LEFT HANDED PITCHER
||Born: February 4, 1980
Drafted: 17th Round, 519th Overall, 2000 (Diamondbacks)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: Los Angeles Pierce College
Agent: Paragon Sports International
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Slaten has spent all or parts of six seasons in the majors, mainly as a lefty specialist. He doesn’t throw hard, averaging around 90 mph with his fastball. He throws a lot of sliders and the occasional change. He’s been reasonably effective against left-handed hitters to a 241/304/361 line. Right-handers, however, have hit 297/397/473 against him. He’s mostly been a groundball pitcher and has done a good job of keeping the ball in the park in the minors, although his HR rate has been about average in the majors. He’s had trouble with knee, shoulder and elbow injuries. The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract after the Nationals non-tendered him.
Debuted briefly in rookie ball.
The D’backs jumped Slaten up to high A. His numbers were poor, but considering that he was skipping two levels and pitching in the hitting-happy California League, his performance wasn’t alarming. He also may have been hampered some by knee problems.
Slaten struggled with shoulder and knee problems, starting just eight games in high A.
Back in high A for a third year, Slaten continued to struggle. The D’backs eventually moved him to the bullpen permanently.
Arizona sent Slaten all the way back to low A, although he at least pitched well there. He struggled in a brief stay in AA.
Slaten did much better in a second shot at AA, with a far higher K rate. He allowed only two HRs. Arizona added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
Slaten had an outstanding season split between AA and AAA, earning a September promotion to the majors. He allowed only one HR in the minors and put up excellent walk and K rates.
Spending the season in the majors, Slaten served mainly as a LOOGY. He had an excellent ERA, but his other numbers were only fair, as hitters batted .275 against him.
Slaten had only a mediocre season and was sent to the minors for a while in mid-July. He didn’t pitch especially well after returning in late August.
Slaten struggled in the early going and Arizona sent him to the minors in May. He returned for just one outing in July. At the end of the season he had surgery on a microfracture in his knee.
The Nationals claimed Slaten off waivers, then outrighted him to AAA shortly before spring training. He opened the season in AAA and pitched very well, so the Nats called him up in early May. He had his best season for them, putting up good, although not great, numbers.
Slaten had a mostly lost season in 2011. He struggled in the early going, allowing a large number of baserunners, and went on the disabled list with elbow irritation in early June. He ended up having surgery, although he was able to return in September. The Nats non-tendered him after the season.
Slaten didn’t pitch well in spring training and was sent to Indianapolis. He did extremely well there, albeit with a low K rate. The Pirates called him up in late May, a few days before he would have had the opportunity to opt out of his contract. Predictably, Clint Hurdle used Slaten in one-inning stints instead of using him as a LOOGY. In a month in the majors, Slaten faced only 14 left-handed hitters and allowed only two to reach base. He faced 41 right-handed hitters and allowed 15 to reach base, seven on walks. After a month, the Pirates optioned Slaten back to AAA, then the next day designated him for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for Oscar Tejeda. He cleared waivers and was assigned to Indianapolis. He continued to pitch well there until August, when he gave up eight of his entire season’s total of ten earned runs in just 6.2 IP.
Slaten could be useful to a team with a manager who’d use him correctly, but that manager isn’t Clint Hurdle. Two years in a row Hurdle has made the same mistake–in 2011 it was with Joe Beimel–taking a veteran reliever who’s proven himself to be effective only against left-handed batters and using him mostly against right-handed batters. It’d be best for everybody involved if Slaten tried another team in 2013.
2012: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2000
MLB Debut: 9/4/2006
MiLB FA Eligible: 2012
MLB FA Eligible: 2014
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 18, 2005
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2006, 2009)
MLB Service Time: 4.043
|June 2, 1998: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 29th round, 879th overall.
June 2, 1999: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 34th round, 1027th overall.
June 5, 2000: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 17th round, 519th overall; signed on July 5.
November 18, 2005: Contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
November 4, 2009: Claimed off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks by the Washington Nationals.
Febuary 14, 2010: Designated for assignment by the Washington Nationals; outrighted to AAA on January 18.
May 9, 2010: Called up by the Washington Nationals.
December 12, 2011: Non-tendered by the Washington Nationals and became a free agent.
January 11, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 28, 2012: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
June 27, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on July 6.