July 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM
The Red Sox have signed right-handed pitcher Nelson Figueroa to a minor league contract, reports Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times. The veteran of nine major league seasons is the only graduate of Brandeis University to appear in the major leagues.
Figueroa, 38, was originally drafted in the 30th round of the 1995 draft by the Mets. He made his major league debut in June of 2000 with the Diamondbacks, and also pitched for Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, the Mets, Philadelphia, and Houston across nine seasons. He started 65 of his 145 appearances, going 20-35 with a 4.55 ERA in 499.0 innings pitched. Figueroa's best major league season came in 2010. Splitting time between the Phillies and Astros, he went 7-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 93.0 innings, striking out 73 and walking 34. He last appeared in the majors with Houston in May 2011.
After signing a minor league contract with the Blue Jays in the off-season, Figueroa was cut at the end of spring training. Hooking on with the Yankees organization, Figueroa appeared in 17 games for Triple-A Scranton, including nine starts. He went 7-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.431 WHIP in 72.2 innings, walking 25 and striking out 36 before being released on July 19.
Figueroa will report to Pawtucket, where he is scheduled to start on Wednesday. To make room for Figueroa and fellow newly acquired pitcher Jose De La Torre on the PawSox roster, McGair reports pitchers Brandon Duckworth and Doug Mathis have both been placed on the temporary inactive list.
Photo credit: Nelson Figueroa from ESPN.com