The Washington Times - November 27, 2007, 03:59PM
NATS PRESS RELEASE\ The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with 19 minor league free agents, including\ righthanders Steven Shell and Dennis Tankersley, catcher Humberto Cota, and infielders William Bergolla, Yurendell de Caster and Antonio Perez. The club also agreed to terms with lefthander Mike Bacsik, righthander Bobby Brownlie, righthander Tristan Crawford, lefthander Mike Hinckley, lefthander Arnie Munoz, lefthander Jason Stanford, righthander Jim Ed Warden, catcher Chad Moeller, infielders Luis Jimenez and Ed Rogers, and outfielders Jason Dubois, Tommy Murphy and Jorge Padilla. All 19 players received an invitation to 2008 Nationals Spring Training. Nationals Assistant General Manager/Vice President of Player Development Bob Boone and Director of Player Development Bobby Williams made the joint announcement.\ \ \ Shell, 24, went 7-3 with a 4.73 ERA in 31 games (seven starts) with the Angels’ Triple-A Salt Lake City club in 2007 after beginning his year with five appearances for Double-A Arkansas. He was the winning pitcher for Team USA against Cuba in the IBAF World Cup championship game on November 18, when he tossed three innings of one-run relief. Shell, a seven-year pro, was recommended to the Nationals by Team USA manager Davey Johnson. Shell, who stands 6-foot-5, was a third-round pick of the Angels in 2001. He pitched mainly as a reliever in 2007 after starting 126 of his 143 games in his first six seasons. He is 53-44 with a 4.47 ERA in 179 minor league games overall.\ \ \ Tankersley, 28, went 10-7 with a 4.41 ERA in 24 starts with Detroit’s Triple-A Toledo club in 2007, including a 4-2 mark and a 3.09 ERA (20 ER/58.1 IP) in nine starts after the All-Star break. The nine-year pro appeared in 27 big league games (16 starts) with San Diego from 2002-04, going 1-10 with a 7.61 ERA. He is 65-61 with a 3.67 ERA in 213 minor league contests (197 starts).\ \ \ Cota, 28, appeared in 196 big league games with Pittsburgh from 2001-07, batting .233 with 12 homers and 61 RBI. The Mexico native played in five games in a pair of stints with the Pirates in 2007, going 4-for-14 (.286) with three RBI. He spent most of the year with Triple-A Indianapolis, where he hit .284 with nine RBI in 30 games.\ \ \ Bergolla, 24, hit .306 with 22 doubles, seven homers and 37 RBI in 99 games with San Francisco’s Triple-A Fresno squad in 2007. He appeared in 17 games with Cincinnati in 2004 for his lone big league experience, batting .132 with an RBI. In eight minor league seasons, the Venezuela native is hitting .289 with 144 doubles, 27 homers and 253 RBI.\ \ \ De Caster, 28, batted .280 with 25 doubles, nine homers and 54 RBI in 120 games with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A Indianapolis team in 2007. His lone big league experience came in 2006, when he had just two at-bats in three games with Pittsburgh. The Curacao native is hitting .260 with 201 doubles, 113 homers and 485 RBI in 963 minor league games. de Caster played for Team Netherlands in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.\ \ \ Perez, 27, batted .218 with two homers and nine RBI in 26 games with Oakland’s Triple-A Sacramento team in 2007 before a sprained right knee ended his season in May. The Dominican native has appeared in 216 big league games with Tampa Bay (2003), Los Angeles-NL (2004-05) and Oakland (2006), batting .244 with six homers and 43 RBI overall. He played in a career-high 98 games with the Dodgers in 2005, batting .297 with 13 doubles, three homers and 23 RBI.\ \ \ Other minor league free agents:\ Pitchers:\ Bacsik went 5-8 with a 5.11 ERA in 29 games (20 starts) with Washington in 2007. He ranked third on the club with 20 starts and 118.0 innings pitched. The Dallas native surrendered Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 756th career home run August 7 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Bacsik is 10-13 with a 5.46 ERA in 51 career games (35 starts) with Cleveland (2001), New York-NL (2002-03), Texas (2004) and Washington (2007).\ \ \ Brownlie, 27, went 1-2 with a 3.17 ERA in nine games (eight starts) with Cleveland’s Double-A Akron club in 2007 after pitching for Newark of the independent Atlantic League for the first four months of the season. He went 8-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 14 starts with Newark, and was the starting pitcher for the North Division All-Stars in the Atlantic League All-Star Game. The Rutgers University product was a first-round pick (21st overall) of the Chicago Cubs in 2002. He was a teammate of Jason Bergmann’s at Rutgers during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Brownlie is 24-36 with a 4.19 ERA in 115 minor league games (70 starts) overall.