Tacoma News Tribune wrote:Mexican leaguer to make pitch for M’s rotation Campillo arrives with a reputation as ‘their Greg Maddux’
PEORIA, Ariz. – A few days after losing one potential starting pitcher to surgery, the Seattle Mariners grabbed another Wednesday – acquiring the rights to Jorge Campillo, a veteran right-hander from the Mexican League.
Though he has never pitched in a major league game, the 26-year-old has appeared in 176 games over an eight-year career in Mexico, going 45-29 with a 4.59 ERA.
Campillo will negotiate a Seattle contract within the next week, pending clarification of his immigration status. Once he arrives, he becomes a viable contender to open the season in the Mariners’ rotation.
“He’s referred to (in Mexico) as their Greg Maddux,” Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. “He’s not a thrower as much as he changes speed, uses command.
“We like him as a guy who will compete for the fourth or fifth spot in our rotation. We have versatility to use him as long man or at Triple-A, if that’s what happens.”
Seattle grabbed Campillo after scouting him pitching for Mexico in the winter league, where he went 10-1 with a 2.05 ERA and led his team to the playoffs. In 14 starts, Campillo held hitters to a .208 batting average.
The move comes after the team learned rookie Travis Blackley will be lost for the season because of shoulder surgery.
After rebuilding their offense in the offseason, and in the process of retooling their bullpen, the Mariners now have options for their five-man starting rotation.
Joel PiÃ±eiro, Jamie Moyer and Gil Meche have jobs, and the last two spots will be filled from a group that includes Bobby Madritsch, Ryan Franklin, Aaron Sele, Felix Hernandez and Campillo.
“Whether he makes the team or not, we’re better off as an organization with him with us,” pitching coach Bryan Price said. “He gives us starting depth, whether it’s here or in the minors.”
Hargrove hates those hats
New manager Mike Hargrove kept the first workout of the spring “real basic” for his pitchers and catchers Thursday.
“No matter how much you’ve worked out in the offseason, the first day back in spikes and back in a structured environment, you get tired fast,” Hargrove said. “Our pitchers threw about 25 pitches each, then rotated around four fields for various fielding drills.
“Our catchers got a lot of work.”
There was only one apparent glitch.
“Whoever designed these spring training caps should be drawn and quartered,” Hargrove said, fussing with his own. “The only way to fix them would be to burn them.”
Guardado: ‘I felt great’
The most-watched 25 pitches of the day belonged to Eddie Guardado, who threw without pain or reluctance as he tested himself on a mound for the first time since October.
“I felt great, but the key will be how I feel (today),” Guardado said. “But there’s a difference between being sore and being hurt.”
Someone asked if Guardado worried about control in his first bullpen session.
“Me? Hell, no,” he said. “I just wanted to see how I felt, and I felt great.”
Shoulder pain cost Guardado the final 21/2 months of the 2004 season, but rest, exercises and knee surgery have allowed him to begin throwing again.
Don't really know what kind of effect this has, but a rotation of
seems to be set, the remaining two spots look like they belong to either.
But really i only see it between Madritsch, franklin and this Campillo guy. I just really hope they are smart enough to give Felix another year to mature (hell he is only 18!!) down in tacoma. But this has to hurt Franklin and Madritsch's value, not that I thought they had much to begin with.