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  • Anyone Want a (Mark) Hamburger?

    It seems like every week or two, there is a pitcher who is designated for assignment by a team. In the Twins Daily Forums, we discuss whether or not the Twins should consider claiming him or not. This article is no different.

    On Friday, the Texas Rangers added Roy Oswalt to their 40 man roster. To make room for him, Mark Hamburger was Designated for Assignment.

    Hamburger is a Minnesota native who went to Mesabi Range CC and later signed with the Twins after a tryout camp at the Metrodome. In 2008, he was closing for the Elizabethton Twins when he learned that he had been traded to the Texas Rangers for Eddie Guardado. He climbed consistently up the Rangers ladder. In 2011, he began the season in AA, advanced to AAA And made five appearances for the Rangers in September. Although he wasn't on the Rangers' playoff rosters, he was allowed in the dugout and clubhouse. What an experience.

    In previous years, he was clocked with a fastball between 91 and 96 mph as a reliever. He also had a hard slider and a split-finger fastball. This year, the 25-year-old's velocity is said to be down around 90. He has pitched all season in AAA where he made three starts before moving to the bullpen. Overall this year, he has a 6.55 ERA in 45.1 innings. He has given up 66 hits (includind 7 home runs) and 21 walks while striking out 37.

    So, there may be some concern about his numbers, and certainly some concern about the lack of velocity. But there are reasons for the Twins to consider claiming Hamburger. First and foremost, the team needs pitching. When he is on, he throws a lot of strikes and throws quite hard. He can miss bats. He could be a very good big league reliever. His numbers aren't good, but he is pitching in the Pacific Coast League. It is a nice story, the former non-drafted kid from Minnesota, signed afte a tryout camp, is always fun! Finally, he was not added to the Rangers 40 man roster until last September when he was promoted. In other words, 2012 is his first option year. He has two more option years.

    I think it's worth the gamble.

    Hamburger was taking the news well. In a text message to Twins Daily, he wrote, "It's all good. I'm not mad since Roy Oswalt is the (other half of the transaction). It should all work out for the best."

    When asked about the possibility that the Twins could sign him, he wrote, "Wouldn't that be cool!"

    We shall see.

    This article was originally published in blog: Anyone Want a (Mark) Hamburger? started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      That would be awesome if we signed him because of the good story and he loves the Twins! Of course that shouldn't be the main reason for signing him. I was also undrafted and the Twins are my favorite team.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Considering the drop in velocity, I would hope that the Twins would arrange for thorough physicals. They have already had their share of TJ surgeries.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      It looks like Texas was using him in the same role we use Gray, Manship or Swarzak.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      If the Twins claimed him, they could send him to Rochester or New Britain. Need arms down there too. I'm concerned about the velocity too, but like his potential...
    1. ossieO's Avatar
      ossieO -
      With 2 open spots on the 40 man roster (plus Nishioka, who could be dropped), there is no harm in claiming him. The Twins can always change their mind and release him later.

      The Twins are still first in the waiver claim order, so I believe that unless the Rangers work out a trade for Hamburger, the Twins can get him.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      What could it possibly hurt to bring him aboard? If the MO of the front office is to throw waiver wires into RF until something sticks, you'd think the same maxim applies for pitchers.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Why not! You wouldn't even have to pay Tuesday for him. (I couldn't resist)
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
      Why not! You wouldn't even have to pay Tuesday for him. (I couldn't resist)
      I'd be curious how many people on this board would even recognize the reference. I guess it shows my age that I did.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I'll take some fries with that...

      Why not?
    1. benhertz's Avatar
      benhertz -
      He could take Anthony Slama's spot in the Rochester bullpen.

      If the organization is planning on trading a few of their current relievers for A-AA players, it would be best to load up Rochester with pitchers who could potentially help the Twins this season and 2013.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      mlbtraderumors reports San Diego has picked Hamburger up and optioned him to AAA.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      apparently the padres had the first claim, so the twins had no opportunity to claim hamburger.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      apparently the padres had the first claim, so the twins had no opportunity to claim hamburger.
      I thought with waivers every team in the same league as the DFAer had a shot first, before the clubs from the other league did. Has that changed?
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I was under the same impression. Color me confused.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      Bark's comment was hilarious- well played!
    1. benhertz's Avatar
      benhertz -
      DFA'd by the Padres today.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
      I'd be curious how many people on this board would even recognize the reference. I guess it shows my age that I did.
      It made my eyes pop.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      It made my eyes pop.
      Gee Whiz. You guys make it sound like it was a Theodore Roosevelt speech from 1907. I am 37 years old and I am sure that there are people within 5 years below that who know who Wimpy and Popeye are. If our job is as historians/custodians of golden age cartoons/comics so be it, but I wouldn't consider it ancient history. (Food, Food, Food - Everything is Food).
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      On another note - I want to have an affair with the Sea Hag.
    1. benhertz's Avatar
      benhertz -
      The Houston Astros claimed Mark Hamburger off waivers from the Padres.

      Link
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