So Long, Gabino

This post is chock full o’ pop culture references. My apologies.

Joe Christensen announced yesterday that Armando Gabino was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. I think someone should call up Morgan Freeman so he can narrate this march of the penguins from Minnesota to the East. First was Brian Bass last season, then it was Sean Henn, and now Gabino. To fill his spot on the 40-man roster, the Twins added RHP Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn Juan Morillo, and they also announced 1B/OF Justin Huber cleared waivers and outrighted him to Triple-A Rochester. However, Huber may choose to become a minor league free agent.

Armando Gabino

It’s a bit disappointing to see Gabino leave. He rose from rookie ball all the way to the majors in 4 years, and while he wasn’t dominant in the minors, he certainly was good. He was billed as a good control-type pitcher, but 5 walks in 3.2 innings seemed to say otherwise. Starting 8 games between Triple-A and the majors in ’09 wasn’t too big of a problem for him, considering he had been used for multiple innings per game at just about every level of the minors, so he gains a little more flexibility for the roles he may occupy for the Orioles in 2010. His strikeout rate suggests he won’t be a great pitcher and the control issues for the Twins, while a bit extreme, could have been expected, so he’ll probably fit in somewhere between a poor and a unspectacular reliever, most likely continuing in the long relief role.

Juan Morillo

When the Twins first claimed Morillo off waivers, I was very pleased because I figured that even if he pitched poorly, there was no way he could have been worse than Philip Humber (who was designated for assignment to make room for Morillo). Well I was wrong. 22.50 ERA > 8.00 ERA. I don’t need a 5th grader or Jeff Foxworthy to tell me that.

Morillo’s average fastball for his career is 96.9 MPH. In ’09, it was at 97.6. ’08 with the Colorado Rockies, it was 98.5. He’s able to miss many bats with that heater, but he also misses the strike zone as well. Seth Stohs mentioned that he will be a high risk/high reward guy, and I am in full agreement. Unfortunately, I think he will be closer to the high risk end of the spectrum. Also, he is out of options, so Morillo will have to pitch well in spring training or he may end up joining another team. Keep in mind that he did clear waivers in ’09 though, so there is a chance that the Twins could designate him for assignment and keep him once again.

Justin Huber

Since his only positions are 1B and the corner outfield, if he does rejoin the Twins and make it to the majors, he’ll definitely be in a bench role. But since he is a righthanded power hitter, he could be useful as a pinch hitter in the future. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to see him play much in September (considering I’ve heard of him for years but he hasn’t had a real shot in the major leagues…which apparently is a theme in Kansas City) but that was a combination of his strained oblique injury, the emergence of first baseman Michael Cuddyer, and the Twins charge into first place in the AL Central. I wish I could give more of a scouting report, but I’m approaching my self-imposed deadline and I feel that Seth Stohs is the guy you want to check out. Or just click a link on the blogroll, you’ll probably more often than not find a post discussing the same three guys I just mentioned.

Edit: Apparently the poll wasn’t working, considering that I couldn’t even vote on it. It’s been replaced by a brand new one, so in addition to my vote, there was also one for the “Neither will succeed” choice.

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One Response to “So Long, Gabino”

  1. So Long, Morillo (Stress Relief Edition) « Off The Mark Says:

    […] Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker) just reported that Juan Morillo signed with a Japanese team. Since I talked about Morillo being added to the 40-man roster after RHP Armando Gabino was claimed off waivers by the […]

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