On the topic of the bullpen, I see that Mark Sheldon at Reds.com has this profile of Kerry Ligtenberg, who is struggling to make the team:
“I was close to being done, actually,” said Ligtenberg, who is in Reds camp as a non-roster player trying to make the team.
Ligtenberg, a Minneapolis area native, already has a chemical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. He began laying the groundwork toward adding a finance degree and plans to take courses over the Internet. A life of leisure also sounded appealing.
“I told my wife I’d like to spend the summer fishing, but she wasn’t real keen on that,” Ligtenberg said.
Ultimately, Ligtenberg wasn’t keen about any of those post-baseball options either, at least not yet. The 35-year-old right-hander still wanted to pitch in the Major Leagues. He spent most of the offseason working out with a personal trainer and keeping his arm in shape.
You won’t be surprised to learn why GM Wayne Krivsky signed Ligtenberg, though: because the Twins told him to!
On Feb. 3, Ligtenberg participated in the annual University of Minnesota pro-alumni game at the Metrodome and threw a scoreless inning against the current Golden Gophers team.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan was in attendance, as were a handful of scouts. The Twins didn’t have any spots for Ligtenberg, but he was offered encouragement.
“[Ryan] said I could still pitch,” Ligtenberg said. “I know he’s pretty straightforward. If he said I stunk, it would have been time to shut it down.”
Always looking for bullpen help, the Reds were interested. Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky, a former Twins assistant GM, phoned Ryan and got a positive endorsement. Cincinnati signed Ligtenberg to a Minor League deal on Feb. 14, just three days before Spring Training opened.
I’m hopeful for Ligtenberg. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think he could help this team.