Excuse me if this information is old news to you but I was just looking through the transaction page on Dbacks.com and noticed that RHP Sam Demel was recalled from AAA Reno to join the 40 man roster near the end of October. With my interest sparked I clicked on Demel’s name and to my surprise Mr. Demel was claimed off waivers on November 1st by the Houston Astros along with infielder Jake Elmore.
Arizona Diamondbacks batter Jake Elmore (14) makes his major league debut in the ninth inning against Washington Nationals at Chase Field. Image: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE
Now Demel had experienced some ups and downs with the club during his three year career bouncing between AAA Reno and the Diamondbacks in each year. In his 63 2/3 innings the 27 year old has managed 48 strikeouts with a career WHIP of 1.59. He made just one appearance in 2012 allowing one run on two hits, a walk and one intentional walk. He holds a 4-4 record with a 4.95 ERA in the major leagues.
He had some success at the start of 2011 posting a 1.72 ERA through his first 16 2/3 innings through May but struggled in July posting a 6.75 ERA for the month and never really getting another extended stay with the big league club following that month.
Bottom line, as it stands now, the club is probably not too upset about the departure of Demel to the Astros. But what surprised me was them allowing Jake Elmore to hit the waiver wire.
Jake Elmore was called up from AAA Reno on August 11, 2012 as Willie Bloomquist was hampered by his ailing back. He would play in 30 games and record 68 at bats during that span. While the 25 year old right hander only managed 17 hits (.191 average), I thought Elmore was considered one of the options at shortstop for us in 2013. He was solid at shortstop defensively and was versatile enough to man second base (he was drafted as a 2B) to give Aaron Hill an off day. Not only that, but the Arizona State graduate was ripping up the Pacific Coast League in 2012, his first season at the AAA level. He was named to both the PCL’s mid-season All-Star team and the post season All-Star team for his excellent play.
In 108 games before being called up, he scored 95 runs while sporting a .344/.442/.465 line and collecting 30 doubles, 9 triples and walking 74 times- showing excellent plate discipline. I understand that the PCL is notorious for being hitter friendly (see INF Josh Bell experiment) but with Elmore just coming up on 26 years old in 2013 it seemed like he would be as likely to win the position as Cliff Pennington or the platoon of Willie Bloomquist/ John McDonald.
Chalk it up to the risk a team takes by allowing a minor league prospect to go to waivers even if that club hopes the player will just make it back to their minor league affiliate before being claimed. Good move by the Astros with this waiver pickup in my opinion and good luck to both Elmore and Demel.
Follow me on Twitter at @ndougherty313 and our team at @venomstrikes.