Baseball Anerica's Matt Eddy Tweeted the signing yesterday. It's not clear if the plan is for Kila Ka'aihue perhaps to be a left-handed back-up for Paul Goldschmift at 1B, or if the intent is for him to be stashed down in Reno as organizational depth. The left-hander's numbers are mediocre at best - over 126 games since his debut in 2008, he has a line of .221/.305/.382 for an OPS+ of 88, mostly with the Royals. There isn't even a platoon split to hang your hat on: indeed, his career OPS against southpaws is higher, at.705, compared to .685 against right-handed pitchers [this is perhaps luck fueled, as his BABIP vs. RHP is only .238, fifty points worse].
He did show excellent plate discipline in the minors, where he had an OBP of .389, thanks to a K:BB ratio of 774:830. The farm is where he has spent most of his time since 2008, putting up decent numbers, first with Omaha and then Sacramento, after he was traded by the Royals to the Athletics. All told, in 419 games at the Triple-A level, he has hit .277, with a .405 OBP and .902 OPS. Those could translate into some fairly gaudy numbers if he spends significant time with the Reno Aces.
Here are some random factoids about Ka'aihue, which you can drop into conversation.
- Shares a birthday with Cy Young and Billy Beane, but will be the first Diamondback with a birthday on March 29.
- The first name on his birth certificate is actually "Micah," but where's the fun in that?
- His brother, Kala Ka'aihue (actual first name: Isaac) is also a first baseman, who played last year for the indy ball Kansas City T-Bones.
- There was some disgruntlement in the Oakland locker room last year, after Ka'aihue was DFA'd, just before his wife was due to give birth to twins.
- He stole his first, and to date only, base in his 103rd major-league game. It was a swipe of third.