\ \ \ Crawford, 25, spent nearly all of the 2007 season with Minnesota’s Double-A New Britain club, going 8-5 with a 5.16 ERA in 27 games (11 starts). He also made three appearances for Minnesota’s Triple-A Rochester squad. The eight-year pro has appeared in 189 minor league games (21 starts), going 31-23 with a 4.24 ERA. He was born in Alaska, and grew up in Brisbane, Australia. Crawford pitched for Team Australia in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.\ \ \ Hinckley, 25, went 9-10 with a 5.83 ERA in 25 games (23 starts) with Washington’s Double-A Harrisburg team in 2007. The Oklahoma native has spent all seven of his pro seasons with the Washington/Montreal franchise, which selected him in the third round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. He is 50-39 with a 4.02 ERA in 152 career games (146 starts).\ \ \ Munoz, 25, appeared in 13 games with Washington as a September call-up last year, registering a 6.75 ERA despite holding the opposition scoreless in 11 of his 13 games. The southpaw posted a 2.56 ERA in 54 games with Washington’s Triple-A Columbus squad in 2007, and limited opposing left-handed hitters in the International League to a .198 average (16-for-81).\ \ \ Stanford, 30, is 2-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 23 games (12 starts) in portions of three big league seasons (2003, ‘04, ‘07) with Cleveland. The 30 year-old owns a career record of 52-37 (.584), a 3.21 ERA and a 2.9/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in eight minor-league seasons. By signing with the Nationals, the 6-foot-2 Stanford will play outside the Indians organization for the first time since signing with Cleveland as a non-drafted free agent in 2000 out of UNC-Charlotte.\ \ \ Warden, 28, spent most of his 2007 season with Cleveland’s Double-A Akron club, going 4-4 with six saves and a 2.81 ERA in 40 appearances. The 6-foot-7 Tennessee native started the year at Triple-A Buffalo, but was reassigned to Akron after posting a 7.33 ERA in 16 games. He is 28-31 with a 4.12 ERA in 243 games career minor league games (41 starts).\ \ \ Catchers:\ Moeller, 32, is a veteran of eight big league seasons with Minnesota (2000), Arizona (2001-03), Milwaukee (2004-06), Los Angeles-NL (2007) and Cincinnati (2007). He has appeared in 421 big league games overall, including a career-high 101 contests in 2004 with Milwaukee. Moeller is a career .224 hitter with 26 homers and 113 RBI. The University of Southern California product played in a combined 30 games with Los Angeles-NL and Cincinnati in 2007, batting .161 with a homer and two RBI.\ \ \ Infielders:\ Jimenez, 25, batted .328 with 22 homers and 79 RBI in 90 games with Baltimore’s Double-A Bowie club after being released by Boston in May and signing as a minor league free agent. He finished tied for fifth in the Eastern League in home runs and eighth in RBI. His average would have ranked second in the league if he had enough at-bats to qualify, and his .591 slugging percentage would have led the circuit. Jimenez batted just .148 in 25 games with Boston’s Triple-A Pawtucket club before being released. The left-handed hitter is averaging 19 homers and 75 RBI in his last four seasons, and is batting .286 with 118 doubles, 85 homers and 375 RBI in seven minor league seasons overall.\ \ \ Rogers, 29, batted .249 with 16 doubles, six homers and 35 RBI in 111 games with Boston’s Triple-A Pawtucket club in 2007. The Dominican Republic native, who originally signed with Baltimore as a non-drafted free agent in 1997, hit .207 with a homer and four RBI in 30 big league games with the Orioles in 2002 and 2005-06. Rogers is hitting .262 with 55 homers and 371 RBI in 930 minor league contests.\ \ \ Outfielders:\ Dubois, 28, is a .289 hitter in 698 career minor league games. The 28 year-old spent portions of the 2004 and \0x201805 seasons in the big leagues, batting .233 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in a combined 86 games with Chicago (NL) and Cleveland. In 2007, Dubois hit .251 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI in 104 games with Norfolk of the Triple-A International League.\ \ \ Murphy, 28, appeared in 20 games in three stints with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2007, batting .184 with a double and two RBI. The switch hitter spent the majority of the 2007 campaign with Los Angeles’ Triple-A Salt Lake club, where he hit .270 with 18 doubles, six triples, four homers and 32 RBI in 80 games. Murphy, who was selected by Los Angeles in the third round of the 2000 draft, also appeared in 48 games with the Angels in 2006, when he hit .229 with four doubles, a homer and six RBI.\ \ \ Padilla, 28, batted .316 with 22 doubles, 16 homers and 69 RBI in a combined 124 games with Kansas City’s Double-A Wichita club and Triple-A Omaha squad in 2007. In 10 minor league seasons, the Puerto Rico native is hitting .278 with 81 homers and 484 RBI in 956 games. He was a third-round pick of the Phillies in the 1998 draft.