Baseball America has released the latest set of minor league transactions and the Cincinnati Reds have signed four players to minor league deals in free agency.
The team re-signed reliever Kevin Shackelford. They also signed right handed pitcher Doingo Tapia, left handed pitcher Lucas Luetge and catcher Shawn Zarraga.
Kevin Shackelford is coming off of a 2016 season that was split between Pensacola and Louisville where he posted a 2.03 ERA in 35 appearances and 44.1 innings pitched. He had 17 walks (three intentional) and 31 strikeouts on the season. He also posted a 54% ground ball rate during the year. He will be 28-years-old in the 2017 season.
Domingo Tapia spent 2016, and his entire career, with the New York Mets organization. He will be 25-years-old next season, but only has four games pitched above A-ball. In the 2016 season he threw 28.0 innings for the St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League and 2.1 innings for the Double-A Binghamton Mets. Between the two stops he posted a 3.56 ERA with 14 walks (one intentional) and 25 strikeouts. He’s got a big arm, throwing in the upper 90’s in past seasons, but he’s had struggles with the strikezone over the past few years. 2016 was the first year in which he pitched out of the bullpen.
Left hander Lucas Luetge has seen action in four big league seasons, all with Seattle from 2012-2015. In 2012 and 2013 he combined for 77.2 big league innings, but only threw 11.1 over the next two. He joined the Angels organization in 2016 and spent his entire year with Triple-A Salt Lake. In 55.2 innings pitched he posted a 4.85 ERA with 26 walks (one intentional) and 58 strikeouts. He also posted a 52% ground ball rate. He’s a guy who works in the 88-91 MPH range with his fastball, mising in a change up and a slider. He will be 30-years-old in 2017.
Catcher Shawn Zarraga looks like some catching depth for Double-A or Triple-A. He’s only had one season in the minor leagues with more than 75 games played. In 2016 he split time between Double-A and Triple-A in the Dodgers organization. He performed much better in Double-A than Triple-A, though neither had much of a sample size to work with. He hit .306/.384/.388 in 99 plate appearances with 12 walks and 13 strikeouts for Tulsa. When he moved up to Triple-A he hit just .167/.226/.208, but it came in just 53 plate appearances. He threw out 43% of opposing base runners in 2016.