LOOGYs are funny. Teams will overpay for something so easily found throughout the minor leagues and scrap yards. Here's the list of guys worth keeping in mind for your team that won't run you a great ransom.


John Rheinecker via mlb.mlb.com

John Rheinecker is perhaps the most interesting of the list. A former first (actually supplemental) round pick of the Oakland Athletics, Rheinecker was dealt in March of 2006 in a deal that netted the Cubs Freddie Bynum, the Athletics Juan Dominguez, and the Rangers John Koronka as well as Rheinecker. In 2006 Rheinecker was primarily used as a starter (13 of his 21 appearances), his starts would be curbed in 2007 but one thing remained: struggles against right-handed hitting. Rheinecker missed 2008 due to a surgery to remove a rib as well as arthroscopic shoulder surgery that caused him to miss almost the entirety of the season. Astoundingly good against lefties, Rheinecker is only 29 and pitches in the mid-80's, but still finds a way to get more than 9% swinging strikes.

The first of a pair of Twins on this list, Florida Atlantic University alumni Carmen Cali is a 30 year old who sits in the lower-90's. Last seen in the majors with the Twins in 2007, and the Cardinals in 2004/2005 Cali's control has abandoned him in his major league stints. He gets nearly 11% swinging strikes, and nearly 55% groundballs. Cali is at least worth a look as a non-roster invitee. Also has the best name of the list: Carmen Salvatore Cali.

Minnesota's other offering, Mariano Gomez, is 26 years old and finally reached Triple-A in 2008 after spending parts of four seasons in Double-A. The promotion only occurred after Gomez was signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent. At 6'6" Gomez is more intimidating than you'd except from a LOOGY, one not named Billy Traber at least, and got a decent amount of strikes swinging at 9.3%.

Ian Ostlund is 30 years old and a Tommy John Surgery survivor (yes, survivor). Last season he got 11% swinging strikes and had a 2.94 FIP, impressive, add in a 2.18 BB/9 and there is little to question, except his GB%. Ostlund only gets 36.55 grounders, but he didn't give up a ton of homeruns. Odds are that changes a bit in the majors, but there's something decent about him considering the swinging strikes amount.

Then there's Royce Ring, Randy Williams, and Stephen Randolph. All former major leaguers who either got raw deals or deserve another shot.

Ring didn't pitch too much for the Braves, but was decent, not nearly as good as his major league career totals indicate he could be however. The former San Diego State closer throws in the upper 80's and has pitched for three teams since 2005.

Williams made appearances with the Padres and Rockies in 2005 and throws in the low 90's. Now 32, he has bounced around the past few seasons, starting with the Mariners in 2004, then the Padres/Rockies, then the Rangers, and last season the Marlins. He gets a ton of strikes swinging, and doesn't give up many homeruns, is prone to walking a few though.

Finally we reach 34 year old Stephen Randolph, who last spent time in the majors for the Astros in 2007, and in 2003/2004 for the Diamondbacks. He too sits in the low 90's, but got the most strikes swinging of anyone else on this list last season with 15.9%, he walked quite a few (nearly 6 per nine) but gave up only 0.38 homeruns per nine despite a 38 GB%.

Obviously there's no guarantee any or all of these guys are going to have their success carry over, but let's face it, any of them on a minor league deal (MiLD for shorthand) with an invite to spring training is better than spending a few million on Joe McLefty. Why? Because Joe McLefty would've been on this list seasons ago and makes a killing on GMs who aren't willing to take a shot on guys like Carmen Cali.



Minor League Splits




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