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Pirates Sign Philippe Valiquette to Minor League Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed left-handed pitcher Philippe Valiquette to a minor league deal, according to his agent on Twitter. Valiquette was recently with the Milwaukee Brewers, spending time in 2012 with their high-A and Double-A affiliates. In his time in Double-A he struggled, posting an 8.49 ERA in 11.2 innings. He missed the entire 2011 season with a torn pectoral muscle, and was coming back from the injury in 2012.

He’s a very interesting prospect, as he used to throw 100+ MPH, topping out at 103 in the futures game two years ago. He was with the Reds for most of his career, reaching as high as Triple-A, where he had a 4.29 ERA in 35.2 innings, with a 31:14 KBB ratio. His agent noted that “you just never give up on 100mph+“. I’d have to agree with that. If the cost is a minor league deal, and you get a chance at a left-hander who was throwing with that kind of velocity two years ago, you take the shot. Worst case, Valiquette provides Indianapolis with depth. Best case, the 25-year-old turns his career around, makes the majors, and the Pirates have him under control for six seasons.

UPDATE 12:20 AM: I’ve seen a few reports about Valiquette’s velocity. Wilbur notes in the comments that Valiquette was listed as throwing more in the mid-90s. I’ve seen several Reds sites that mentioned he hit 100 MPH in the past. I’ve also seen a few reports about him sitting in the upper 80s to lower 90s range last year in Spring Training with Seattle. I don’t think anyone should expect him to throw 100 MPH, although I’d say it’s a good gamble for the Pirates to take in hopes that he could rediscover that velocity the further he gets from his injury.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://users.rcn.com/wtmiller/pirateprofiles.htm WTM

    Dunno about the 100 mph part. BA has had several writeups on him over the years and has consistently said he throws about 93-94 and tops out at 96. The big issue has been that he has no second pitch.

  • Rebel

    Apparently other teams HAVE given up on him a few times. Once again the Pirates are able to sign free agents….. Major or minor league that nobody else wants….

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ibid78 ibid

      Totally. It’s not like NH has had any success scouring the waiver wires for tall hard-throwing relievers.

  • slider

    Speaking of hard throwing lefty’s the Pirates got on the cheap does anyone know if Aaron Poreda is still in the system? I’m assuming he got hurt last season but I didn”t hear for sure. Was he at instructs this year? Have to admit, I was hoping he might have worked out and the AAA phase of the rule 5 draft would have supplied the Pirates with some talent.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Poreda was injured early last season. He’s still under control, although he’s Rule 5 eligible. I saw him in Spring Training and he was throwing hard with a nice slider. I’d expect him to return next year, if healthy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young
    • http://daleberrasstash.blogspot.com/ Kevin Creagh

      An article talking about the potential greatness of Donnie Veal has been written every year since he was drafted. He is just a totally star-crossed player that may never really succeed.

      I hope he does, because he has the kind of horrendous back story that makes you cheer for him.

  • wkkortas

    Perhaps the 103 MPH clocking was for his slapshot.

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