Tag Archives: Juan Rincon

Rockies DFA Former Wizard, Juan Rincon

Former Fort Wayne Wizards pitcher, Juan Rincon was designated for assignment Saturday by the Colorado Rockies to make room for right-hander Esmil Rogers.

Rincon is a 10-year MLB veteran.

“He was still here in the organization because of the way he was treated last year,” Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. “He gained respect as a player, as a man who poured his heart and soul into it the way he did last year. I’m a firm believer that the truth never hurt anybody. When I called him into the office, I just told him the truth.”

Rincon was in his second season with the Rockies and 10th as a Major Leaguer. He’s appeared in 443 games during stints with the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Rockies. He has a career 4.04 ERA with 466 strikeouts over 506 innings.

Rincon, was once among the top setup men in the game. He signed with the Twins organization as a 17-year-old from Venezuela in 1996 and joined the Wizards in 1998. With the ‘zards that year, he went 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 96.1 innings pitched.

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Fort Fragments: Former Wizards Player Movement

Playing a little catch up on some Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana related notes:

Add LaTroy Hawkins to the Brewers’ roster of growing former Fort Wayne players. He’s signed to a two-year deal, joining him with Luis Cruz and George Kottaras, who joined Milwuakee earlier this off-season. Reportedly, he wanted to return to Houston, but wouldn’t settle for a one-year deal.

Luke Carlin has signed a Minor League deal with the Pirates. “Carlin, 29, hit .321/.430/.481 for the D’Backs’ Triple A club.  They still chose to outright him in early December.”

The Dodgers signed free-agent outfielder Michael Restovich to Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 31-year-old has played parts of six Major League seasons, most recently with Washington in 2007. He spent last season with the Triple-A Charlotte, slugging 21 homers.

The Twins have added right-handed reliever Clay Condrey to a one-year contract for the 2010 season. The 34-year-old became a free agent after he was non-tendered by the Phillies on December 12. In 2009, he went 6-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 45 relief appearances.

The Colorado Rockies have brought right-hander Juan Rincon back, signing him to a Minor League deal that calls for an $800,000 salary if he hits the big leagues. Rincon also got an invite to spring training.

Jon Link has gone to the Dodgers as part of the Juan Pierre trade. Link was 1-2 with a 3.99 ERA and 13 saves in 48 games at Triple-A Charlotte in 2009. He was acquired by the Sox in 2007 season in a trade with San Diego for Rob Mackowiak.

Rincon to Rox

Former Fort Wayne Wizards pitcher, Juan Rincon chose to become a free agent about ten days ago after declining a minor league assignment from the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers had designated him for assignment when they brought Dontrelle Willis back into the fold.  Apparently his decision was the right one, having landed with the Colorado Rockies.

Rincon, 29, was once among the top setup men in the game but has struggled over recent seasons since testing positive for a banned substance in 2006. He signed with the Twins organization as a 17-year-old from Venezuela in 1996 and joined the Wizards (who were a Twins affiliate at the time) in 1998. With the ‘zards that year, he went 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 96.1 innings pitched.

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Former Wizards on the Move

  • The Padres have called up RHP Greg Burke from Portland. If he appears, it will make his Major League debut. He’ll be the third former Wizard to do so this season and the 79th overall. Burke was 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA and seven saves in eight attempts for the Beavers.
  • The New York Mets have signed free agent catcher, Javier Valentin to a minor league deal.  The 33-year-oldchose free agency in March when he didn’t make the Washington Nationals team.  He can also play first base.
  • Detroit Tigers releiver Juan Rincon has been designated for assignment. The move was done to make room for Dontrelle Willis.

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Latos, Rincon, Geer, Hefner

The Padres started trimming spots in Spring Training camp today by optioning two players to Double-A San Antonio and sending five to their Minor League camp. Former Wizards Ernesto Frieri and Wilton Lopez were sent to Double-A San Antonio. Right-handed pitchers Mat Latos, Gabe DeHoyos, Will Inman, Oneli Perez and left-hander Nick Schmidt to their Minor League camp. Latos, DeHoyos and Schmidt are former Wizards. Sounds like Latos is slated to start the year at Lake Elsinore.

