View Full Version : Pirates Right Handed Relievers

03-01-2009, 02:16 AM
Lets just get started. Ill try to keep these relatively brief.

Matt Capps: Capps is of course the Pirates closer. He took over the closer role in 2007 after the trade of Mike Gonzalez forced Salomon Torres into that role and he failed. He is had been a solid member of the bullpen the last few years but he did have his struggles last year. His pitches are mainly fastball and changeup, he will throw a curve in there every once in a while. The best of these pitches is undoubtley the fastball which he throws between 92 - 94 mph. Capps walks very few but his straight fastball makes him vulnerable to the home run ball. The Pirates hope Capps can avoid inury this year and regain his form of years past. He had 21 saves, supported an ERA of 3.02, WHIP of 0.97, K/9: 6.54, BB/9 0.84, and an OAVG .234.

Tyler Yates: Yates was acquired from the Braves before the start of last season and spent most of the year as a set-up man. Yates is a power pitcher ho tops his fastball out at 98, his downside is his control which leads to high walk rates. Yates started last season out strong, slumped in the middle but did have a good finish. ERA: 3.82 (Apr-Jun), 7.77 (July-Aug), 1.64 (Sept). The September number can be misleading seeing as Yates only pitched 11 innings that month but the point is he finished well. It is also important to note that somehow his control (in terms of walks) got better as the season went on. For his career Yates fares much better against right handed batters, .703 OPS to .901 OPS. Yates will probably have a place in the Pirates bullpen and might very well be a set-up man. Last Year - ERA: 4.66, WHIP: 1.54, K/9: 7.73, BB/9: 5.03, OAVG: .254.

Craig Hansen: Hansen was acquired last year in the Jason Bay trade. He has some control issues and they were heightened after he joined the Pirates last year. When Hansen came out of college he posessed a good fastball and slider but since entering pro-ball his slider has all but disappeared and he has lost control and velocity off his fastball. It is important to note a few positives, he has a decent k-rate and does an exceptional job of keeping the ball in the yard. He is seen as being a player who has a high ceiling and who one day could be a good closer. Hansen is out of options and therefore will almost certainly make the bullpen. Last year in the majors Hansen posted an ERA of 6.22 and a WHIP of 1.79. I also want to show how much worse he fared in Pittsburgh (Bos-:Pitt): ERA - 5.58:7.47, WHIP - 1.67:198, K/9 - 7.50:4.02, BB/9 - 6.60:11.49.

Romulo Sanchez: This will be short as I know very little about him. Sanchez has a good fastabll and is seen as a good reliever prospect. He has been moved up and down the minor league system a good bit throughout his career and has had mixed results. His k-rate isnt really impressive and he struggles with control at times but manages to keep respectable walk rate. He is a curious prospect who will most liekly begin the season at AAA but he will get a shot to make the bullpen. Trying to project his future role is tough he has the stuff to make a good set-up man but during his minor league career his best spot has been long relief. He played minimally for the Pirates last year so I will give his AAA stats: ERA - 3.46, WHIP - 1.26, K/9 - 5.27, BB/9 - 3.13, OAVG - .248.

Jesse Chavez: Chavez was acquired in the trade of Kip Wells. He is a hard throwing reliever who can get his fastball up to 96. When he first came to the Pirates he struggled but last year he did well in AAA. In fact he did so well it is a wonder with all thier pitching problems that the Pirates did not call him up sooner than they did. He has improved his K/9, BB/9, and s leaving up fewer hits since joining the Pirates organization. Chavez does struggles against lefties but he is improving in that area too. Chavez earned manager's John Russell's confidence last year and was pitched in close games at the end of the year. He has a good chance of making the Pirates bullpen this year as a middle reliever. His line at AAA last year was ERA-3.80, WHIP-1.17, K/9- 9.17, BB/9- 2.88, OAVG- .225.

