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.

Tim Williams

Author: 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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