Results tagged ‘ Cole McCurry ’
Will he pitch in the major leagues?
McCurry is a college-trained left-handed pitcher who pitched well as a starter in the low minors but has been more ineffective the higher he’s progressed. As a relief pitcher, he’s had one great half-season at Double-A but has more often been merely adequate. There’s no reason to believe he’ll advance to the majors; although, because he throws left-handed, there’s always a chance that he’ll surface as a left-handed one-out specialist. He hasn’t been used that way to date.
He was sold to the Braves’ organization in mid-season, where he moved between High-A, AA, and AAA as needed. He doesn’t appear on Baseball America’s minor-league free agent tracker, and the sale to the Braves is the last transaction on his list, so I assume he’s on a roster somewhere in the Braves’ system.
Over the past few days, the Orioles have made many player assignments. Late Thursday, March 15, the Orioles optioned Joe Mahoney, the first baseman, to Norfolk. Again, players on the team’s 40-man roster are optioned while players not on the 40-man roster are reassigned to minor-league camp. And, again, while Mahoney’s option to Norfolk doesn’t guarantee that he’ll start the season at Norfolk, it seems more likely than not that he’ll do so. Mahoney’s played well at AA and there’s no other first basemen who also should be at Norfolk.
The list of players reassigned to minor-league camp include a number of players who will likely start the season at Frederick or Delmarva, but who were invited to major-league camp either for the experience or to provide some more arms and legs during the early days of spring training. Three 2011 Tides, however were assigned to minor-league camp. Blake Davis will almost certainly start the season with Norfolk. The Tides don’t have an abundance of middle infielders and Davis has played fairly well at AAA over the last couple of seasons. The destinations of infielder Carlos Rojas and relief pitcher Cole McCurry are uncertain. Rojas is nothing more than roster-filler. He’ll be assigned to Frederick, Bowie, or Norfolk, depending on where there’s a hole. McCurry has done enough to justify an assignment to Norfolk, but it will depend on what other pitchers get assigned to Norfolk.
Who is he?
At first glance, based on his Norfolk performance, he’s just another AAA middle relief type. He pitched at age 26 in 2011, and his AAA numbers are completely uninteresting — 40 hits allowed in 39 innings; 4 home runs allowed in 39 innings; a 17-27 BB/K ratio. And based on visual inspection, there was nothing to alter that perception. He had a low-90′s fastball, non-notable breaking stuff, and basically served as a low-leverage relief innings eater.
However, the rest of his minor-league record is more interesting. He was drafted in a late round out of a small school, and didn’t pitch a full season in full-season ball until his third season. He racked up reasonably good ratios as an overage starter in Low-A and as a swingman in High-A, and then pitched brilliantly in AA in 2011 before being promoted. If he could pitch at that level at AAA, he might be a decent middle reliever.
2012 is a crucial season. If he can pitch in AAA the way he did in lower levels, he’s got a chance. If he can’t, he’s a good candidate to be released at some point during the season. Of course, the Orioles may decide that he doesn’t have a future and release him before the 2012 season.