Evan Meek: Meek is yet another hard throwing right hander. He was originally a Rule V draft choice last year but he oitched so poorly that the Pirates had to let him go but they did work out a deal with Tamoa Bay to keep him in thier organization. First a brief overview on Meek, he has a good sinking fastball and has two other decent pitches; a splitter and a slider. Meek like many of the other pitchers as a good k-rate but struggles with control. The good news about Meek is that he was able to gain better control after being sent down to the minors. Meek will be given a chance to win a spot in the Pirates bullpen. Lets take a look at his stats (EAR, WHIP, K/9, BB/9, OAVG):

MLB: 6.92, 1.77, 4.85, 8.31, .239
AAA: 2.40, 1.06, 7.40, 3.05, .196
AA: 2.81, 1.06, 9.56, 1.69, .237

As you can see Meek's numbers were much better in the minors. Hopefully this is a positive sign and Meek will be able to secure a spot in the bullpen.

Jeff Sues: Sues was put on the 40-man roster this winter to protect him from the Rule V draft. He is not likely to make the team as a reliever but deserves mention. Sues throws his fastball about 93 but can top out at 97 he also has a hard slider and an average curve. He was drafted in 2005 but didnt play until 2007 because of shoulder problems. His 2007 numbers were not impressive but he impressed the club enough in 2008 to make them put him on the 40-man roster. Sues will likely start the year at AAA but will probably have some major league time this year. His line last year at high A was 2.11, 0.80, 7.17, 2.53, .153. At AA where he spent a little more time, 3.77, 1.28, 11.51, 4.19, .219.

Denny Bautista, Chris Bootcheck, Juan Mateo: These three players are all minor league invitees.

Bautista (26 years old) was aquired last year in a Trade with the Tigers and pitched well at the beginning but as time went by he began to pitch much worse. He has a good fastball and a decent slider but has trouble controlling these pitches. He was DNF by the Pirates this winter and reassigned to AAA. He will be given a chance to make the team but will likely have to start at AAA. Bautista's numbers with the Pirates were 6.10, 1.79, 7.4, 6.1, .295.

Bootcheck (30 years old) was a 1st round draft pick by the Angels but never has lived up to his billing. His pitches are fastball, change-up, and curve. His fastball was in the mid 90's in college but has dropped to around 90 in pro baseball. He had elbow problems last year and pitched sparingly. He is basically just an emergency arm in case of inuries and will likely pitch most of the season at AAA. In 19 games at AAA last year Bootcheck posted a line of 2.86, 1.62, 10.8, 5.4, .250. His MLB numbers were horrible: ERA: 10.13, WHIP: 2.63, OAVG: .385.

Mateo (26 years old) suffered from shoulder problems last year and was cut by the Cubs. The Pirates then signed him to a minor league contract and piutched the rest of the year at AA. His fastball is in the low 90s and the rest of his arsenal is marginal. He did very good at AA posting a line of 2.12, 0.99, 7.68, 2.25, .202. Mateo might start the year at AA or AAA and if he keeps pitching well may be a mid-season call up to fill a bullpen spot.

The right handed relievers who will be on the team will probably be at least 4 of Capps, Yates, Hansen, Chavez and Meek. There also may be a right handed starter filling a long relief spot.

I will give the organizational overiew after I give the left handed relievers.

03-02-2009, 11:51 AM
The Pirates bullpen (much like the rotation) has problems with missing bats. There are so few k's that the team must depend on their D, which was poor last year. This puts a burden on Chavez to do well being one of the few hardthrowing relievers. The Pirates do have some hardthrowing pitchers in the minors that they are trying as starters right now. It is unlikely that any of them will be regular starters (beisdes Lincoln and possibly Daniel McCutchen) so they could be called upon early to help the pen.

03-02-2009, 10:34 PM
A lot of the pitchers I listed are hard throwers. the only problem is they are bad pitchers. It doesnt do any good to throw 98 if you cant put it near the plate consistently.

03-03-2009, 12:36 AM
True. I was more pointing toward their inability to strike pitchers out rather than how high they clock on the gun, but I should have chosen my words more carefully. But you are right about the inability to throw strikes, walks just kill you out of the bullpen.

03-03-2009, 01:02 AM
I got that you were meaning not a lot of strike outs but it seemed like you were saying the power arms werent there. Huntingdon has made that his way since he got here, power arms albiet with little control.

just thought id post the rest of this: the lefties will be up soon then all that will remain is pitching prospects, pitching overview and one final team overview.