Hours after the Chicago White Sox made it clear that they were planning to trade a starting pitcher this offseason and very likely at the MLB Winter Meetings, they signed a starting pitcher for themselves. The man they brought in was Felipe Paulino. There is a chance you haven’t heard that name for a while and if you haven’t it’s because the last time he pitched in the majors was 2012 for the Kansas City Royals.
After a shortened season he went down with Tommy John surgery and is now looking to make a full return. His career ERA is 4.93 with 13 career wins and a career WHIP of 1.5. Why then is it a good risk for the White Sox to take? That’s easy. It is a risk because there is clearly no guarantee that he will provide consistently good starting pitching. It’s a good risk because he did just that in his short 2012 season.
Forget the rest of his career for a second and focus on seven games. For the Royals that year he was 3 – 1 with a 1.67 ERA, a 1.2 WHIP and averaged over 9 strikeouts per game. He figured his stuff out just before he went down to injury. Now it might be a long shot to assume he could regain the form of those seven starts but it is possible.
Even if he doesn’t regain that exact form, he could very easily take a better approach into a season that would provide the White Sox with a good back of the rotation starter and free up the ability to trade a current starter and the money that sends away.
All of this makes it a good choice for them to sign him. It’s a low money contract anyway with incentives. They have very little to lose and a ton to gain if Paulino delivers. On top of that it gives us one more White Sox player to root for.