The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed pitcher Felix Jorge to a minor league contract. That deal comes with an invitation to spring training.

Felix Jorge is a 25-year-old with limited big league experience. In 2017 he made two starts for the Minnesota Twins as a 23-year-old. Most of that season was spent in Double-A Chattanooga, where he posted a 3.54 ERA in 22 starts. He also made three starts in Triple-A with Rochester that season.

It was his 2018 season that didn’t go as planned. He began the season on the disabled list with a knee injury. Then he dealt with a triceps injury later in the season. That led to Felix Jorge making just two rehab appearances for the Gulf Coast League Twins in the Florida State League. He was released by the Twins in late June, and almost immediately re-signed. But he didn’t pitch again after his June 22nd appearance in the Gulf Coast League.

The 25-year-old has been a solid prospect in the Minnesota Twins system for years. He entered the 2018 season rated as the 12th best prospect in their organization according to Baseball America. The report from the Prospect Handbook notes that he has a fastball that worked between 88-94 MPH, with a good change up, and he throws both a slider and a curveball. He’s been a good groundball guy throughout his career, with rates right around 50% for his minor league career.

Felix Jorge doesn’t miss a lot of bats, or at least hasn’t since he reached Double-A. In 2016 over 74.1 innings he only had 32 strikeouts. That rate did improve in 2017 when he struck out 99 batters in 134.2 innings. Still, the improvement only got him to a 17.6% strikeout rate, which is still well below-average. What he does do, though, is throw a lot of strikes. He rarely walks hitters, with walk rates around the 5-6% range for his career.

The projection for Felix Jorge is probably more likely as a swingman-type of guy. While he will be in spring training with the big league club, with the competition he’s up against, I’d venture to guess he winds up in the Louisville rotation for 2019.

22 Responses

  1. CP

    Decent depth piece at no risk. I will be interested to see how fills out the AAA rotation alongside of this guy.

    Santillian, Reed, Mella, Lopez, Jorge?, Wisler, Sims (out of options?), Stephens

    Some ok AAAA guys in here alongside a couple that could impact a few different ways. Really hope SAntillian has another step forward as well as Reed as SP’s. The rest of these guys may best help the team long term in the bullpen.

  2. Wes

    For a team that has 30 million to spend they sure are signing a bunch of no bodys.

    Fill your 40 man roster with players that can contribute to this years team vs a bunch of lotto tickets and guys who have never cut it and never will.

    Reds made big moves to get respectable and should be building on that bc every player they acquired will be a free agent very soon.

    They should be making room and acquiring as many starters as possible for this coming season vs collecting or keeping the lot they have. Come on management- step it up !!

      • Alex

        Dominoes beginning to fall. Seems players lack leverage and those waiting are getting squeezed. Lots of value to be had for a good price in another cold stove year.

      • Oldtimer

        Grandal signed by Brewers. 1 year, $18 million. Turned down more $ earlier.

      • Doug Gray

        Firstly, I’m not sure he actually turned that down. Second, let’s just pretend that he did turn down the rumored Mets offer. We’re those the only two deals out there? And if they were, it doesn’t change much of what I was saying – teams are being cheap and no one is signing anyone.

      • Wes

        Nobody signing is perfect time to add quality players vs no body’s. Brewers just keep getting better while rest of central has their hands in their pockets. Go get gio Gonzales and Ervin Santana so u can compete and spend that money you said you wanted to spend.

      • Bill

        I wonder if Grandal could have been signed for 3 years and $48M. Very surprising to see him take a 1-year deal … was it that bad with the Dodgers?

      • Bill

        I think the lack of signings is due to:

        1. Yankees and Dodgers have been transitioning away from longer contracts; Red Sox are already way over the luxury tax. I think a modest measure of restraint among these three teams is actually good for MLB long-term.

