March 30, 2005
Matt Riley, who pitched in a minor league game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, likely will be traded. Several teams, including Texas and Minnesota, have expressed interest in Riley. It appears though that neither the Rangers nor Twins were able to match up on a trade.
Matt Riley is Baltimore's version of Michael Restovich, a once-promising prospect who is now out of options and not a big part of the team's long-term plan. I'm not sure if the Orioles are interested in Restovich, but I would love to see a Restovich-for-Riley swap take place. Riley could step in as the second lefty in the bullpen for the near term instead of the proven mediocrity known as C.J. Nitkowski (which, if you've looked at his career numbers, is being kind), and potentially move into the rotation at some point.
Riley has struggled through a ton of injuries since the Orioles picked him in the third round of the 1997 draft and he is just 4-4 with a 5.40 ERA and 74-to-62 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 85 career innings with Baltimore. On the other hand, he is still just 25 years old, he is a left-handed pitcher with good stuff, and his minor-league numbers are very good. Riley has a 3.54 ERA and 136-to-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 119 career innings at Triple-A, including a 1.71 ERA in 10 Triple-A starts last year.
"He's the first guy to the ballpark," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "By the time I get there, he and his sidekick Carlos Silva are already on the bikes, jabbering things in Spanish that I don't understand, just having a great time."
Minnesota sports fans have been pretty lucky, because for every superstar local athlete like Randy Moss, we've had Santana and Kevin Garnett, who come across as legitimately great guys. Of course, we all thought Kirby Puckett was a hell of a guy at one point too, so youneverknow.
The Official Whipping Boy of AG.com is hitting .171 against major leaguers and went 0-for-6 in a minor-league game the other day. The Twins are spending $2.6 million between him and Juan Castro, which is a bargain when you consider that breaks down to about $4,000 per out.