Sports Outside the Beltway

Royals Make Off-Season’s Most Insignificant Trade

The Royals have traded Jeff Keppinger, an infielder that most people have never heard of, to the Cincinnati Reds for a pitcher nobody has ever heard of.

With Mark Grudzielanek locked in as the starting second basemen and Esteban German seemingly able to field grounders without using his face, Keppinger had become a superfluous asset for the team.

Russell Haltiwanger is the prize for GM Dayton Moore. Yet another pitcher added to the stockpile, Rusty will probably be hanging out in Wilmington to start the season, maybe Wichita if he really impresses.

Aside from having a last name with the word “wanger” in it, here’s a quick run down on what else Haltiwanger brings to the organization.

Here are his rate stats since college:

Year Team     Level Age  IP    ERA   H9    HR9   BB9    K9    WHIP
2004 Newberry NCAA  20   62.1  6.06  9.71  0.14  4.20   8.41  1.55
2005 Newberry NCAA  21   52    3.29  8.83  0.00  4.33  10.21  1.46
2006 Dayton   A     22   82.1  4.15  7.87  1.09  4.92   8.53  1.42
2006 Sarasota A+    22    4    2.25  2.25  2.25  9.00   4.50  1.25

For the uninitiated, the “9” stats are hits, home runs, walks and strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two best things about Haltiwanger are his age and his ability to strike out almost a batter an inning. He was able to keep his ERA respectable when moving from college to the pros last year and according to this profile from May, his goal is to some day pitch for the Cincinnati Reds.

I guess he’ll have to give up on that dream now.

One final tidbit. Check out this interesting split from his time pitching for Single-A Dayton in ought-six:

        IP    OPS   WHIP  W/9   K/9   HR/9
None on 39.7  .729  1.71  7.03  8.39  1.36
Men on  42.7  .650  1.08  2.53  8.44  0.84

With men on base, he walked fewer batters, gave up fewer home runs and clamped down on the overall offensive output of his competition.

It looks like Rusty might be a little clutch.

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