Arrivederci, pitchers

It's a rare situation for players to be both bound enough to their current team to re-sign within the five-day exclusivity window while also being good enough for anyone to actually care what they do. Mostly we have teams cutting ties with undesirables at breakneck speed, and that's what we have here.

Felipe Paulino

The White Sox bought out Paulino's option Thursday, concluding a worthwhile experiment during a low leverage regular season that went so undeniably terribly that it made everyone double check that the first two clauses of this sentence to make sure they were true.

Paulino being removed from the rotation and placed on the DL with tendnitis in his rotator cuff in April after four horrific starts that included 35 hits in 18.1 innings and an ERA over 11.00, was seen as an act of mercy, more than a move prompted by an actual injury. Paulino being not 100% in 2014 and not being worth giving another shot are not mutually exclusive. Tommy John surgery was hardly the only thing Paulino was overcoming. His injury history is a mile long, and the surgery carried out on his rotator cuff last September was the fourth shoulder injury/procedure of his career.

The velocity came back, but there was no trace of any command in nine starts across the majors and Triple-A, and nothing inspired hope for recovery throughout the year despite no new injuries or procedures being announced. It's sad and unfortunate, but this likely masks the beginning of the end of Paulino's career. There are only so many make-good opportunities one can completely demolish in a row. The White Sox got rewarded for about 2 out of the 87 fliers they took last season, which was not a particularly good rate.

Matt Lindstrom

Another nightmarish result from a fairly good idea. Lindstrom turned in the solid but never spectacular 2013 campaign that the front office envisioned when signed the journeyman groundball artists, but he cratered in 2014 right when Rick Hahn was building off of that success and filling out a pen low-K, ground-happy options like Ronald Belisario, Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka and Scott Downs.

Lindstrom, never a strikeout artists despite throwing 95+ mph with regularity, had his strikeout rate flounder to an Axelrodian 11.7% in 2014. While his early struggles were defended by rationalists as bad luck--he did just have tons of grounders race through the infield--his complete inability to whiff his way out of any trouble spots slowly revealed itself to be a trend.

When Lindstrom went down with an ankle injury against the Royals in perhaps the most Royals-Lindstrom play possible (infield hit when Lindstrom couldn't field a dribbler back to the mound...he couldn't field it because his ankle sheath ripped) it cast doubt on any notions of a bullpen recovery, but he might of been the worst of the group when he returned. Hitters torched him for an unfathomable .412/.438/.588 after he returned from injury and just seven of 75 of them struck out. Here's guessing the five-day exclusive re-sign period goes by without any effort to return Lindstrom.

Find a wormburner to fill out a bullpen spot for cheap is a nifty little plan. Expanding it out to a whole crew might be a bridge too far.

Moises Sierra

He's not a pitcher, but was discarded like just another live arm after slapping together a 105 OPS+ in 135 plate appearances and flashing some actual athletic ability in the outfield. The front office clearly never had much faith in Sierra' potential, but are really going to reveal their tunnel vision on Viciedo if they wind up waiving the better version of him and don't shop out Dayan as well.

Sierra probably won't get much burn in the Royals open right field spot, but if he did, he'd probably put the last two years of Dayan to shame.


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