Friday, March 4, 2016

Guys You Don't Know, vol. 3

Only a couple of interesting names you might not know from yesterday's loss to the Tigers. As I have done twice this spring already (here and here), this series focuses on names that show up in boxscores that are neither big prospects, nor established veterans.

Lalli, C, 0-for-2, 2 K

Who is he? Blake Lalli...So far, this is the fourth catcher I've mentioned as part of this series and we are just three games in. Lalli was a late signing this offseason (1/26 to be exact) and is a left-hand hitting catcher originally signed as undrafted free agent by the Cubs in 2006. Before that, he played at Gardner-Webb (go Runnin' Bulldogs!). Lalli had a big 2008 as he climbed from A-ball to AA (with a stop at A+ in between). His triple slash that year was .326/.367/.504. Subsequent campaigns failed to live up to those numbers, but Lalli did play in the majors during 2012 as a Cub, getting a pair of singles in 15 AB. He was traded to the A's later that year and left the organization as a free agent at the end of 2012. He would spend most of 2013 with Nashville, the AAA affiliate of the Brewers, though he did receive a brief cameo in the majors (where he went just 3-for-24). The last two seasons were spent with Arizona's AAA squad in Reno. His overall minor league numbers have been fairly solid, though he won't give you much power. He's also played a good deal of first base and...amazingly...he's pitched a lot. Since 2007, he has appeared in 20 games as a pitcher. Between Lalli, Willians Astudillo's penchant for playing all over the field, and Jeff Francoeur's pitching pedigree, the Braves have some interesting baseball guys to keep track of in the minors who aren't even prospects.

Wooten, P, ING, BB

Who is he? Rob Wooten...Over the last three seasons, Wooten appeared in 71 games for the Brewers with much better peripherals than you might expect at first glance. During his 68 innings in the majors, Wooten has a 3.22 FIP, 3.90 xFIP, 3.62 SIERA, and a 98 cFIP. Now, none of those metrics paint the picture of an overly impressive right-hander, but all give the impression of Wooten being serviceable. He was signed without a spring training invite, but as you can tell by him pitching yesterday, that won't keep him from getting a shot to play with the big league club. He has solid minor league numbers and it's not impossible to see Wooten become the latest David Carpenter (3.0?), but it's a long road and he's going to have a tough time getting noticed in this camp. His time to shine will likely be at Gwinnett where he can get regular innings.

That's it for today as the Braves prepare to play the Phillies today.

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