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Tigers sign Mariano Gomez

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The Tigers signed left-handed relief pitcher Mariano Gomez to a minor league deal. OK, like a couple days ago. I'm a bit late to the story.

The Toledo Blade's John Wagner, who has been blogging more frequently about the Mud Hens, shared a little insight on the deal recently at Coop Scoop.

At the most, Gomez could provide a southpaw arm to the Tigers’ bullpen – and with Triple-A ERAs under 3.00 for each of the past three seasons, that’s entirely possible. "He’s got the stuff and the mentality to be in the big leagues right now," Gwinnett pitching coach Derek Botelho said in 2009. Further, Gomez has an intriguing back-story: he’s vying to become just the second player, and first pitcher, from Honduras to play in the major leagues.

Baseball America's Matt Eddy, who reported the signing, tweeted that Gomez has good secondary stuff but no overpowering pitch.

The 28-year-old Gomez has been pretty successful in the Braves' organization over the past few years of Triple-A ball. He had an ERA of 1.99 in 2009 and 2.89 (or 3.02, depending which place you find the stats) last season. However, his FIP was a bit higher, closer to 4.00 for both seasons.

It's easy to see why Gomez has the higher FIP. According to FirstInning.com, he struck out 14.8% of batters he saw in 2010, up from 12.5% in 2009. He walked 9.8% in 2010, 10% in 2009. In other words, that control thing seems to be bringing him down.

What Gomez does well, at least lately, is battle left-handed batters. He held them to a .234 average, .302 on-base percentage and .350 slugging last season, Eddy reported.

In any case, it's a nice bit of lefty depth in the organization while we wait to see if Detroit can help him make any adjustments to improve his command.