LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 9, 1986
Drafted: 1st round, 26th overall, 2008 (Diamondbacks)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
College: University of Arizona
Agent: Relativity Baseball
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Arizona drafted Schlereth in the first round as a power left hander with a mid-90s fastball and a plus curve. He also threw a change but had seldom used it in college. The Diamondbacks evidently regarded Schlereth as a reliever, and possible closer, right from the start; he’s never started a game as a pro except for rehab outings. He initially had very high K rates, but struggled to throw strikes. As he started having shoulder problems, though, he stopped missing bats. His fastball velocity declined from an average of 93 in 2009 to just over 90 in 2012. He missed most of 2012 and 2013 with shoulder problems. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2014 with an invitation to spring training.
Schlereth pitched only briefly in his debut, but obviously showed the ability to miss bats.
The Diamondbacks sent Schlereth to AA and he dominated there, with a very high K rate but also a high walk rate. Arizona called him up at the end of May and he bounced back and forth between AA, AAA and the majors over the rest of the season. He also missed over a month with a broken rib. During his time in the majors he missed a lot of bats, but his control wasn’t adequate. After the season, the D’backs sent him to Detroit in a major, three-team trade.
The Tigers optioned Schlereth to AAA to start the season. He continued to be difficult to hit there, but also continued to walk too many. Detroit called him up briefly in July and then for good in mid-August. He pitched better in the majors, but not as well as his ERA suggests.
Schlereth spent most of the season with the Tigers, holding hitters to a .209, but continuing to walk too many and seeing his K rate drop.
Schlereth opened the season in the majors, but struggled badly. The Tigers optioned him to AAA in late April, but he couldn’t throw strikes at all and was shut down a few weeks later with left shoulder tendonitis. He returned to make eight rehab appearances, but didn’t pitch any more above high A. After the season the Tigers took the surprising step of non-tendering him, seemingly indicating that they had little faith in him recovering. He signed a minor league deal with the Orioles.
Schlereth seeming pitched well early in the season, but the walk and K rates indicate something wasn’t right. He went on the disabled list in early May and didn’t return except for two outings near the end of the season.
Schlereth seems like a good project for the Pirates to undertake. Hopefully, he’ll be healthy and regain his stuff. Of course, he’ll also have to address his control issues. Given the problems he has to address, it’s very hard to see him reaching the majors without showing in the minors that he’s made considerable progress.
|2014: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $1,330,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: 5/29/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 5/29/2009
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 2.111
|June 7, 2007: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 8th round, 270th overall pick.
June 5, 2008: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1st round, 26th overall pick; signed on July 16.
May 29, 2009: Contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
December 8, 2009: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Max Scherzer to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal that sent Curtis Granderson from the Tigers to the New York Yankees, Ian Kennedy from the Yankees to the Diamondbacks, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke from the Yankees to the Tigers, and Edwin Jackson from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks.
November 30, 2012: Non-tendered by the Detroit Tigers and became a free agent.
December 19, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
December 18, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.