The Norfolk Tides have received a new addition to their ball club. On Monday evening, the Baltimore Orioles announced the signing of left-hander, Clay Rapada to a minor league deal.
Rapada has been in the Majors for seven years; making his Major League debut back in 2007 with the Cubs. In that time, he has played for the Cubs (1 year), Tigers (3 years), Rangers (1 year), Orioles (1 year), Yankees (1 year) and Indians (1 year).
The relief pitcher from Virginia is one of those players who seems to bounce around from one team to the next. In 2011, he bounced his way into Baltimore. That season he appeared in 32 games and posted a 6.06 ERA striking out 18 batters in 16.1 innings pitched. He also recorded two wins that season.
His ERA was something that forced him out of Baltimore just like it had done to him with the previous teams he had played for.
Rapada’s best year came in 2012. With the Yankees, he pitched in 38.1 innings over 70 games and posted a 2.80 ERA. In addition, he struck out 38 out of the 155 batters he faced. Wearing pinstripes he held onto a 3-0 record over the 2012 season.
Unfortunately for Rapada, a shoulder injury forced him out of the Bronx.
So far, in the 2014 season, he has not seen any playing time in the Major Leagues. He has been in the Mariners’ farm system, playing for their Triple-A squad where he has pitched in 14 games and maintained a 4.12 ERA.
Time has brought Rapada back to Baltimore; well, Norfolk for the time being. This will not be the first time Rapada has put on a Norfolk Tides jersey. In 2011, he pitched in 26 games and struck out 20 batters. Pending a physical, Rapada will put on a Norfolk jersey once again.
With this signing, the Orioles have gotten one of the most extreme left-handed specialists in the game, as he’s faced 257 lefties in the Majors and held them to a dazzling .164/.255/.231 batting line. However, when he faces right-handed batters his statistics go the opposite way. Against right-handers, he yields a .345/.464/.611 batting line.
Buck Showalter has been notorious in trusting the lefty vs righty matchups. This being said, the signing may be a blessing for both Showalter and the Orioles if Rapada is used in the right situations of the game.