DEOLIS GUERRA, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: April 17, 1989
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2005 (Mets)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
Agent: The Legacy Agency
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Guerra made a big impression quickly after the Mets signed him as a 16-year-old. At the time he threw in the upper-80s to low-90s, with a plus change. Given his size, scouts no doubt thought his velocity would increase and it did reach 94-95 at times with the Mets. After a strong showing at a very young age in his first two seasons, the Mets included him in the Johan Santana trade, which worked out miserably for the Twins. Guerra declined immediately after joining the Twins, losing velocity and turning into a very big finesse pitcher. He eventually moved to the bullpen and initially pitched very well, with improved velocity, but he had mediocre seasons in 2012 and 2014, and missed 2013 with an injury. He continues to show a plus change, but his curve hasn’t developed into a good pitch. His fastball was sitting at 90-92 in 2015 spring training. The Pirates signed Guerra to a minor league contract for 2015, then re-signed him for 2016.
The Mets sent Guerra to low A, a very aggressive assignment. He pitched well there, with opponents batting only .208 against him. His walk and K rates weren’t impressive, but he was a 17-year-old pitching in full season ball.
Guerra spent the season in high A and pitched well, especially for an 18-year-old and better than the ERA indicates. After the season, Baseball America rated him the 35th best prospect in baseball as well as the second best in the Mets’ system. In February, though, the Mets sent him to Minnesota in the big trade for Johan Santana.
The Twins sent Guerra back to high A and he took a huge step backward. His delivery deteriorated, his velocity dropped to the mid- to upper-80s, and he walked as many as he fanned. He developed a reputation for lacking aggressiveness and falling back too much on the change.
The Twins sent Guerra back to high A again and he made some progress. His control improved and his fastball rebounded to 89-90. Despite the ERA, he pitched better in AA the last two months, including a much better K rate. Probably due to the change, he was much more effective against left-handed than right-handed batters, with the two hitting .222 and .305, respectively, against him. The Twins added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
After Guerra pitched well in his first five starts in AA, the Twins promoted him to AAA. He struggled through five games there, went back to AA, and struggled there for the rest of the season.
Back in AA again, Guerra continued to struggle through ten starts, at which point the Twins moved him permanently to the bullpen. As a starter he had an ERA of 9.00, WHIP of 1.88, and K/9 of 6.3. As a reliever he had an ERA of 2.77, WHIP of 0.94, and K/9 11.3. His velocity in relief improved to 92-94 and he pitched more aggressively. BA rated him the Twins’ 15th best prospect after the season.
Guerra dominated in seven appearances in AA to start the season, so the Twins moved him up to AAA. He wasn’t nearly as effective there. The Twins outrighted him to AAA after the season.
In March, Guerra suffered an arm injury that caused a blood clot. The injury kept him out all year, apart from three rehab appearances in late August. Guerra became a free agent after the season but re-signed with the Twins.
Guerra spent the season pitching in relief in AAA. He was only moderately effective, although his walk rate was good and his K rate very good.
Guerra started 2015 in the Indianapolis bullpen, where he pitched extremely well. Opponents batted just .165 against him, and he had great walk and K rates. He attributed the improvement to improvement in his command of his offspeed stuff. When Rob Scahill went on the disabled list in late June, the Pirates called Guerra up. He pitched scoreless ball in his first four outings, but struggled after that. The team designated him for assignment as part of a series of trade deadline roster moves. Cleveland claimed Guerra off waivers, but the claim was rescinded when the Indians learned he had left knee inflammation, which may have accounted for his struggles before being DFA’d. Guerra was returned to the Pirates and placed on the disabled list. The Pirates transferred Guerra to the 60-day disabled list when they called Pedro Florimon up on September 2.
Not surprisingly, considering that they tried to DFA him earlier, the Pirates outrighted Guerra to AAA after the regular season ended. He elected free agency, but then signed again with the Pirates six weeks later. He got an invitation to spring training, but most likely will open in the AAA bullpen.
|2016: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $700,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 6/27/2015
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: 2020
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2009 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2010, 2011, 2012)
MLB Service Time: 0.101
|July 11, 2005: Signed with the New York Mets as an international free agent.
February 2, 2008: Traded by the New York Mets with Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana.
November 20, 2009: Contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins.
November 30, 2012: Outrighted to AAA by the Minnesota Twins.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 20, 2013: Signed with the Minnesota Twins as a minor league free agent.
November 4, 2014: Became a free agent.
November 18, 2014: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
June 26, 2015: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 31, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
August 5, 2015: Claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates by the Cleveland Indians; waiver claim rescinded on August 7 due to pre-existing injury.
October 23, 2015: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates; refused assignment on October 27 and became a free agent.
December 7, 2015: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.