Sep 24, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Joe Thatcher (54) returns to the dugout against the Oakland Athletics during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Royals Sign Joe Thatcher: 1 year, $2.5 Million
Admittedly, I have a bit of an infatuation for pitchers with rather quirky deliveries. I blame this on my idolization of Dan Quisenberry while growing up, since he made me want to be a submarine throwing reliever. Alas, I couldn’t even come close to Quiz’s velocity, even throwing overhand as hard as I could.
However, Joe Thatcher is more than a pitcher with a quirky delivery. Having become a true lefty specialist, as 60.2% of the hitters that Thatcher has faced in the past two years combined are left handed, he has truly been a weapon. Over his career, Thatcher has held lefties to a .230/.289/.351 batting line. As an extreme fly ball pitcher, Thatcher would come to love the Royals outfield defense, and the cavernous dimensions of Kauffman Stadium.
Thatcher also gives the Royals a different look in the bullpen. With majority of the Royals relievers bringing fastballs that sit comfortably in the mid 90’s or higher, Thatcher throws a mid 80’s cutter and a slider that averages just under 80 MPH. Picturing Thatcher coming in after either Yordano Ventura or Danny Duffy could be enough to give hitters fits.
With the Royals needing a proven, solid left handed option in the bullpen, Joe Thatcher would seem to be the perfect fit. For the price, Thatcher would be a decent investment.