The Texas Rangers have announced the signing of free-agent pitcher Kyle McClellan to a minor league contract. McClellan was also extended an invite to spring training. McClellan enters his age 29 season and has spent his entire career in the St.Louis Cardinals organization.
Kyle has spent the majority of his five year pro career in the bullpen for the Cardinals. In 2011 McClellan filled in for the injured Adam Wainwright until the club traded for Edwin Jackson. He spent the rest of the year throwing night after night in the bullpen until he felt soreness in his shoulder and elbow.
In 2012 McClellan started the year back in the bullpen for the Cards’. After 18 innings of relief Kyle felt pain in his shoulder and elbow. He had surgery on both in July of 2012. As of right now McClellan has begun throwing and fully expects to be ready to go when spring training begins in March.
Kyle has a career ERA of 3.69 over 378 innings. He has posted a 6.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and has allowed 1 HR/9 innings over the course of his career. Because of McClellan’s history as being a good arm out of the bullpen and showing an ability to start games with some success, he could end up being a very nice cheap pickup for the Rangers. I see McClellan taking Scott Feldman‘s old job if he shows signs of being the pitcher he was before surgery.
Before the recent surgeries, McClellan’s fastball sat around 90 MPH with some sinking movement to it. His curveball was considered an easy plus pitch. Throughout McClellan’s career, according to Fangraphs.com, batters have hit for an average of .116 against the righty’s hook.
Bottom Line: McClellan is a low-low-low risk pickup for the Rangers. If all goes well McClellan will become a better and younger version of Scott Feldman. (Emphasis on better)