Indians sign reliever David Aardsma

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The man who beat Hank Aaron is now an Indian

The Indians have signed right-hander reliever David Aardsma to a Minor League deal with an invitation to spring training.

Aardsma pitched for the Mets in 2013, but struggled in 43 appearances, posting a 4.31 ERA (83 ERA+). He struck out 8.2 per 9 innings, which is good, but he also walked 4.1 and allowed 1.6 home runs per 9 innings, both of which are bad. Aardsma was closer for the Mariners in 2009 and 2010, but pitched only 1 total inning between 2011 and 2012, after an operation on his hip and then Tommy John surgery.

Here are his numbers from the last few years:

Year Age Tm ERA G SV IP HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2009 27 SEA 2.52 73 38 71.1 4 34 80 169 1.164 0.5 4.3 10.1
2010 28 SEA 3.44 53 31 49.2 5 25 49 115 1.168 0.9 4.5 8.9
2012 30 NYY 9.00 1 0 1.0 1 1 1 64 2.000 9.0 9.0 9.0
2013 31 NYM 4.31 43 0 39.2 7 19 36 83 1.462 1.6 4.3 8.2
8 Yrs 4.23 298 69 306.1 35 169 305 102 1.436 1.0 5.0 9.0

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com

In 2013 his pitches came in at ~3 MPH slower than they had before the surgeries, and what had been a very good fastball become quite hittable. Unless that velocity returns once he's furthered removed from the operating table, Aardsma seems an unlikely candidate to throw significant innings for the Tribe in 2014, but he gives them another option to look at when pitchers and catchers report next month.

Aardsma's true claim to fame is that his name comes first on an alphabetical list of every player in MLB history. That spot had previously been held by Hank Aaron, which was a whole lot cooler.

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