Rich Rundles, left-handed pitcher

Could he pitch in the major leagues?

Not only do I think that Rich Rundles could pitch in the major leagues, I’m not exactly sure why he hasn’t had more opportunities. Rundles was drafted by the Red Sox and was traded to the Montreal Expos as part of a deal for Ugueth Urbina. He was a starting pitcher through 2006, pitching just well enough to get to the next highest level until he peaked at AAA. He was shifted to the bullpen in 2007, and pitched well through 2011, albeit in a limited role. He’s gotten six major league innings, and has given up one run.

Despite having a 1.80 ERA with Memphis in 2011, he was reduced to pitching in the independent Atlantic League in 2012. In June, the Tides acquired him. He made two appearances as a piggyback relief pitcher to Miguel Gonzalez while Gonzalez was transitioning to a starting role.  He made an emergency start and another relief appearance, then suffered a mysterious (at least to me) injury and didn’t pitch again the rest of the season. When he did pitch, he was effective; he had a 2.03 ERA in 13 1/3 innings.

Rundles doesn’t appear to be extremely effective against left-handed hitters, which is good for him in the sense that he’s not limited to being a left-handed specialist, but bad for him because teams will be looking at him to be a left-handed specialist. So, despite his good record of success, he may not get a major-league chance, although he probably deserves one.

UPDATE — Rundles signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles for 2013.


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