Often confused for Alfonseca, with whom he pitched for three years in Florida, which is why I put him here. It really is true, what they say: you can pitch forever without pitching well as long as you’re lefthanded. Almanza spent five years with the Marlins. In his first season, he had a super callup campaign, putting up a 1.72 ERA in 15 2/3 IP. For the last four years, he never had an ERA+ better than 92 (eight percent below average) or an unadjusted ERA better than 3.99. Last year he was so bad that the future Champs got rid of him in mid-August; he didn’t pitch after Aug. 19, finishing the season with a 6.08 ERA.
Almanza gives up lots of homers — about one every five innings the last three seasons. He doesn’t have very good control — about 4.5 walks per nine. He does have a good strikeout rate and sometimes gets ground balls. That last is likely to give him lots of opportunities with the Braves.