Friday, December 16, 2011

James was a solid pick-up - in-depth look...

Mets announced that they signed Chuck James to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, the 30 y/o left hander is the exact type of pitcher Alderson described less then a week ago.  Someone who could either pitch out of the rotation or the pen and could start the year in Buffalo.

Selected in the 20th round of the 2002 draft by the Braves, he was the #96 ranked prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2006 season.  James made his major league debut in 2005 when he pitched in two games as a Sept. call-up.  In his rookie season (2006) he went 11-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 18 starts of 25 appearances.  The next year he would spend the entire season in the rotation as a #3 in which he went 11-10 with a 4.24.  2008 would be his last season as a Brave making seven starts with an ERA of 9.10 and a record of 2-5.

Reminiscent of the Mets medical staff, James would express concern about discomfort which the medical staff could not find.  A second opinion would result in a minor procedure to clean up the shoulder that turned into a complete rebuild.

Finally, James sought a second opinion. By the end of the ’08 season, he said, “I got to where I couldn’t throw any more.” He agreed to surgery in September 2008, when doctors told him they would clean up debris in his pitching shoulder. The surgery, they said, would take 30 minutes. Instead, they spent more than four hours repairing the damage from a tear in the labrum and a tear in the rotator cuff. James said they also removed his bursa sac. source 

He would miss the entire 2009 season and rehab in the Nationals minor leagues during the 2010 season.  Between AA and AAA he made made 26 appearances, seven starts and 4 game finishes.  A combined 2.32 ERA with a record of 10-1 and two saves.

He would sign with the Twins for the 2011 season, starting the year in AAA where he appeared in 38 games   (68 innnings) with an ERA of 2.30.  He finished 14 games but only recorded one save for the season.  He came up briefly with the Twins, appearing in eight games with a 6.10 ERA.  It didn't appear that James was ever in the Twins plans and they let him go at the end of the season.

He has two years of service so this season if he were to make the team he would have options and going forward would be arby eligible for three years...

Chuck James was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster space for September call-up Liam Hendriks and passed through waivers unclaimed, so he remains at Triple-A but is no longer on the 40-man roster. James was fantastic at Rochester, throwing 63 innings with a 2.30 ERA and 67-to-27 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but he struggled in 10 innings for the Twins and they never seemed particularly interested in giving the 29-year-old lefty an extended chance. source Aaron Gleeman