Move done

Ron Villone has signed a Minor League contract with an NRI. He’s expected in camp before today’s workout is done.



Is there any word about whether he projects as a starting candidate or reliever? With the exception of the 2000 season, his ERA+ has been pretty good as a starter. Of course, he’s also 38 years old, and he has never thrown more than 143 innings, even as a younger player.

Is he considered to be a major candidate for a left handed reliever’s role? I don’t know how much he has left. If he makes the roster, who doesn’t?

How much did Ron Villone ever have to begin with? Yeesh. Simply put, he doesn’t make the team. We can’t afford the fragility of Izzy, Springer, and Villone in the bullpen.

We also don’t need to carry 3 LHRPs. Where is this obsession coming from with the lefty relievers?

Well, he’s not on the roster yet. He’s an NRI. So don’t assume there will be three LHRP on the team just yet.

As for whether he has or had anything, he’s been basically a league average pitcher for five years running — ERA+ of 106, 111, 101, 90, 105 the past five years. As a long man in the bullpen and swing option, there’s nothing at all wrong with that.

I don’t think he’s been signed to be a specialist, though. I think if he makes the team, it’s as a long man — the role that either Wellemeyer or Thompson would have taken before Clement got pushed back.


Wait…Clement got hurt? Or, you mean before TLR and Dunc announced he wouldn’t be ready by Opening Day?

You’re absolutely right, Shaun — thanks for catching it. I wrote that incorrectly, and that’s a bad mistake on my part. I’ve fixed it now.


Whew! Glad to hear it wasn’t a setback!

Here are some stats on Villone. In 2003, he was a starter only, and in 2004 he split time between starting and relieving. In 05, 06, 07 he was exclusively a reliever.

So his numbers as a reliever going back to 04 should provide a pretty good picture of what kind of relief pitcher this guy is.

And I admit, I was surprised at how good they were.

During that time, Villone has pitched 250 2/3 innings in relief. He has a 4.13 ERA, a 1.392 WHIP, 219 strikeouts, 137 walks and 23 HR allowed.

By way of comparison, Randy Flores has a 4.19 ERA and 1.464 WHIP over the same span. Flores’ strikeout rate is a hair better and his walk and HR rates are better, but the difference between the performance level is negligible.

To look at another interesting name, Jeremy Affeldt was a name I heard quite a bit this winter. Affeldt, as a reliever over the past four years, has a 4.52 ERA, a 1.464 WHIP, a better HR rate than either Villone or Flores, a worse K rate than either one, and a walk rate a little better than Villone’s but quite a bit worse than Flores’.

Again, I know we’re not talking about Billy Wagner here. But this is a useful guy.


He sounds a lot like a Mike Stanton, another former Yankee. I’d certainly like to have him on our roster, but what would happen to Flores and/or TJ? The veteren lefty, to me, could provide leadership in the bullpen. Do you know anything about his personality/presence in the clubhouse? Is he a Ray King-type personality or is he a quieter, lead-by-example guy?

I certainly hope that TJ pitches well this spring and guarantees himself a spot on the roster. What he did in the 2006 playoffs was spectacular, and I’m definitely rooting for him. Hopefully TLR will reverse history this spring and give the benefit of the doubt to the younger guys. Villone should only displace TJ or Flores if he really outshines them.

I hope TJ is back to the 2006 playoff level and his early 2007 level of success, before he got injured. If not, he may been in for a quick trip back to the minors.


Reports have us looking at Weaver, Colon, and Olney suggested Clemens or Wells might even pitch for us. So, what are you hearing? Is any of this true and who do you see as the leading candidate? What’s the likelihood we sign any of them?


Matt, How is A. Reyes looking so far off the mound? Does he remind you of the Reyes we got all hyped up about in ’05 or the disappointment of last year?



Hey Dude,
Who is Anthony Di Como? He wrote an excellent piece about Yadier on the site. If you see him tell him I said so. Is he your intern or ???

DiComo also wrote the articles on Reyes and Ankiel this week.
Michael on vacation?

Tony is good, and I’m glad y’all liked his stories. He covered for me while I headed over to Dunedin to chat with a couple of ex-Cardinals.


Nice. So he covered while you went to chat with Scottie and Eck. Cool deal.

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