Tampa Bay Rays Sign Jorge Julio, Release Chad Orvella

Some Triple-A bullpen news today. Chad Orvella has been released and Jorge Julio signed. For Orvella, he just hadn't pitched very well upon returning from surgery and he seemed to be filler more so than a legitimate option. Given his former ‘closer of the future' tag, I'm guessing he'll latch on somewhere, but there's a certain possibility that his last major league appearance has already been made.

As for Julio, he's bounced around a lot over the last three seasons. He's spent time with the Marlins, Rockies, Braves, Indians, and Brewers while compiling 109 innings, 65 walks, and 103 strikeouts. That means Julio has struck out 21% of the batters he's faced and has an unintentional walk percentage of 12.2%, that's not too bad. Unfortunately for Julio, this has been his career worst season. He's not quite as bad as the ERA suggests, mostly because of a 54.5% strand rate, but his time in Milwaukee was atrocious nonetheless.

Listed from 2006-2009:

K%: 30.8, 20, 25.8, 14.8

uBB%: 11.6, 10.4, 12.9, 17

If you were looking at his previous three seasons last off-season to determine whether he would be a worthwhile addition or not, you would be thinking this year was a ridiculous outlier to date. His FIP over those last three seasons were: 4.09, 4.76, 4.17, 6.40. ZiPS is projecting a 4.5 FIP from here onward, which is on par with what ZiPS expects from Joe Nelson and Jason Isringhausen.

Snide remarks made about this move are going to be full of misunderstanding.  Julio is free talent. A lively arm with a track record of success at little cost is a worthwhile and ultimately low risk maneuver. The absolute worst thing that can happen here is that he bombs in Durham and we never talk about him again. The best would be he works out whatever issues he had and go on a tear like 2006 or 2008. If not, no biggie.

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