Jaun Rincon is having a good start to the Spring camp with the Tigers as a non-roster invitee:

“I thought he threw the ball extremely well with some late movement,” Leyland said. “Threw a couple four-seamers in. Threw some high fastballs that had some late tail to them, actually ran like a cutter.

Josh Geer is vying for one of two open rotation spots:

“It feels really good to know that there are two spots open for the starting rotation,” Geer said. “It gives everyone a good chance of making the team. I feel real confident that I can be one of those guys.”

Cesar Ramos also wants one of those spots. Today was not a good day for either of them.

Hot-Prospects has the dish on laster year’s standout Wizards pitcher, Jeremy Hefner:

The Oral Roberts alum increased his stock significantly with an excellent showing at Low-A Fort Wayne last season going 10-5 with a 3.33 ERA and 43 BB/150 K in 145 IP.  Hefner controls his three pitches quite well, an 89-91 MPH fastball, a sweeping slider, and a heavy changeup that he uses effectively against . . .

Lake Elsinore recently interviewed Peter Ciofrone.

Greg Burke has a good chance to make the Padres’ roster sometime this year, if not breaking camp with the Big League squad:

despite being 26, Burke is considered one of the Padres’ top advanced arms in their system, especially after a breakout season with Double-A San Antonio in 2008 as well as a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League.

Tigers Moves Bring in One Former Wizard, Oust Another

A couple days ago, the Detroit Tigers signed former Wizards pitcher, Jaun Rincon to a minor league contract. Today, the Tigers announced they have signed relievers Brandon Lyon and Scott Williamson in an obvious effort to shore up their bullpen. One might even become the closer when the season starts.

Unfortunately, the moves also pretty much means a Detroit end for another former Wizards pitcher. Eddie Bonine was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot.

Bonine made his Major League debut last season, coming up in the wake of Dontrelle Willis’s failure and subsequent demotion to the minors.

With the Wizards in 2004, Bonine went 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA over five games (all of them starts). He struck out 31 and walked three in 27 innings pitched. Bonine was originally drafted by San Diego in 2003 and the Tigers later got him as a Rule 5 Draft selection.

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Former Wizards Free Agents

Free agency season is officially open and there are 171 players who have filed. Check that; 170 (reliever, Jeremy Affeldt just signed with the SanFrancisco Giants). I got to wondering about former Wizards who might be looking for new MLB homes. So I hoped over to ESPN’s Free Agent Tracker and dug a little bit. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Chad Moeller; Catcher – Moeller is the classic veteran catcher. Due to several injuries throughout the Yankees catching corps., Moeller got the opportunity to play a lot in 2008.  Over 41 games (91 at-bats), Moeller hit .221 with one home run and 9 RBI’s. He’d be a good fit for a team looking to add a veteran presence to back-up an emerging young backstop. Methinks: San Diego Padres.
     
  • Oliver Perez; Starting Pitcher – Perez has shown flashes of brilliance at times in his career, but has never been able to be anywhere near consistent. In 2008, he put together a 10-7 record and a .422 ERA with the Mets over 34 games. He led the league in bases on balls (105) and struck out 180 in just under 200 innings pitched. He is likely to be the most sought after former Wizard on the free agent list but I am not sure many teams are going to want to pay his likely asking price (he made $6.5 million in 2008 and is a Scott Boras client). Methinks: Texas Rangers.
     
  • Juan Rincon; Relief Pitcher – Rincon was one of the last remaining Twins from their affiliation with the Wizards (Michael Cuddyer is the only remaining). The team cut ties with him during the middle of the 2008 season and he signed a minor league contract with the Indians and was promoted in July. He earned $2.475 million last year. The 29 year-old has 7 years of Major League experience and woudl serve a bullpen well. Methinks: Staying with the Indians.
     
