"The Octopus" has apparently wiggled his way into the Philly bullpen. Antonio Alfonseca, nicknamed "El Pulpo" because he has polydactyly, signed a 1-year deal with the Phillies today.
The twelve-fingered, twelve-toed freakazoid pitcher has had arm and back problems the last two years, limiting him to a total of 43 innings pitched. The year before that, El Pulpo had possibly his best season, a 6-4 2.57 campaign with the Braves.
Alfonseca's career hilights include leading the league in saves in 2000, being fat, and getting ejected for gut-bumping an umpire in 2003.
Analysis: It is times like this where you hope (pray?) that the Phils and their scouting department know more than we do. The Miami Herald reported that El Pulpo "has lost 28 pounds and is pitching well for La Romana in the Dominican winter league," but who really knows? He could provide large, intimidating, hard-throwing bullpen depth. He also could get injured early or be completely useless. Concerning the weight loss, that I'm not buying. He will be fat, and unless Lieber gets traded, there is going to be some competition at the post-game buffet line. In respect to the blog, his pitching style, size, and extra digits should provide ample material for commentary. All in all, I'm for it.