Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates will look into left handed reliever Clay Rapada. Rapada was designated for assignment today by the Baltimore Orioles. If the Pirates were to add him, it would either have to be via a waiver claim, or through a trade. Either way, they’d have to clear a 40-man roster spot.
Rapada has 52.2 innings in the majors, and the results haven’t been that good. He’s got a 5.13 ERA in that time, along with a 7.5 K/9, a 5.5 BB/9, and a 1.4 HR/9 ratio. The 2011 season was his best year from a secondary numbers standpoint. He had a 9.9 K/9 ratio and a 3.9 BB/9 ratio in 16.1 innings.
In his career he’s been more of a LOOGY, with a .153 BAA and a .472 OPS against left handers, compared to a .359 BAA and a 1.166 OPS against right handers. He was used more as a LOOGY in 2011, with 53 plate appearances vs lefties (.104/.170/.167 line against) and just 16 plate appearances against right handers (.692/.750/1.462 line against). Those are some horrendous numbers against right handers. For reference, the Pirates had only two players last year with an OPS above .750. Rapada gave up an on-base percentage alone of .750 against right handers.
Rapada wouldn’t be a horrible depth option, as he’s definitely effective against left handers. I think a bullpen spot would be better used on a fifth effective right hander, rather than adding someone like Rapada just to have two left handers in the pen.