On Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rays promoted veteran minor league relief pitcher Diego Moreno to the major league roster. He took the loss in the May 9th game against the Kansas City Royals, giving up a run on two hits and two walks. Although already 29 years old, he’s a rookie, so here’s a review.
Moreno is from Venezuela and was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2006. Despite battles with elbow and shoulder soreness, he was generally effective at the lower levels, used almost exclusively in the bullpen. Traded to the New York Yankees in 2012, he reached the majors briefly with the Bronx Bombers in 2015. He signed with the Rays as a free agent for 2017 and was pitching very well in Triple-A before his promotion, posting a 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings with a 17/3 K/BB.
Born July 21, 1987, he is listed at 6-1, 180. His fastball is clocked as high as 96 MPH and generally averages 93-94. He can mix in a slider and change-up, and while his secondary pitches aren’t spectacular, they work well enough when his command is on.
Overall this is a middle relief profile, an 11th man on an MLB staff.