JOE BEIMEL
LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: April 19, 1977
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 215
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 18th Round, 538th Overall, 1998
How Acquired: Free Agent
College:  Duquesne University
Agent: Joe Sroba

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Beimel came full circle when the Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2011. The contract calls for a $1.75M salary if he makes the major league roster, plus incentives.The Pirates originally drafted Beimel out of Duquesne, giving him the ominous “local guy” status. He eventually made a career as a LOOGY. He’s often been overrated by fans due to misleading ERAs. Relievers are better judged by their peripherals, which in Beimel’s case have generally been mediocre. He’s usually allowed more or less average numbers of baserunners for a reliever and his K rates have arranged from low to extremely low. Unlike many pitchers, since Beimel made the move to relief, his velocity has gradually dropped. As a starter with the Pirates, his fastball averaged just a shade under 90 and often got up around 92-93. In recent years he’s thrown mainly around 86-87. The two data sets at fangraphs are split about his breaking ball. Baseball Info Solutions has him junking his slider and going solely with a curve the last two years. PitchFx has him throwing the two more or less equally. Both show the slider averaging only in the mid-70s, with the curve in the low-70s, so the distinction may not be terribly significant. Beimel also throws a change. He’s a moderate groundball pitcher and, most importantly, has had extreme platoon splits. For his career, he’s allowed right-handed batters an OPS of .794 and left-handed batters an OPS of .720. More importantly, since he got established as a LOOGY, his splits have been as follows:

Year
RH AVG
RH OBP
RH SLG
RH OPS
LH AVG
LH OBP
LH SLG
LH OPS
2010
.329
.388
.474
.862
.221
.275
.379
.653
2009
.282
.348
.393
.741
.258
.297
.484
.781
2008
.263
.363
.337
.700
.278
.330
.311
.641
2007
.294
.366
.379
.745
.188
.240
.250
.490
2006
.277
.335
.445
.780
.234
.270
.351
.621

1998-2000: Put up mediocre numbers until pretty good partial season in high A in 2000. Just held his own after promotion to AA that year.

2001-03: Despite limited upper level experience, made major league roster in 2001 due to injuries wiping out team’s rotation and collapse of washed-up veterans brought in to replace them. Served as swing man for a while but eventually moved to full time relief due to ERA of 6.00 as starter. ERAs were better in relief, but peripherals remained weak, starting career-long pattern.

2004-05: Cut by Pirates at end of 2004 spring training after very bad spring. Caught on with Twins and struggled badly in AAA. Rebounded somewhat in AAA with Tampa Bay in 2005.

2006-08: Spent first month of 2006 in AAA, but got called up and was mainstay in Dodgers’ bullpen for three years. Main difference from Pirate years was improved control. Over time, Joe Torre used him more and more strictly against only LH batters. Oddly, peripherals were best in 2007, when ERA was worst of the three years, and worst in 2008, when ERA was best.

2009-10: Signed major league deal with Nationals for 2009. After throwing mostly fastballs during LA seasons, began throwing much more offspeed stuff. Results in Washington were largely the same as in LA, but was less effective after deadline deal to Rockies. Returned to Rockies on minor league deal in 2010, but made roster and pitched about the same as he had for Nats, except for very low K rate.

As the only experienced lefty reliever, Beimel was considered a near-lock to make the Pirates’ roster.  His contract gave him the right to become a free agent if he wasn’t on the team at the start of the season.  As it turned out, however, he suffered from elbow problems throughout March and wasn’t able to open the season.  He did a rehab in the minors and was added to the roster in mid-April.

How effective Beimel is will depend almost entirely on the degree to which manager Clint Hurdle avoids having him pitch to righty hitters. The change in managers should help; Hurdle’s predecessor, John Russell, paid little attention to the platoon advantage, using Javier Lopez mainly as a one-inning pitcher. Lopez’ other managers have used him exclusively as a LOOGY. Those managers include Hurdle, so hopefully he’ll handle Beimel properly.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: $1,750,000 (minor league deal) 

  • Can opt out of deal if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training.
  • $300,000 in performance bonuses

2010: $850,000 (minor league deal)
2009: $2,000,000
2008: $1,925,000 (avoided arbitration)
2007: $912,500 (lost arbitration)
2004: $535,000
2003: $322,000
2002: $227,000
2001: $200,000

PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 1998
MLB Debut: 4/8/2001
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2012
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2005)
MLB Service Time: 8.052
TRANSACTIONS
June 4, 1996: Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 26th round, 773rd overall.
June 2, 1998: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th round, 538th overall.
June 5, 1998:
Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a minor league contract.
March 31, 2004: Released by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
April 11, 2004: Signed by the Minnesota Twins to a minor league contract.
September 6, 2004: Contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins.
October 5, 2004: Designated for assignment by the Minnesota Twins.
December 13, 2004: Signed by the Tampa Bay Rays to a minor league contract.
July 3, 2005: Contract purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays.
November 22, 2005: Designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays.
January 25, 2006: Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers to a minor league contract.
May 1, 2006: Contract purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
March 18, 2009: Signed by the Washington Nationals as a free agent.
July 31, 2009: Acquired by the Colorado Rockies from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian.
March 23, 2010: Signed by the Colorado Rockies to a minor league contract.
April 16, 2010: Contract purchased by the Colorado Rockies.
January 28, 2011: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a minor league contract.
April 15, 2011:  Added to 40-man roster by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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