Amid all of the roster moves made on Tuesday, one slipped through the cracks on our end. While they were adding a whole lot of names, and taking a few off, to the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline, they added another bit of pitching depth to the organization. As first reported by Masslive’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox signed right-handed pitcher Domingo Tapia to a minor-league contract.
Tapia is a 27-year-old righty (he’ll turn 28 next August) that originally signed as an international amateur free agent with the Mets. He made his professional debut in New York’s system back in 2010. Since that time he has not made any appearances in the majors. After becoming a minor-league free agent, he eventually signed with the Reds prior to the 2017 season and stayed in that organization until following this past year.
Although he started out as a starting pitching prospect, he has pitched mostly out of relief in recent years, starting just 14 games out of 86 appearances. Tapia has split each of the last two seasons between Double-A and Triple-A, spending most of 2017 in the former and most of 2018 in the latter. Over his professional career he has never been able to put up eye-popping numbers, relying largely on weak contact rather than missing a lot of bats. In 2018 over 63 innings and 47 appearances (four starts) in Triple-A, he posted a 3.43 ERA, a 4.06 FIP and a 4.07 DRA. He also struck out just 6.4 batters per nine innings and walked 3.7 per nine.
Ultimately, Tapia is likely not much more than emergency depth, though it’s possible Brian Bannister and company see something they could improve to get him into a more major-league caliber reliever. Still, it’s always nice to have as much depth as possible.
As a side note, I just wanted to mention that we will be taking the rest of the weekend off for the holiday unless the Red Sox make any moves. So everyone here in the States have a good Thanksgiving, and everyone internationally, well, you can have a good weekend too. We’ll be back Monday.