  • Luis Rivas; Shortstop – At one point in his career, Luis Rivas was a highly touted prospect of the Minnesota Twins. But injuries and bad luck brought him to Pittsburgh, where he battled for a roster spot, earning $525,000 which is quite a drop from the $1.6 millon he once earned. Whiles it’s a feelgood story of 2008, Rivas hit just .218 over 79 games with the Pirates in 2008, which isn’t going to position him well for future considerations. However, his varsatility in the infield does make him a little more marketable. Methinks: Minor League deal with the Nationals.
     
  • Javier Valentin; Catcher – At 33 years of age, the reality is that the veteran catcher who has 9 years of MLB experience, is not going to have many more contract years ahead of him. Like Moeller, he makes a solid veteran presence in a situation where the every-day catcher is just coming of age. Methinks: Minor League deal with the Red Sox.

Note: LaTroy Hawkins would have been a free agent had he not reached an agreement with the Houston Astros.

McAnulty Demoted, Rincon Promoted

Two former Wizards in the news today, but going in different directions.

McAnulty hit .207 with three home runs and 13 RBIs for the Padres, but it wasn’t enough. They sent him outright to Portland. It was one of several moves the team made in an effort to improve upon a miserable season.

But there is good news for former Wizard Juan Rincon, who had spent his entire career in the Twins’ organization until earlier this season. After being release by Minnesota, Rincon signed a minor league deal with Cleveland in June. The reliever had a 6.75 ERA in four appearances for Buffalo, but got a call-up when a spot opened up as a result of the trade of CC Sabathia. He has a career record of 30-26 with a 3.69 ERA in 386 games.

“Sometimes a change of scenery is good [for a player],” manager Eric Wedge said. “There’s reason to believe he’s going to have the same velocity and life on his pitches as he had before”  [source: MLB.com]

Juan Rincon Signed by Tribe, Sent to Triple-A

Earlier this month, Juan Rincon refused a minor league assignment from the Twins and chose to become a free agent instead. Given the disarray that the Cleveland Indian’s bullpen has seen this season, it’s easy to see why he elected to accept one from the Tribe.

“He’s struggled the last year and a half or so,” manager Eric Wedge said. “Hopefully we can get him over here and prepared to pitch, so he can get up here and help us” [source: mlb.com]

Twins Cut Juan Rincon – Updated 6/13

As expected, the Minnesota Twins have cut ties with former Wizard’s pitcher, Juan Rincon, though they have offered him a place at Triple-A. The right handed reliever had been the longest tenured player on the Twin’s roster. He had spent 11 years in the Twins’ organization, and now has 72 hours to decide if he will accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Rochester or become a free agent.

It was a hard thing to do,” manager Ron Gardenhire said before the Twins played the Cleveland Indians. “I’ve been with him a long, long time. This is not a fun day for myself, for my coaching staff and I don’t think it’s a fun day for the players either [source: ESPN.com]

Rincon, 29, was once among the top setup men in the game but has struggled over recent seasons since testing positive for a banned substance in 2006 and most notably this year. He has a 6.11 ERA over 28 innings this season and has coughed up 33 hits, 16 walks and five homers in that span.

He singed with the Twins organization as a 17-year-old from Venesuela in 1996 and joined the Wizards (who were a Twins affiliate at the time) in 1998. With the ‘zards that year, he went 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 96.1 innings pitched.

He would have been back for the 1999 season had the Wizards not switched to a San Diego Padres affiliate that year. For Quad Cities that year, he went 14-8 with a 2.83 ERA in 37 games; 13 of them were starts.

According to my records, if Rincon leaves the organization, Michael Cuddyer is the sole remaining former Wizards player on the Twins from an affiliation that produced 33 big leaguers over 6 years. In comparison, the Padres affiliation has produced 31 (soon to be 32) in 9-plus seasons.

UPDATE 6/13: As expected, Rincon has rejected the Twins offer for reassignment to Triple-A Rochester:

“It’s very sad to leave,” Rincon said. “I’m 29 and I’ve been with this team for over a third of my life. Twelve years is a long time, a lot of memories . . . But I’ve got to go do something, find another team to make it back to the big leagues.”