Just yesterday, at BPro, I wrote that a team might claim Jay Buente and try him out as a reliever. Well, that team might be the Rays, as they have claimed him off waivers and assigned him to Triple-A Durham (with Rob Delaney being designated for assignment as the corresponding 40-man roster move) Here’s what I wrote about Buente before the Rays faced him this past Sunday:
Buente made his major league debut in 2010 as he worked in eight games out of the bullpen. There isn’t much to extrapolate from eight games worth of stats, but Buente’s PITCHf/x data tends to mesh with the various scouting reports about him. His fastball will sit in the low-90s, but can zoom into the 94-or-95 MPH range when necessary. The prized possession of Buente’s arsenal is a split-fingered fastball that lends itself to perennially heavy groundball rates.
Even with the splitter, the University of Purdue product isn’t much of a prospect. You couldn’t tell by looking at Buente’s peripherals, though, as he has struck out 44 batters in 41 2/3 innings pitched this season while only walking 10 and allowing one home run. Buente has spent some time at Triple-A before and the strikeout numbers have always been there; the difference this season is that he has halved his previous walk rates.