        2. Teams are tanking including a few that normally spend bigger (e.g., Mariners, Tigers, Rangers). I expect the players to address this in the next CBA. Owners should be amiable–tanking is now an epidemic and this is not good for MLB long term. Fans want to see competitive baseball.

        3. All of the teams seem gun-shy on the really long-term contracts that Harper and Machado are rumored to be chasing. I think both along with Kimbrel and Keuchel will ultimately sign for less than widely predicted. I think analytical data are scaring teams away from $200M plus contracts.

        4. Young players are too cheap in comparison to veterans. Take Gray vs. Mella. If both players start, Gray probably generates more WAR for his team, but last year he was really replacement level. Is that really better than Mella could do out of the bullpen plus say another free agent (i.e., Holland, Miley, Gonzalez) in the #5 spot of the rotation for the $9M you’d have to pay for Sonny Gray? If I were the players, I’d try to move arbitration to year #2 in the next CBA. This would raise the cost of young players and mitigate the strategy teams employ to get a “7th year” by keeping players down for a couple of weeks.

      • Doug Gray

        Screw arbitration. Just start paying them their actual value from the get go.

    • MK

      It is a minor league contract, he is not filling a part of 40-man

  3. Optimist

    This seems like a great AAAA signing – see how he does with the Bats. Also just noticed B Boxberger is a FA – wonder if they’re looking at him – likely affordable and still very useful.

  4. Krozley

    Lots of minor league signings announced for the Reds including Mitch Nay and Jon Moscot. Elizalde and Iribarren back as well.

  5. sixpack2

    Doug, ‘Screw arbitration. Just start paying them their actual value from the get go’. What is value, worth? and how do you determine that? These young men 18/22 work their way through the minors chasing their dream. If they make it they NEVER have to work another day of their life. Not a bad risk for that chance at 18/22. It only takes a Million to never work again in most States. Pay cash up to $200,000 for a House, buy a Life annuity with $600000, and live tight for a few years on the rest ($200000). This works great in Florida. A cap would tighten salaries even more as you are talking 25 players on a Team, where adding a 26th would benefit the players.

    • Doug Gray

      When rookies-third year players make $550,000 no matter how good they are, they aren’t getting their right value.

      • seadog

        Could not agree more. Let supply/demand set the market, not an antiquated arbitration/control system…

      • sixpack2

        So we pay performers more and get rid of the minimum and pay bench players less? OR do salaries only go up? Who makes those decisions? I think two years of $550000 at 20,21,22,23 will allow you to never work another day of your life, With expenses paid $50000 is a good income, leaving $1000000 for investment.

      • sixpack2

        Could not agree more with supply and demand, but salaries would go down. All the poorer teams would work at low base and take players that the NY, LA, etc can not hire due to 25 players limit on a team. The problem is all Teams do not have a $250000000 cable contract. The other problem is only about 10 rich teams would compete each year and long term contracts would disappear. Players would make less and only those players preforming would be retained.

      • sixpack2

        I should have added that supply and demand was how it work before Miller and that is why great players had a hard time making 1 million.

      • Bill

        What the arbitration/pre-arbitration process accounts for is the fact that young baseball players are the hardest to accurately predict for performance and therefore assign an accurate monetary value to. Under the CBA, the owners want a system that accounts for this risk by minimizing the cost of the least experienced players. The players have accepted arbitration and the pre-arb process in exchange for more dollars flowing to the more experienced (arb eligible/free agents).

        “Let supply/demand set the market”. Isn’t that what a CBA does … market value was set through negotiations with both sides equally represented. Additionally, baseball is a game. Games have rules to try to maintain a level playing field among competing teams. When there have been limited rules on amateur talent acquisition, the largest market teams have exploited their structural advantage and dominated player acquisition.

        My guess is that players will want to address the fact that young, unproven players are being routinely valued over non-elite, but proven veteran players. A fairly simple way to resolve this issue would be to move the arbitration from 3 years of service time to 2 years of service time.