The Tijuana Toros had a disappointing 2018 LMB spring tournament as they were knocked out by archrivals Sultanes de Monterrey in the Zona Norte championship series.
The border city side is now undergoing a transitional phase under the leadership of new manager Lino Rivera.
Rivera was officially presented by the club this past Wednesday, but has already made a few new acquisitions. The Puerto Rican skipper has brought in reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, catcher Xorge Carillo and infielder Juan Perez.
The most enticing signing was Wilhelmsen, who is set to serve as the new closer for the Border City Bulls in the LMB fall tournament. The 34-year-old has 68 saves in the MLB in a career that spanned from 2011-2017 with the Seattle Mariner, Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Bartender” tried to make a comeback to the major leagues this year with the San Diego Padres, but was released in spring training. The Arizona native was recently playing in the independent American Association with the St. Pauli Saints and will now try to face a new challenge in his career. The bullpen was one of the weakest components of Tijuana’s team last season and Wilhelmsen should help reinforce it.
Xorge Carrillo will be returning home as he is a Tijuana native, but this will be his first stint with his hometown team. The 29-year-old played in the New York Mets’ system from 2011-2017 and also played with Aguilas de Mexicali in the Mexican Pacific League in that time during the offseason. Carillo has been a consistent bat over the years in Mexico and also wields an above average glove that should be very useful for Lino Rivera’s side.
Juan Perez is unlikely to start with a very solid infield that already has players like Isaac Rodriguez, Jose Guadalupe Chavez and Maxwell Leon. However, he should be a solid role player to have on the team as he has been playing at the Triple-A level since 2015. The California native recently played with the Charlotte Knights and will be looking to bounce back after hitting under the Mendoza line in 46 games.