Giants Claim Jose Mijares Off Waivers

Earlier today, the Giants acquired left-handed reliever Jose Mijares from the Kansas City Royals via waivers. The Giants simply claimed him off waivers and didn’t have to give up anything in return, so they basically got him for free. Mijares, 27, doesn’t hit free agency until 2015, and he’s actually having a very good season: he’s tossed 38.2 innings across 51 appearances, posting a 163 ERA+ with fairly strong peripherals (8.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 0.7 HR/9). His FIP currently sits at a solid 3.50. And he is, of course, especially tough on left-handed hitters. For his career, he’s held lefties to a .606 OPS, which is right in line with what he’s done this season (.601 OPS).

He’s a flyball-heavy pitcher, having induced one groundball for every two flyballs over his career. But he’s consistently managed to keep his home run rate in check, which — at least in part — appears to be a sustainable skill. It’s worth noting that 20% of his career flyballs have been infield flies, which is very good relative to the league average rate over that span (13%).

For reasons beyond my knowledge, more than 20 teams passed on the opportunity to grab Mijares. It’s peculiar, and I’m not the only one that thinks so. In any event, it worked out perfectly for the Giants, and you have to hand it to them for this acquisition. They just bolstered their bullpen at zero cost, and they’ll now have a cheap lefty specialist for the foreseeable future. Mijares is essentially insurance against future overspending on LOOGYs.

Now comes a pretty important question: who goes? The Giants will have to make room for Mijares in the bullpen, and there’s some sentiment that George Kontos (given his minor-league options) could be sent back down to Fresno. Kontos (2.42 ERA/2.99 FIP/3.28 xFIP) has been outstanding thus far, so needless to say, that would be foolish. Alex Pavlovic writes that Brad Penny and Shane Loux, not Kontos, are the most likely candidates to go — and hopefully that’s the case.

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5 thoughts on “Giants Claim Jose Mijares Off Waivers

  1. Thank you Baseball Gods for smiling on the beloved SF Giants and blessing them with such a gift. Now, please heal Sandoval, help Pence with his at-bats, give a break to both Zito and the Freak. Amen.

    BEAT LA

  2. There’s nothing negative to this pickup, but if Mijares fills a niche, it’s a very small one. The Giants are in desperate need of a middle relief and that glaring hole has been a thorn in its heel all season. For all the games middle relief lost outright this season, many more were lost indirectly because the starters tried to push for innings knowing the bullpen was unreliable. Today’s game was a perfect example: Cain was at 100+ pitches and was clearly gassed, but because the bullpen got hosed in the Colorado series, Bochy kept Cain in. Shane Loux them demonstrated why the middle relief, once a San Francisco strength, is now a cancerous weakness.

    I hope Mijares can do something about the team’s home runs allowed.

    • I’d argue that the bullpen has been under-utilized, relatively speaking. Before today, they’d thrown a total of 310 games in relief (average) with an average of 15 pitches/appearance (which is a league low). I suppose it’s easy to say in retrospect, but I think that Bochy should have brought George Kontos in one batter earlier; he doesn’t seem to rely on the bullpen as much as he should. Not that they’ve been very reliable — between Hensley/Casilla/Loux/Penny/Edlefsen (et al.), the ‘pen has certainly been a disappointment this season.

  3. Pingback: URL Weaver: The Pitching Wins And Losses Edition | Getting Blanked | Blogs | theScore.com

  4. Pingback: Buster Posey, Barry Zito Help Giants Even Series ยป Giants Nirvana | SF Giants Blog

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