by Hangout Staff
The Orioles acquired right-handed pitcher Tim Alderson for the DFA'd Russ Canzler today.
The Pirates obtained Alderson for 2B Freddy Sanchez. Going into 2009, Baseball America rated Alderson the 4th best prospect in a loaded Giants’ system. He was considered extremely polished for such a young pitcher, with excellent command. He threw both two- and four-seam fastballs which, prior to 2009, registered in the upper-80s to low-90s. His out pitch is a curve and he was developing a change. He has an odd delivery in which he seems to coil up and then unwind as he throws. It may add deception but it also makes him look smaller and may rob him of the leverage he should get from being 6’6″.
Alderson’s velocity was down throughout 2009 to the mid- to upper-80s and has been a constant subject of concern since then. Scouts also believed at the time of the trade that his curve was no longer as sharp, leaving him reliant on his outstanding control. The Giants had gotten Alderson to alter his motion, which may have been a factor in the decline of his stuff. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus did some research that indicated that RHPs with below-average velocity are rarely successful in the majors, so the concerns are justified. Since the trade, Alderson’s velocity has been up and down, but it hasn’t returned to what it was, at least not for any extended period. At times it’s even been in the low-80s. The team and Alderson himself have tried various remedies, including changes to his delivery and, in 2011, moving him to the bullpen. It’s possible that the process of becoming physically mature altered his body in some way that simply changed his pitching ability for the worse.
Tony's Take: Alderson seems like a decent return for the DFA'd Russ Canzler. Alderson is reportedly back in the low-90s in a relief role and his groundball percentages have been fairly solid of late (49.7% in 2013, 48.8% in AAA). With the team promoting Jairo Asencio today, there is definitely an opportunity for Alderson to get some ig league time this year with the Orioles. Not an earth shattering move, but this appears to be another solid move by Dan Duquette to get a potential contributor for a player they didn't find very useful.
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