Wilfredo Ledezma comes to camp in spring training as one of many relievers vying for that final bullpen spot. If Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti decide on having a second left-hander in the bullpen in addition to Scott Elbert, Ledezma is one of six candidates along with fellow non-roster invitees Alberto Castillo, Matt Chico, Grabow, and Scott Rice; along with Michael Antonini, who is on the 40-man roster but more likely to be starting, in the minors.
Like many of the NRI's who populate major league baseball during March, at one time Wil Ledesma was a solid prospect who had flirted with major league success early in his career but now just hopes to get one more chance for a major league buffet to supplant his 240 pound frame.
The Tigers did Ledezma a disservice when they drafted him from the Red Sox in the 2002 Rule Five draft and were forced to keep him on the major league roster all year. At the time Wilfredo had not one iota of time above A ball and the next thing he knew he was trying to throw fastballs past the likes of Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez.
After struggling all year on the big club in 2003, Wilfredo was sent back to the minors in 2004 and had an excellent year getting promoted on July 15th. While showing some promise things never clicked for Wilfredo and he eventually found himself on the major league merry go round pitching for six different teams since 2007.
No longer a starter he hopes to be the Dodgers second left hand pitcher. He has skills, throwing three pitches including a 93 MPH fastball, 82MPH slider, and a changeup.
He only pitched six innings in 2011 with the BlueJays, but in 2010 he pitched 19 innings in 27 games as he was used strictly as a Loogy with the Pirates. The K/9 rate in this role climbed to 10.07.
One of the most bizarre moments of the 2006 season occurred when Ledezma started on September 8. After giving up five earned runs in 4.1 innings, an obviously distressed Ledezma returned to the dugout and proceeded to dismantle and, literally, eat his hat.
He also was the winning pitcher of the clinching game four in the ALCS of 2006 when Magglio Orodonez hit a three run home run in the bottom of the 9th against Huston Street. It was Magglio's 2nd home run of the game. Wilfredo earned that win by getting four outs including coming in with the bases loaded in the top of 8th after Jason Grilli had walked the bases loaded. Ledezma proceeded to induce Marco Scutaro to pop setting up Magglio's dramatics the following inning.
Ledesma signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
|2009 & 2011 Negligible Major League Exp
|2012 Projections - Age 33 Season|
Ever since his days with Detroit I've have a soft spot for Ledezma, mainly for the performance in the 2006 ALCS. Don't count him out, Zips likes him a teeny bit. Should spend some time in New Mexico, would not shock me if he eventually see's time with the Dodgers.
What is your prediction? Be sure to guess Ledezma's ERA, number of innings pitched, plus anything else you would like to predict.