farm.

He was traded from the Tigers to the Atlanta Braves for Macay McBride on June 20th, 2007. Ledezma was DFA'd on July 29th. On July 31st, Ledezma was traded along with Will Startup to the San Diego Padres for reliever Royce Ring.

On August 29th, 2008, Ledezma was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was non-tendered following the 2008 season, and became a free agent.

In January, 2009, he signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals, made the opening day roster, and then was DFA'd in May and released in July. Toronto inked him in August, and in October, Ledezma was granted free agency. Hello, Pittsburgh!

BTW, Greg Smith was Detroit’s scouting boss when they grabbed Ledezma in 2002, and there's where the dots connect. He also throws 93 consistently, a bit of a shocker from a 6-3, 150 pound guy. Now if he could only find the dish...

His MLB line is 15-22 with a 5.17 ERA. In 160 games, he's gotten 40 starts and worked 370-2/3 frames with 255 whiffs and 183 free passes. Control is his issue, but that's never scared off a Bucco bird dog.

Ledezma's minor league stats are pretty strong, though. He went 30-19 in 113 games, with a 3.51 ERA, splitting his time between starting and the pen. In 425-2/3 innings, he had 421 Ks and 160 walks.

All in all, he should be a colorful addition to the Indy staff come April.

-- Jeff Karstens and Justin Thomas made it through waivers and were assigned to Indy, joining Virgil Vasquez.

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