The Washington Nationals continue to make little, interesting moves to create additional depth for themselves.
Today, the team inked Michael Crotta to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Crotta last appeared with the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2011, going 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA in 15 games for the club. Ugly numbers you say? Yes, they aren’t exactly Mariano Rivera numbers. However, he’s missed the rest of that season and 2012 with elbow issues.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted that Crotta threw 96 MPH during a tryout. People who throw 96 MPH don’t grow on trees. Crotta’s numbers in the minors aren’t super impressive either. His K/9 ratio was six at its highest point. He also never gave fewer hits than innings pitched throughout his time in the minors.
However, he was a starting pitcher back then, and it’s possible that a transition to the bullpen may help his career. He also didn’t walk very many batters either, which is good.
Look, will he make an impact at the major league level this year? Probably not. As I said earlier, he’s coming off elbow trouble the past couple of years, and it will benefit him to go back to AAA and get back into pitching games. If he impresses and there’s an injury or someone is ineffective in the bullpen, Crotta could be a power arm that they bring up.
If he doesn’t cut it during spring, they can let it go. It’s that simple.