Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bullpen candidate profile: Chuck James

Chuck James struck out
65 batters in 60
minor-league innings
in 2010.
Pitcher: Chuck James
Throws: Left
Age: 29
Roster status: Non-roster invitee
Chance of making team: Not for Opening Day.

Chuck James spent about a year and a half in the Atlanta Braves starting rotation, 2006-07, and appeared at that point to be a passable back-of-the-rotation guy. He had a decent strikeout rate and an acceptable BB/K ratio but gave up a lot of home runs.

Things fell apart completely in 2008, and he had significant shoulder injuries. He hasn't been back in the majors since. He missed all of 2009 and spent last season in the Nationals system, splitting time between Triple A and Double A.

Like yesterday's subjects, Yorman Bazado and Phil Dumatrait, he was signed primarily with Triple A roster depth in mind. The fact that he's had some form of success in the majors probably puts him ahead of Dumatrait on the list of potential lefty relievers, and the fact that he's not on the 40 puts him behind Jose Mijares, Glen Perkins, Scott Diamond and Dusty Hughes.

Which doesn't slam the door on James for the full season. Perkins and Diamond would have to clear waivers to be sent down, so if either of them doesn't make the team for Opening Day, they are likely to be lost for good. James may be number 5 on the LOOGY depth chart right now, but could be as high as number 3 by April 1.

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