At 12:43 ET on Saturday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners’ public relations Twitter announced that the club had acquired right-handed reliever Arquimedes Caminero from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a pair of players to be named later. To make room for Caminero on the 25-man roster, Seattle has designated right-hander Blake Parker for assignment.
#Mariners acquire RHP Arquimedes Caminero from Pittsburgh in exchange for a PTBNL and a conditional PTBNL. RHP Blake Parker has been DFA.
— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) August 6, 2016
The six-foot-four, 245 pound Caminero debuted in the majors during the 2013 season, but last year was his first full campaign with a big-league club. In 73 games out of the Pirates’ bullpen, the Dominican hurler posted a modest 3.62 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 74.2 innings pitched. Despite possessing the second-hardest fastball of any qualified reliever last season, trailing only Aroldis Chapman, Caminero didn’t even crack the top 50 in terms of strikeout rate with 73 punchouts on the year. While he prevented hits relatively well, allowing 7.6 H/9, he walked batters too often (3.5 BB/9) to be a truly shut-down reliever.
Caminero’s ERA has stayed relatively constant, as he’s put up a 3.51 mark in 39 outings with Pittsburgh this season. His peripheral numbers have taken a nosedive, however, as he’s struck out just 32 batters and walked 22 in 41.0 innings of work. Caminero continues to throw very hard, averaging 97.7 mph on his fastball this year, but has become much less effective at converting that “good stuff” into actual results.
Caminero joins a bullpen now anchored by the Puerto Rican phenom Edwin Diaz, who’s done nothing this year but dominate Double-A, skip Triple-A, and begin his major-league career by striking out 56 of the first 121 batters he’s faced, good for a mind-boggling 46.3 percent strikeout rate. While the price they pay for the 29-year-old Caminero will likely be negligible, Seattle surely hopes his live arm can find more effectiveness with a change of scenery in the Pacific northwest.