Re-reviewing the Rule 5 Draft
Way back in April, I reviewed last December's Rule 5 draft and was surprised to find that most of the players drafted in the major-league portion -- granted, there were only 13 of them -- actually wound up on Opening Day rosters.
And then I basically forgot about them. Until now!
With a few months in the books, let's take a look at how our Lucky 14 have handled their big breaks...
1. Oscar Hernandez (Diamondbacks)
The Diamondbacks unaccountably drafted the Class-A catcher from the Rays, then caught a break when he broke a hamate bone. But the hamate bone healed, and now Hernandez has been taking a roster spot with the big club for the last five weeks, playing rarely and hitting even more rarely. Apparently he's one hell of a defensive catcher, and if the D-backs can just hang on for another couple of weeks, they'll have Hernandez free and clear in the minors next year.
2. Mark Canha (Athletics)
The Rockies actually drafted Canha, then immediately traded the outfielder to the A's. He was actually pretty good in Triple-A last year and has gotten plenty of action with the A's this year. But he's essentially the definition of replacement-level performance, and is probably going to spend most of next year back in Triple-A.
3. Delino DeShields (Rangers)
DeShields has played even more than Canha, and he's played better, too. There are a lot of reasons for the Rangers' surprisingly good season, but DeShields definitely goes on that list. Lovely find by management.
4. Jason Garcia (Orioles)
The Astros drafted Garcia, a hard-throwing relief prospect, then immediately sold his contract to the Orioles. Garcia pitched in just a few games for the O's before going on the DL with a shoulder injury. He's back now, ideally in low-leverage situations. But he did pitch a scoreless 13th inning in a game last week and actually picked up the win against the A's. So the O's have already gotten their money's worth on this one!
5. J. R. Graham (Twins)
Graham's been in the bullpen all season and has somehow logged 56 innings without a win, a loss, or a save. I guess they're picking his spots, but he's actually pitched effectively aside from giving up 9 home runs.
6. Jandel Gustave (Red Sox)
Gustave did not make Boston's Opening Day roster, and instead went back to the Astros. He's been OK in Double-A, a low strikeout rate balanced by a low home-run rate.
7. Taylor Featherston (Angels)
I didn't think the Angels would carry this (almost) 26-year-old utility infielder all season. But they have, and he's rewarded their confidence with a .130 batting average in 92 at-bats.
8. Odubel Herrera (Phillies)
Looks like a tremendous move by the Phillies, who had nothing to lose. Herrera's hit pretty well while learning to play center field, and everything's gone about as well as anyone might have hoped.
9. Andrew McKirahan (Braves)
The Marlins drafted him and changed their minds, but then the Braves claimed him on waivers. McKirahan went on the DL after three appearances in April, but he's been back on the Braves' roster for nearly a month and has pitched well enough to earn a look next spring.
10. Sean Gilmartin (Mets)
He hasn't pitched in a bunch of high-leverage situations, but Gilmartin's 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and has given up just ONE home run in 37 innings. That'll do, Pig. That'll do.
11. Daniel Winkler (Braves)
Still recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
12. David Rollins (Mariners)
First he was injured, but then was great in a Triple-A rehab assignment. Not so great since then, though, with a 7.63 ERA in 15 innings since joining the big club last month. If he can just hang on for another couple of weeks...
13. Logan Verrett (Mets)
First the Orioles drafted him from the Mets, and then the Rangers got him on waivers, and then they waived him after a few games, and the Mets got him back. He pitched well in (mostly) garbage relief for a few weeks, went back to Triple-A, but is now back with the Mets in place of the DL'd Bobby Parnell. Relief pitchers, man. You just never know.
14. Andy Oliver (Orioles)
In the last calendar year he's been a Pirate, then a Phillie, then a Ray, and now an Oriole. Lotsa strikeouts and too many walks, all in the minors. Still, we might see him in the majors next month. Everybody can use a bullpen arm. Just ask Andy Oliver!
So what have we learned?
1. The Rangers and Phillies did exceptionally well last December, and
2. relief pitchers, man.