Pirates Reliever Eliecer Cardenas, Acquired for Matt Diaz, Wins MiLBY


When it was announced that the Braves had acquired Matt Diaz, Pittsburgh Pirates fans rejoiced.

Hell, that’s an understatement. We nearly called Zambelli to book an afternoon show. On a day that Pirates fans might need some good news–check this out.  The right handed pitcher with the ability to touch mid-90’s with his fastball has won an award for his performance in 2011.

Dig up a sparkler from your garage.  Go ahead, you deserve some excitement on a day like today.

Sure, Eliecer Cardenas doesn’t come without some serious question marks especially his performance in AA this year.  But given that we no longer need to gaze at Diaz in right field for another season is reason enough for me to smile.

Especially when we read that Cardenas needs to trust his fastball if he wants to succeed.   If a pitcher learns one thing in the Bucs system it’s fastball command.

Now if Cardenas can make it through the Rule 5 draft, which shouldn’t be all that difficult, the Bucs could be onto something.

Repost:  Pirates Land Reliever to Wrap Up Diaz Trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates landed 6’2″ Eliecer Cardenas to complete the Matt Diaz trade.

Cardenas is 23-years-old and a right-handed pitcher that didn’t throw well in his first ever time in Double-A this season. He made five appearances at AA Mississippi. In three innings he allowed 15 hits and gave up nine earned runs on two bombs, six walks and just one strikeout.

Maybe he wasn’t a fan of Mississippi? I hear it can be a tough place.

The Braves selected Cardenas in the minor league Rule 5 draft last year. He was with the Twins for five seasons.

Cardenas was a high A ball stud this season with 75 strikeouts and only 31 hits in 56.2 innings pitched. He had an 0.79 ERA despite allowing 29 walks. He also had a stretch of dominance pitching 19.2 scoreless innings in 15 consecutive appearances.

He has spent six years in minor league ball and despite some nice numbers, 2.52 ERA in 138 games with 26 starts and 284 strikeouts in 297 innings, four of those were in the DSL so don’t too excited yet.

The one thing that I do like is that Cardenas can miss bats. That’s a positive. He’s not much of a prospect from the outside, but who knows what can happen moving forward. His slider has been called filthy so perhaps he can develop into a relief prospect.

Matt Diaz was a negative. Cardenas at least has an outside chance of helping a major league roster in the near future.  That’s not something we could say about Diaz, who was yet another failure in free agency for the Bucs.

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