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Two Cents on Wil Ledezma

Much like John Rheinecker, it seems Wilfredo Ledezma has been a victim of circumstance. When put into the right situations he can be a very productive pitcher, but he has not always been put in those situations. Ledezma is a 27 year old left hander with pretty good stuff. He's bounced around the league from Detroit to Atlanta to San Diego and finally to the Diamondbacks, who non-tendered him last week. His fastball lives around 93 mph and he uses a slider and a changeup as his secondary pitches. Both sit in the low 80's giving him more than enough of a velocity change to be effective. His career numbers aren't pretty (15-22, 5.10 ERA), but looking at his 2008 numbers, when used in the right situations he can be effective.

Ledezma made six starts for the San Diego Padres going 0-2 with a 6.57 ERA. He allowed 18 earned runs in 24.2 innings and K'd 19 while walking 19. As a reliever for the Padres & Diamondbacks, he went 0-0 with a 2.43 ERA and allowed nine runs in 29.2 innings. His K's jumped to 30, but his walks remained the same at 19. Digging a little deeper in to his LOOGY numbers, he made 20 relief appearances against left handers and did not allow an earned run. He allowed six earned runs as a starter against them.

Overall, his numbers across the board were pretty good. His combined FIP for the season was 4.47 and Marcels projects him as a 4.36 FIP in 2009. His tRA* of 4.78 would've been an improvement over the 4.96 Trever Miller put up in the LOOGY role in '08. He isn't perfect and has a tendency to lean toward the fly-ball(41% career) rather than the ground-ball(36%). He also doesn't have a pretty K/BB ratio as seen in his career numbers of K/9 6.09 and BB/9 4.41. But his SwStr% of 10.8 last season was pretty good for a reliever.

Again, a lot of his career numbers aren't pretty, but how much of that can be attributed to the way he was used? Last season, even though it's a small sample size compared to his career, he seemed to fit the loogy role well. And like Rheinecker, he won't cost much more than a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. This could be another low-risk, high-reward signing that we have become accustomed to seeing from Andrew Friedman.