The Pirates claimed pitcher Chad Beck and catcher Ali Solis off waivers on Thursday. Jeff Clement and Eric Fryer were designated for assignment to make room for Beck and Solis on the 40-man roster. Obviously, these are pretty minuscule moves in the grand scheme of things, but I’ll briefly break them down anyway.
Beck is a 27 year old reliever that was recently DFA by the Blue Jays. The righty has only tossed 18 big-league innings (5.50 ERA) but had a very nice season in AAA this season. Well, kinda. He posted a 1.31 ERA with 18 saves, but did so with a low strikeout rate (4.5/9 innings). I’m guessing that’s a big part of the reason Toronto gave up on him. Still, useful relievers can often come seemingly out of nowhere, so I can understand giving him a shot. Beck will probably be part of a large crowd of similar fringe guys battling for a spot in the Pirates bullpen out of spring training.
Solis is a catcher, but doesn’t really offer much hope of solving the Bucs’ catching woes in 2013. He’s been around the minors quite a bit and posted a decent line in Double-A this season (.283/.307/.419) with an encouraging 28% CS rate. Still, that pretty much puts him on par with or even below Tony Sanchez on the organizational depth chart. Solis did reach the majors at one point in 2012 but only got 4 at-bats. Essentially, he appears to be only a very slight improvement over Fryer (who he replaces on the roster) with a tad more upside. I certainly don’t mind dumping Fryer or Clement–at the very least, now we won’t have to deal with Clint Hurdle‘s ridiculous use of Clement as the first guy off the bench in one run games.
Again, very minor moves that may not end up mattering at all (last year the Bucs claimed two guys around this time that were DFA’d again within a month) but at least it’s something else to talk about besides the Hoka Hey mess (about which I’m still not sure what to say).