RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: October 20, 1980
Height: 6′ 6″
Signed: International FA, Tampa Bay Rays, 1998
How Acquired: Minor League FA
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|The Pirates signed Veras to a minor league contract for 2011 after the Marlins non-tendered him. He’s a big, hard-throwing reliever who’s had control problems throughout most of his career. His fastball ranges from 93-96, topping out around 97. He also frequently throws a curve and the occasional change or splitter. The curve is much more effective than his fastball, which led to him throwing it 40% of the time in 2011. He’s generally been a flyball pitcher, leading to occasional gopher ball problems. He’s more or less equally effective against batters from both sides of the plate. Despite his stuff, he’s drifted around a lot because of control problems.
The Devil Rays brought Veras to the GCL at age 17.
Moving up to advanced rookie ball, Veras struggled with his control in 14 starts, walking more than he fanned.
In low A and still starting, Veras made a lot of progress, as his walk and K rates were dramatically improved.
In high A Veras made marginal improvements in everything but his K rate.
Missed over half the season due to injury. He started 11 games in high A and made two rehab starts in short season ball.
Finally making it to AA, Veras had easily his best season to that point, for the first time allowing fewer hits than he had innings pitched. He made three relief appearances in AAA at the end of the season.
Veras struggled in AAA and Tampa Bay moved him to relief for about half the season. He also got sent down to AA to make three starts there.
Went to Texas as a minor league free agent and converted permanently to relief. He spent the year in AAA and his K rate jumped dramatically, but his effectiveness didn’t. His ERA was decent, but he had trouble with walks.
Veras moved on to the Yankees as a free agent and made significant progress in AAA, reducing walks greatly while maintaining a high K rate. The Yankees called him up in August and he pitched decently in a dozen games.
An elbow injury cost Veras most of the season. He got in nine games with the Yankees, saving two of them, and pitched a dozen games in AAA as well as a few rehab games.
Called up to Yankees at the beginning of May after pitching well in AAA, Veras spent the rest of the season in the majors. Opponents only hit .235 against him, but he walked too many and allowed seven HRs.
Veras struggled in 25 games with the Yankees, as his walk rate increased, his K rate dropped sharply and he allowed a HR every five innings. The Yankees sent him to the Indians for cash in late June and he continued struggling, leading to a trip to AAA for most of August. He pitched well after returning in September, allowing one earned run, seven hits and five walks in 11.2 IP.
Veras moved on again as a free agent, this time to Florida. He spent most of the first half in AAA, pitching poorly. The Marlins brought him up anyway and he was more effective. Opponents hit only .187 against him, but he walked more than ever.
Veras signed a minor league contract with the Pirates calling for a $1M salary if he made the major league roster, which he did to the surprise of no one. He reportedly chose the Pirates over five other teams, no doubt because he believed it’d be easier to win a spot in their bullpen. He pitched very much like he had with the Marlins. The Pirates originally intended him to pitch before the 8th inning, but Evan Meek’s season-long problems led to him being the closest thing they had to a setup man for Joel Hanrahan. Due to his control issues, though, he wasn’t consistent enough to settle into the role permanently.
Veras is eligible for arbitration and will receive a raise, although probably not a dramatic one. The Pirates have more depth in right-handed relievers than they’ve had in the past, with Meek hopefully healthy, and Jason Grilli, Dan McCutchen, Chris Resop, Chris Leroux and possibly Jared Hughes also in the mix. Whether the Pirates non-tender Veras will depend on how they evaluate the various pitchers and their value. Grilli and Resop are also eligible for arbitration, while Veras is the oldest of the group except for Grilli. Veras’ control issues make him somewhat risky, but his track record over the last several years is better than Grilli. Both Veras and Grilli pitched better than Resop in 2011. The odds of the Pirates retaining Veras are probably fairly high.
|2011: $1,000,000 (minor league contract)
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 1998
MLB Debut: 8/5/2006
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2006, 2007, 2008)
MLB Service Time: 4.128
|January 19, 1998: Signed by the Tampa Bay Rays as an international free agent.
November 15, 2004:Signed by the Texas Rangers as a minor league free agent.
November 27, 2005: Signed by the New York Yankees as a minor league free agent.
June 18, 2006: Contract purchased by the New York Yankees.
June 16, 2009: Designated for assignment by the New York Yankees.
June 24, 2009: Acquired by the Cleveland Indians from the New York Yankees for cash considerations.
January 29, 2010: Signed by the Florida Marlins as a minor league free agent.
April 3, 2010: Contract purchased by the Florida Marlins.
April 14, 2010: Designated for assignment by the Florida Marlins.
April 16, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the Florida Marlins.
June 25, 2010: Contract purchased by the Florida Marlins.
January 16, 2011: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.
March 31, 2011: Added to the 40-man roster.