Littleton Added on MiLB Contract
Littleton is a sidearmer whom you probably remember from the Rangers organization where he got scattered big league appearances in 2006-8. Two winters ago, he was traded to the Red Sox for a PTBNL, and Boston turned around DFA’d him early in the next spring, leaving him to be picked up by the Brew Crew. He spent ’09 in their org, but fared poorly, with nearly eleven hits and eight walks per nine innings. It was over just 45.2 innings total, split between double and triple-A, but suffice to say it didn’t make him a hot commodity this winter.
In his debut campaign, Littleton was a rather interesting pitcher, despite velocity only in the high-80s complemented by a high-70s change. His super-low batting average on balls in play (.196!) was a concern, combined with only 17 Ks in 36.1 innings, but he mitigated that getting four grounders for every fly and, at the time, no one was squaring up against him. Subsequent returns to the league have been much worse overall, even as his Ks got up to a comfortable level. One odd note is that it seemed that in ’08, his fastball had more horizontal movement than ever, while his change was lagging behind.
As his ’09 campaign was a disaster, I wouldn’t expect much of him out of the gate. Working with Rick Adair again may prove helpful to him, but he was up and down in his time with the Rangers too. As a sidearmer, he’s not good against left-handers, so that’s working against him. He’s extra insurance to keep around if neither Texeira nor White can hack it and no one else steps up.