The Giants signed Mason Tobin to a minor-league contract according to Matt Eddy from Baseball Ameríca. I almost want to do a "13 things about Mason Tobin" post, but some of my traditional crutches aren't available to me:
And when I enter his name into my photo tool, I get a guy windsurfing, a broken link, and some dude who was on the Rangers. I think the one we're interested in is the pitcher on the Rangers, with "interested" being a relative term.
But we know a couple of things about him. First, Mason Tobin sounds like a Padres name, and the Padres usually have a good bullpen. That's not a guess; that's proper onomastics, which is like the sabermetrics of names.
The second thing is that the Rangers wanted him enough to take him in a Rule 5 draft, and the Rangers are usually smart.
The third thing is that Tobin's arm went kerflooey in 2011, and he still hasn't come back. At least, not at a professional level. I'm assuming he's been diligently rehabbing and showcasing his arm for other teams, but he hasn't pitched in a game for a while.
The fourth thing is that he's now 25, he's been in professional baseball since 2007, and he's thrown a total of 101⅔ innings:
That, plus 5⅓ in the majors after he was a Rule 5 pick in 2010. There was Tommy John surgery in 2009, which knocked him out for 2010. Then in 2011, he had Tommy John surgery again, which kept him out of 2012.
You know, I hear people suggest that Tommy John should make the Hall of Fame based on his career and place in baseball's medical history. But from what I can see, Tommy John is kind of a dick. Always cutting dudes open, ripping out their ligaments. It's not my place to judge, I guess, but it seems a bit dickish.
But there's something about Tobin that intrigues me. Mainly, the part where a pitching-smart team like the Giants would be interested in him after two surgeries and a total of eight innings pitched since the Giants fielded a lineup with Scott McClain at first, Eugenio Velez at second, and Ivan Ochoa at short.
There's a 97 percent chance that this post will have the same staying power as a "Giants sign Brandon Villafuerte" post from 2005, which is something that actually happened. But there's a two-percent chance he becomes a Justin Miller, and a one-percent chance he becomes John Johnstone. And, in case you haven't figured out, I like digging around these minor-league deals a bit.
I think the interest comes from the Giants hitting on Andres Torres, Ryan Vogelsong, and Gregor Blanco in recent years. I did the same kind of uninformed speculation during the tech bubble at the turn of the millenium and ended up with a bunch of FogDog.com stock. Which probably means that Mason Tobin is going to be acquired in a takeover, and he'll be replaced with the shares of a bigger reliever.
Mason Tobin, everybody. You probably won't see him in the majors, but the Giants like his arm, and they're smarter than I am, so we're talking about it right now. Well, some of us, anyway. You're probably talking about the Oscar nominees or lunch or something.