Armando Gabino, pitcher
Who IS this guy? Where did he come from?
Armando Gabino was signed by the Indians in 2001 out of the Dominican Republic. He spent three seasons in the Dominican Summer League, then came to the states at age 20 and pitched unimpressively in the Appalachian League. After the 2004 season, he was plucked by the Twins in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, apparently as roster filler. He pitched terribly in the Appalachian League in 2005, but somehow avoided getting released. That was a good move by the Twins, for starting in 2006, he’s progressed to the major leagues by the simple means of getting batters out. Since 2006, his highest ERA has been 4.15, in 30 1/3 innings in the 2006 Midwest League and 4 1/3 innings in the 2010 Eastern League. After the 2009 season, in which Gabino was called up to the Twins, the Orioles claimed him on waivers. He pitched great as a swingman for Norfolk in 2010, a 7-0 record with a 2.37 ERA and good numbers all around.
It sure looks as though he could be a good major-league pitcher, but there must be some reason why organizations don’t think he can. He’s never had a key role on his pitching staff; he’s either pitched as a swingman or middle relief. He’s been terrible in two major-league trials, but that’s based on a total of 8 1/3 innings.
Here’s what I don’t understand. The Orioles claimed him on waivers from the Twins, presumably when the Twins were trying to get him off the 40-man roster. That meant, at a minimum, that the Orioles thought he was worth a 40-man roster spot at least for awhile. So, why claim a guy off waivers if you’re going to use him as a AAA swingman? Wouldn’t you want to save your roster spots for real prospects? And, if you think he’s a real prospect, why do you sentence to be a AAA swingman? Can someone tell me what’s up with that?