. . . is a lot more interesting than this Rule 5 draft post is going to be but, alas, I'm doing this while my wife watches Gossip Girl and we wait for the really good show, Prison Break. I'm predicting some impediment to obtaining Scylla will pop up in this episode.
Anyway, regarding the position players available in the Rule 5 draft, I like only James Skelton, a catcher with the Tigers organization. He's been compared to Jesus Flores, of 2006 Rule 5 draft fame (and absolute steal for the Legends last year in the reserve rounds draft). He has hit over .300 in each of the last three season. He's small for a catcher and his defense is suspect, but he's thrown out a good percentage of would-be basestealers. This move makes sense for the Reds if they plan to go with Hanigan as their #1 catcher and don't plan to sign a veteran like Gregg Zaun or bring back Nacho Libre. As you know, a Rule 5 pick has to stay on the roster all year or go back to his original team. With Hanigan and a veteran, there is no room for a third catcher unless it's Wilkin Castillo. Skelton's a lefty. Plus, can't you just see the Reds Skelton headlines?
If the Reds are looking for the next Rick Ankiel, they could take Adam Loewen from the Blue Jays. Following his stint in the '06 World Baseball Classic for the Canadian team, Loewen was a hot prospect. (The Blue Sox poached him from the Twins in early '06.) After not being able to recover from an arm injury during the '07 season, Loewen decided to give up pitching and become an outfielder. The Blue Jays nabbed him from the O's (undoubtedly because he's Canadian), but did not put him on the 40-man, so he's available. It would be awfully tough to keep him on the major league roster with as little experience as he has as an outfielder.
Regarding the pitchers, there is an interesting left-handed option for the bullpen. Donald Veal of the Cubs is a former top-prospect who seems to have peaked at AA. However, his splits against left-handers indicate that he might have potential as a lefty specialist out of the pen (no home runs against 142 leftys in '08).
Chuck Lofgren had a rough year in the Indians organization, but is only 22. He might even be the lefty fifth starter the Reds need. The Reds would have to be convinced that a change of scenery would help him get over a pretty rough '08.
Another guy I like is Kei Igawa. He has struggled to say the least in New York, but has pitched well in AAA, giving up less than a hit per inning (141/156.1). At $4mil per year through 2010 (most of what the Yankees paid ($26mil) for him went for the right to negotiate for him) he could be worth the risk. I totally see him succeeding as a fifth starter in the weaker N.L.
The Rays did not protect top prospect Eduardo Morlan, who they got from the Twins in the Garza/Young deal. This is probably because they have a lot more better pitching prospects than Morlan, but the Reds don't, especially if they trade Homer. The problem is that he's right-handed, and we really need a lefty for that spot. With the signing of Lincoln, and Stormy accepting arbitration, there really is no spot for him in the pen and I don't see him staying on the roster unless it's as a starter.
Food for thought. We'll see if the Reds make another Rule 5 pick.
Serena is blowing off Dan (who's concerned that his dad will get with her mom and ruin their chances to be together) to be with some new guy, who looks like a bum. I have no idea if it's a boy or a girl, or what in the world is going on with that, but it sounded dramatic.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
3 weeks ago