With everyone paying attention to game seven of the NBA Finals, even me (gasp!...seriously, it's probably been a couple years since I've sat down to intentionally watch an NBA game), now is the perfect time for an obscure baseball post. A couple players hit waivers today that pique my interest.
The first is soon-to-be former Marlin Renyel Pinto. He is a huge lefty, listed at 6'4" and 265 pounds, and he has respectable 3.62 ERA for his career. I am quite surprised that a lefty as good as Pinto, at a rather young 28 years old, is available for anyone to claim.
There are a few buyer bewares with Pinto. First of all, over his career, his most effective pitch has been change-up. Consequently, he runs inverted splits - for his career, he has been better against righties. He certainly should not be a situational lefty. Also, Pinto's peripheral stats say his ERA should be about a run worse than it usually is.
With all that said, Pinto has a spot in someone's bullpen. The Mariners certainly should claim him, though I'll be shocked if he makes it that far in the waiver process (everyone in the NL gets a crack at him first).
The second player that hit waivers interests me even more. His name is Jayson Nix, a 28-year-old utility player. The White Sox designated him for assignment to reportedly make room for Dayan Viciedo. Nix had a pleasant surprise of a season last year, flashing moderately surprising power with pleasant defense. This year, his slash line is underwhelming, but his playing time has been limited to say the least.
Nix is what he is. He provides somewhere between solid and good defense at second base and the corner outfield slots. He also can defend shortstop and third base if needed. At the plate, Nix has enough pop in his bat to make pitchers pay for mistakes, but not enough to be a pivotal piece in a good offense. In Mariners terms, Jayson Nix is a better version of Matt Tuiasosopo.
If I were Jack Zduriencik, I would put claims in on both Pinto and Nix. The 40-man roster sits at 38 players, so there is room without booting anyone out. At the MLB level, Tui and Brian Sweeney could be sent down.
Nix and Pinto are far from franchise or season savers, but they would make several teams better, including the Mariners.