It is being reported today by MLB Trade Rumors that the Tigers have made another couple minor signings, following up the signing of Eric Patterson last week. This time it is a utility player and a pitcher, and their names are Niuman Romero and Chris Bootcheck . Bootcheck, who is more widely known, is a 33 year old righty whose most likely destination is in Toledo, and unless things completely fall apart at the major league level for the Tigers, he will probably stay there.
Still, let’s take a look at what the Tigers organization is getting.
Bootcheck last pitched in the majors for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009, and in that season he pitched 14 innings to the tune of an ERA of 11.05. 2008 wasn’t much better, as Bootcheck posted an ERA of 10.13 for the Angels. Bootcheck was actually a first round pick for the Angels in 2000, but has never really quite materialized as a guy that could stick in the major leagues. His most successful season came with the Angels in 2007, in which Bootcheck pitched 77 innings with an ERA of 4.77.
Bootcheck does have a pretty good arm, averaging around 93mph with his fastball, and he combines that with a pretty good slider to be an ultimate 4A pitchers. He also throws a curve and a change, though neither pitch is of good use. Bootcheck is an extreme fly ball pitcher, and has been hurt by the home run over his career, where he posts better FIP numbers than ERA on a regular basis.
Romero is a journeyman, who was in 4 organizations last season. Romero has gotten a cup of coffee with the Red Sox and the Indians in years past. Romero is a career .250 hitter in the minors, who plays all over the diamond.
Looks like a couple minor league depth signings to me.