Perdomo could stick by the bay
SAN FRANCISCO—For the second consecutive year, the Giants used their early position in the Rule 5 draft to take a hard-throwing pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Except this time, the move could fill an important hole on the roster.
Last year, the Giants took a shot at longshot lefthander Jose Capellan, who didn't make the team and was returned to the Red Sox. This time around they selected righthander Luis Perdomo from the Cardinals.
In the days leading up to the Winter Meetings, the Giants flew righthander Merkin Valdez back to San Francisco after he experienced more problems with his surgically repaired right elbow in the Dominican League. After a second opinion it was decided another procedure was needed.
With Valdez out Perdomo, 24, has a legitimate chance to stick in the majors. He was a Carolina League all-star at midseason for high Class A Kinston in the Indians organization, earned a promotion to Double-A Akron, then went to the Cardinals in the July trade for righthander Anthony Reyes.
Perdomo spent the rest of the season with Double-A Springfield. He finished 7-3, 2.36 overall in 72 innings and averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings, a function of his plus fastball that is consistently in the 93-95 mph range.
"They took the right guy," a Cardinals scout said. "He was the best guy we couldn't protect."
While standing barely 6 feet, Perdomo is athletic with good arm speed and the ability to get loose quickly. He throws a slider that is above-average and has shown the ability to throw strikes with his changeup, which should help against lefthanded hitters.
Because he profiles as a short reliever, it will be most important for him to improve his fastball command.
• The Giants lost one player in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft when the Athletics snagged outfielder Ben Copeland with the 10th overall pick. Copeland was the Giants' first selection in the 2005 draft, though that was the year they didn't pick until the fourth round.
• Tim Lincecum did not fill out an enrollment form for the World Baseball Classic and does not intend to participate, but Team USA manager Davey Johnson said he would contact Lincecum to try to convince him otherwise.