Mike Crotta signs with Nationals

Dilip Vishwanat

Former Pirates reliever Mike Crotta has signed with the Washington Nationals, Adam Kilgore reports. Crotta broke camp with the Bucs in 2011, thanks largely to his ability to get ground balls, but he quickly fell apart wound up on the disabled list with elbow trouble. (In retrospect, he also may not have gotten much help from the umpires in the bigs, which didn't help his numbers.) Crotta ended up missing the entire 2012 season as well, also with elbow trouble.

Crotta became a minor-league free agent after the 2012 season and apparently impressed the Nats by throwing 96 MPH at a tryout. If he can reliably hit 93, as he did in his big-league stint in 2011, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he could be a good reliever in the majors. The odds are against him, but that's why he only got a minor-league contract.

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