Tampa Bay Rays Sign Cory Wade to Minor League Deal | The Process Report

Tampa Bay Rays Sign Cory Wade to Minor League Deal


Cory Wade stands six-one and throws with his right arm. He turns 28 in late May and failed to make an appearance in the Major Leagues during the 2010 season after missing time following exploratory shoulder surgery in March. He did pitch for the Dodgers’ Triple-A team and pitched well (29 innings, 6.14 strikeouts per nine, 0.92 walks per nine, a 4.22 FIP thanks to some homer issues).

Wade has made 82 major league appearances (99 innings worth) and posted good results thanks to strong control. His FIP is 3.95 and his ERA actually sits below, in large part thanks to a career .247 batting average on balls in play; a peculiar figure because Wade’s distribution of ground and flyballs is roughly 1:1 throughout his career. Another interesting branch stemming from that tree is Wade’s double play ability. In 2008, he saw 22% of his opportunities turn into twin-killings; a ridiculous rate considering his aforementioned batted ball breakdown.

The Kentucky Wesleyan product does his damage with a high-80s/low-90s fastball (when all is well, mid-to-high 80s otherwise) that he spots well, an outstanding curveball, and a changeup. Here’s a breakdown of his pitches by usage, strike, and whiff percentages. It paints the picture as someone who loves his breaking pitch and gets strikes:

Another thing to watch for is Wade’s strong peripherals against left-handed batters. Although, given the whiff rate on his changeup, that revelation isn’t too much of a surprise. After 168 plate appearances he holds a 2.84 FIP against southpaws, with a stellar 4.25 K/BB ratio. He’s had some issues against righties (4.79 FIP) as he does not seem to possess the same strike out ability against them. He’s also seen his pitches clear the wall far more often against righties than lefties.

He’s not yet arbitration eligible either, meaning this could be a more permanent relationship than some of the Rays’ previous bullpen signings. Wade is a useful middle reliever (if healthy) and a good bet to break camp in the bullpen.

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