In a move that suggests that Billy Beane has had his eye on him for some time, Oakland claimed Lenny DiNardo off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, and immediately added him to the 25-man roster.
DiNardo, a 27-year old southpaw, had a decent seasons in 2004 and 2005 in limited action with the Red Sox, but after a neck injury in 2006, posted an ERA — 7.85 — in Jose Lima territory. He’s a soft-tossing cutter purveyor, with an occasional slider and rare changeup. He has a career minor league ERA of 3.35, with a SO/9 of 8.84 and a SO:BB ratio of 2.74.
To make room on the roster, the A’s outrighted Charles Thomas to AAA Sacramento and designated Hiram Bocachica for assignment. It’s always seemed to me that Bocachica might be able to contribute as a utility/bench player in the right situation. It’s been apparent for the past two years that Oakland isn’t that situation, however.
If Bocachica doesn’t just head back to Sacramento, as one might assume, it’s likely that an NL team would pick him up. His positional flexibility, speed and decent bat would fit right in for a team like the Giants, who have an ancient outfield and geriatric infield.
As for DiNardo, he’s the latest in Billy Beane’s stockpile of left-handers and 5th starters. DiNardo could make the team as an insurance policy against Alan Embree disappointing as a LOOGY. DiNardo could also conceivably challenge for the 5th starter role, but he’s nowhere near the head of that line. Joe Kennedy is the front-runner at this point, and spring training is only likely to solidify that notion.
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