I was using the “Leone for Bullpen” phrase last summer.
You can, as they say, google it.
[Actually, they are clever at Lookout Landing. No offense intended.]
Supposedly Leone (and Carson Smith) (“alias Smith and Leone”) posed “40-man roster issues.”
But there’s no 40-man roster issue if you DFA Hector Noesi!
Which you just did anyway!
And why you needed to wait to see Noesi throw two — two! — pitches to Coco Crisp before concluding that “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea” I don’t know.
[Speaking of which, you got a contract longer than 45 days yet, Randy?]
But there’s depth and there’s Hector Noesi.
Walker, by the way, is starting for High-A High Desert tonight (Friday).
At that point, with Stephen Pryor also on his way back as a bullpen option, and Brandon Maurer on his way back as a rotation or bullpen option, and Smith sitting there at Tacoma as well, then there will be a sudden surplus of arms.
In the meantime, Leone has shown two hard pitches. His fastball runs 94-96 and sometimes higher, and his cutter runs 90-92 but sometimes a bit lower.
As we’ve pointed out, Mariano Rivera‘s whole game was a fastball and a cutter very similar in velocity but with different late break. And it’s taking him to Cooperstown.
Leone doesn’t have that game down, yet (not the part where the velocity is within a mph or two), but his fastball is several mph faster than Rivera’s ever was, so it will be interesting to see.
We first latched on to Leone when he put up devastating numbers at Everett, despite high walk totals, and when read that his career took off when he tried to teach himself Rivera’s cutter by watching YouTube videos.
We’ve been on the “Leone for Bullpen” bandwagon ever since, even when it was a pretty lonely place.
That being said, it is tough for us U.Va. folks to see two Clemson Tigers hit the MLB roster before a single one of our vaunted Cavalier crew breaks through. Darn Danny Hultzen‘s shoulder.
I guess it’s good to be a teammate of Brad Miller.