The Cincinnati Reds once used a supplemental 1st round draft pick on a pitcher out of Cal-State Fullerton, bringing Michael Lorenzen into the fold back in 2013. The Fullerton program has long been one of the tops of the college ranks, having produced the likes of Justin Turner, Tim Wallach, Tim’s son (and former Red) Chad Wallach, Chris Devenksi, Kurt Suzuki, Phil Nevin, Khris Davis, Aaron Rowand, and many, many more.
Yesterday, the Reds brought another Fullerton product into their system, signing RHP Dylan Floro to a minor league contract, as SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reported. Floro, 27, was a 12th round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays back in 2012, and was a college teammate of Lorenzen’s on that 2012 Fullerton team that claimed the Big West Conference regular season title. And, if you’re wondering why I’ve continued to talk about his college career, that’s because there’s not a lot to go on regarding his big league career.
Floro made his MLB debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2017, tossing 9.2 innings of relief for the North-siders in which time he allowed 15 hits and 7 ER. Those innings came after he was selected off waivers by the Cubs from the Rays, and directly preceded him being selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers off waivers from the Cubs back in August. He was then granted free agency for the first time in his career in October.
Never a hard thrower or a strikeout pitcher, his career 6.0 K/9 in 588.2 career minor league innings isn’t exactly inspiring. However, he’s a notorious strike throwing machine, which his career 1.4 BB/9 in those minor league innings displays. He’s also quite the grounder-inducing machine, too, as he’s posted GB% between 52% and 70% throughout his minors career, which in the wake of the multi-year deal given to Jared Hughes last week seems to be a current trend the Reds are looking for in their arms.
A needle-moving move? Certainly not. However, the 2.88 ERA Floro posted in 2016 with AAA Durham - his first full season as a reliever in Tampa’s system - does at least suggest that there’s enough upside here to consider him valuable depth for a bullpen that sure as hell has needed it over the last few seasons. So, there’s that.
For a larger scouting report on Floro, here’s the write-up from our friends at Minor League Ball from back in May.
In other news, there isn’t much. For that I am sincerely sorry. There is this adorably terrifying snow cat, however.
COME OUTSIDE THERE’S SO MUCH SNOW pic.twitter.com/Z4Eb6LWcEC— PICTURE CATS (@picturecats) January 4, 2018
There’s also this cool stat about the combination of offense and defense that former Red Scott Rolen provided in his illustrious career. I’m not of the camp that thinks Rolen is a slam-dunk, ‘first-ballot’ Hall of Famer - especially given the incredibly crowded ballot the BBWAA has fostered - but I do think he’s plenty deserving in a Hall that has plenty of players who were nowhere as good as him already inside.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported that the MLBPA and MLB officials will meet next week to discuss pace of play, which is a topic that actually eclipses long baseball games on the grand ol’ boring meter. That’s no slight on Crasnick, of course, who’s long been one of the absolute best in the business; rather, it’s a crack at the incredible sluggishness across the baseball landscape at the moment.
Jim Bowden handed out mid-off-season grades for all 15 National League teams at The Athletic today, and while that seems like a pseudo-arbitrary thing to concoct at this juncture, so, too, is this reposter. So, I can’t hate on Leatherpants too, too much. While he makes a specific note of neither acing nore flunking any of the teams, the Reds check in with a big, fat D-. And, well, when the only thing worth writing about regarding a team that’s been in the cellar for multiple consecutive seasons is a minor league signing of Dylan Floro, I can’t exactly argue with him on this.
Regarding that latter statement, Baseball Prospectus’ Ben Diamond looked at how the current free agent market is as slow as its been since the devastating 2008 recession, and into some of the factors that might be behind that. It’s behind a paywall, but I’d encourage all of y’all to consider a B-Pro subscription anyway since it features some of the absolute best baseball writing and analysis on the planet.
Of course, blogamigo Grant Brisbee also did some opining on the malaise stew simmering slowing atop the baseball Hot Stove, and it’s well worth your time to read, too.
Finally, I hope all of you easter-coasters who are currently dealing with the #bombcyclone find a way to stay as warm, happy, and safe as can be. It sure sounds like it’s a sumbitch at the moment, which makes the fact that it’s pushing 60 and sunny in Colorado all week that much more odd to mention. Hopefully the baseball Hot Stove will crank up soon to help the thaw.