Left handed relievers are hard to come by. And that might be an understatement.
I’m sure that when you think of all the plethora of young pitchers in the Astros’ farm system, Sogard is not a name that comes to mind. That is for good reason. But, that does not mean we should not be thinking of Sogard as an option in the 2014 bullpen.
Last season the 26-year old split his time between AA Corpus Christi and AAA Oklahoma City. Between the two levels, Sogard logged 48 innings in 38 games out of the bullpen striking out 37 batters while finishing 12 games and recording three saves.
After recording a 2.88 ERA in 16 games for Corpus Christi, Sogard was not able to repeat that success in AAA logging a 9.39 ERA in 22 games. For the season, he had an ERA of 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.77. Those are not exactly numbers that will have Bo Porter looking to summon him to Houston.
That was on the heels of a solid 2012 campaign for Sogard that saw him pitching for High-A Lancaster before getting the call up to Corpus Christi. In 69.2 innings, Sogard had a 3.62 ERA and 1.51 WHIP with 52 strikeouts. That was enough to pique Houston’s interest as they sent him to Arizona last fall.
Sogard pitched 11.1 innings for the Solar Sox and allowed 18 runs (14 earned).
Left-handed relievers are always useful and Sogard has been able to have success through the AA level. With a strong fall for Peoria, he potentially could pitch himself into the bullpen conversation for next season. Clearly as this season proved, you never can have enough arms for the late innings.