This time it’s for real, we think: the Mets have reached an agreement with Kelvim Escobar on a one-year, minor league deal.
According to the Daily News:
Minaya told the Daily News Friday, “With Escobar, we are looking at him as a reliever.”
This is a fine low-risk move for the Mets, but keep your expectations low. Escobar once had lights-out stuff, but has been marred by shoulder and elbow injuries his entire career. He missed all of 2008 and most of 2009 after shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Generally speaking, pitchers don’t come back from labrum surgery with anywhere near the velocity they had before. Ask Jason Schmidt, Freddy Garcia, or Mark Mulder. It’s not impossible to make a comeback from the surgery — Jon Rauch, Curt Schilling, and Chris Carpenter all returned — but, the success stories are few and far between.
After almost two years of inaction, Escobar returned on June 5, 2009 and pitched five innings and 92 pitches. He suffered shoulder pain after the outing and didn’t pitch again.
*** UPDATE ***
There are conflicting reports regarding Escobar’s contract. Some say it is a minor league deal, while others now say it is an MLB contract with $1.25M guaranteed. If that’s the case I’m not sure this signing makes much sense, because Escobar could very well be as effective as Duaner Sanchez. Like Sanchez, Escobar needs 92+ MPH velocity in order to succeed.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.