Thursday, February 13, 2014

Notes, quotes and comment

The Twins on Wednesday claimed left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley off waivers from the Cubs.

Raley is 25 and has 38.1 major league innings on his resume, garnered over the past two seasons. His fast ball velocity has diminished since he was drafted by the Cubs, and he apparently relies a lot on his breaking ball. He has been almost strictly a starter in the minors, but his major league innings last year all came in relief.

He fills, at least for now, the spot on the 40-man roster that was vacated when the Twins released Andrew Albers to allow him to sign with a Korean team.

Assuming that Raley is out of options, I think it's quite likely that the Twins will try to slip him through waivers themselves with the intent of using him as a starter in Triple A -- the role Albers was ticketed for. If he does have at least one option left, the Twins won't have to take that risk (unless and until they need the roster spot).

Either way, he figures to be organizational depth, not a realistic major league option -- at least not as a starter. As a reliever, a southpaw who can "spin it" -- a Ron Gardenhire way of referring to a slider or curve -- has a chance to be a LOOGY.

Derek Jeter stretches those 39-year-old legs.

Derek Jeter announced Wednesday that this will be his final season.

This is hardly a shocker. He had a difficult time trying to return last year from his 2012 ankle injury, and nobody can be sure what he's going to provide the Yankees this year.

For some reason, the idea that Jeter is about to depart the scene makes me feel old, far more than other retirements have. (That I am old is immaterial to this point.) It's not that it seems like Jeter's always been there -- it's more that it feels to me as if he just arrived.

Which is silly. Jeter's been an October fixture for almost two decades, and, as I said in a Monday print column a few years ago, I view him as the second greatest shortstop in major league history. Nothing he does this year will move him up or down that list.

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