-Scott Rice is another of those first round draft picks that just didn’t happen. He was picked and signed as the 44th overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Baltimore Orioles, who he pitched eight seasons for. Originally a starter, Rice was converted to the pen and strung together three good seasons (2004-AA: 41-G, 3.66… 2005-AA: 57-G, 3.27… 2006-AAA: 52-G, 3.86. They weren’t great because of his high BB/IP ratio, which has stuck with him throughout his career. Beginning in 2007, Rice bounced around the league, playing for six more teams, three of which were in the Indy Leagues. Last year, in AAA-LAD, he went 2-3, 4.40, 1.35, 54-G, 9-SV, 59.1-IP, 47-K, 22-BB. Rice will pitch 2013 as a 31-year old and has never pitched a pitch in the majors. Minor record over 13-years: 34-52, 3.87, 1.43. Rice has had horrible luck. He got a call-up to the Orioles (2006) but broke his finger in his hotel room door the night before and never made it. The, in 2007, he blew out his flexor tendon. One botched surgery and 2 ½ years later, he had to go play Indy ball and start over. Big boy… 6-7. Observation: I have no idea why the Mets keep signing pitchers like this.
-And you thought the Scott Rice signing was strange… Carlos Torres was a 15th round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox in 1999. Chicgao bounced him around between a starter and a relief pitcher, sort of like Jenrry Mejia has been handled by the Mets. He left the White Sox and played for Yomuiri in Japan (2011: 6-G, 2-0, 6.26), but then returned to the States last year for Colorado. He started well in AAA (14-G, 13-ST, 5-4, 3.98, 61.1-IP, 59-K), but faltered as a reliever in the ‘Bigs’: 31-G, 5.26. Torres has a lifetime 3.54-ERA in eight minor league seasons. The 6-2 righty will play 2013 as a 30-year old. Scouting report:
Observation – same same as Rice.
The Mets also signed OF Jamie Hoffmann to a Minor League contract. The Dodgers signed Hoffman as an undrafted free agent in 2003, out of New Ulm High School, in Minnesota. He played eight seasons in the Dodger chain, his best season being in 2010 for AAA-Albuquerque (.310/.369/.431/.800, 8-HR, 74-RBI). He has had 26 major league at-bats, but his 3814-AB minor league career (9-yrs, .287), include 725-Ks. Hoffman will play 2013 as a 28-year old, bats right, and has played all three outfield positions and third base.
Mets add RHPs Zack Wheeler, Hansel Robles, Gonzalez Germen and Greg Burke, LHP Darin Gorski and INF Wilfredo Tovar to the 40-man roster.
-an interesting list… no one will question the choice of Wheeler and one can easily justify giving Gorski another year to hopefully duplicate what he did two years ago. Past that, I am surprised (my choices were Armando Rodriguez and Eric Campbell). It is now obvious that the Mets have bigger plans for Burke than we all thought (he has pitched very well in the winter league). He also had 44 appearances between AA/AAA for Baltimore last year and had an identical 1.53 at both levels. I have no idea why Baltimore dropped him. Regarding Robles, he has impressed in his first two years stateside, including 12 starts last year for Brooklyn (6-1, 1.11, 0.78). Frankly, I don’t understand either the Germen or Tovar decisions. Germen is an innings eater, but he simply was an unsuccessful starter in 2012 at Binghamton (8-12, 4.59). I assume this means he will be moved to the pen because there just isn’t any room for him in either the AAA or AA rotation. Tovar is the perfect example of someone that makes a 40-man because there is an opening, not because he has earned it. Yes, he’s the best defensive infielder in the system, but he has a limited bat with no pop. The Mets have enough of them.