The Pittsburgh Pirates signed minor league contracts with right-handed pitcher Cody Eppley and defensive wizard Nevin Ashley who is a catcher. Eppley and Ashley will get non-roster invites to Spring Training in Bradenton.
Eppley fits the Pirates mold. Big–Six foot five inches. Big league vet–Rangers and most recently New York Yankees. Ground ball machine. But the numbers aren’t real great. Not a lot of strikeouts in his 56.2 innings of big league work–just 39 to go with a 1.47 WHIP. But in the minors he put big whiffs, so there is some work to do with the 43-round pick who obviously has worked hard in his career.
And then the light bulb clicks. Watch the video. The return of Kent Tekulve! Get this guy some glasses and a bigger adams apple dammit!
But seriously, who knows. All it takes is one adjustment and the Bucs could be onto something.
His coach at VCU talks about the change from 3/4 delivery to dropping down in this video.
Ashley is a player the Bucs scouts saw playing with Triple-A Louisville (for the Reds) this year. It’s all defense with Ashley–he put up a real light triple slash of .235/.328/.374 maybe Jeff Branson can help with all of this movement in his swing. Wow.
The guy is 29 and spent most of his baseball life with the Tampa Bay Rays who took him in the sixth round in 2006.