The Pittsburgh Pirates made it official today. The team has signed free agent right-hander Jeff Karstens to a contract for the 2013 season. Pirates Senior Vice President and GM Neal Huntington made the announcement today.
Karstens actually really made the announcement with a tweet, which is really the official offical way it gets done these days.
The 30-year old Karstens won five games last season over 15 starts last year. The challenge was Karstens spent two months on the disabled list from April 18 to June 25 with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, followed by a right hip flexor injury. (Perhaps dropping that arm slot is showing some impact on his body.)
Karstens went 2-0 over four starts in July, which was a hot month for the Bucs. August was also a strong month for the Zombie with five strong starts before the right hip flexor injury popped again.
Karstens was regulated to the bullpen when he returned on September 19 making four appearances. In 82 starts and 123 games with the Pirates, Karstens has put up mediocre numbers, but has learned to pitch which was quite evident last season.
In 2011, Karstens put up the best ERA among the staff with a 3.38 (if you’re into that stat) and over the past two years Karstens has excelled flashing some swing and miss to go with solid numbers and typically gives the Bucs a shot to win games.
The signing was a steal in our eyes, despite the Bucs hinting about concerns over possible injuries headed Karstens way.
The room on the roster was cleared by making a rather disappointing move in designating right-hander Zach Stewart for assignment. You might recall, Stewart was picked up in the Kyle Kaminska trade back on 28 November. Kaminska flashed a nice Arizona Fall League which teased many Pirates fans, but perhaps more importantly it makes the deadline deal for Gaby Sanchez much more about well, Gaby Sanchez’s production in Pittsburgh.
The team sent Gorkys Hernandez, who hit very well this winter, and the comp pick to the Marlins. We have a feeling we might be keeping an eye on that pick for quite some time.