The Well-Traveled Man

Pat Mahomes has been around. When he takes the mound for Las Vegas, he's wearing the uniform on the 23rd team he's played with since he first signed back in 1988 including two clubs in Japan. Yeah, Pat has been there, done that.

A lot of that time has been spent in the big leagues. Through those years he's pitched in 308 games in the majors; has a winning record, too -- 42-39. Of course, he's labored even more in the minors. Counting this season, he's won 94 down there.

He's always had great stuff -- a fast ball that ticks in the mid-90's, a curve, sometimes a slider and a change. The trouble has been that the sum of his efforts often doesn't equal his parts. Some days he'd only throw in the mid 80's and the curve wouldn't bite. That would explain the lifetime 5.47 ERA compiled in the majors.

He's 34 now and doesn't blow the ball by batters as of yore but somewhere along the way he's acquired a lot of pitching knowledge. The Mets had signed him for this season but he didn't make the staff so they let him go and the Dodgers decided to give him a chance. So far, they're glad they did for he's thrown very well for Vegas thus far (3-1, 2.76).

He's added another role, too -- counselor for the younger members of the 51's staff. Why, not, he says. "A lot of people helped me out in my career so, if I can help somebody else, I will." He's doing just that, particularly with Edwin Jackson.

In a way, that's like your giving helpful hints to your chief rival for that big job at the office. The Dodgers seem to be waiting only on some signs of consistency from Jackson to bring him up and make him the fifth member of the starting rotation. In the meantime, though, they're giving serious consideration to Mahomes.

His performances so warrant the attention. True, his strikeout to bases on balls ratio is not what they'd like -- 18 walks, 24 K's. However, he's holding Pacific Coast League batters to a .226 mark; this in a league noted for lopsided offensive stats.

He's had his moments in the big time -- went 8-0 in a previous incarnation with the Mets in '99. If there's enough of that left, why, he may be someone that L.A. can use if only for a quick fix. Hey, they hauled Giovanni Carrara out of the dumpster last year and he's helped more than a little.

In the meantime, Pat will do his thing for Vegas. Both things actually -- pitch and dispense some wisdom to Jackson and some others. A baseball Yoda. Not a bad guy to have around.