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.

  • Perhaps the 103 MPH clocking was for his slapshot.

  • Well, gee….maybe we should’ve just hung onto Donnie Veal?

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2012/11/26/chicago-white-sox-may-have-found-a-special-lefty-in-donnie-veal/

    Foo

    .

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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….

  • 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.

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