The Pittsburgh Pirates made a pair of low-level, minor league signings this week, adding the likes of left-hander Charlie Leesman and right-hander Wilfredo Boscan to the roster with invites to Spring Training in Florida.
Boscan, 25, is a career Minor Leaguer who split last season between the Double-and Triple-A affiliates of the Boston Red Sox, pitching to a 3.66 earned run average across 66 1/3 innings of work. The lion’s share of that work came with Double-A Portland, where the righty posted a 1.436 WHIP to go along with a 10.8 H/9 mark – both of which were above his career averages.
The right-hander’s professional baseball career began back 2007 as a 17-year-old out of Venezuela. That season, spent with the Texas Rangers’ Rookie Level affiliate, was a bright start to his journey, as he went 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 56 2/3 innings. That was the best single season of his career to this point, but the Pirates are looking for him to bounce back in 2015. With Triple-A Pawtucket last season, Boscan pitched just 3 2/3 innings of work, but was lights-out in that admittedly-small sample size.
Leesman, on the other hand, has limited big league experience under his belt as a member of the Chicago White Sox. In 2013, the southpaw broke onto the scene in a stumbling sort of fashion that failed to improve last year. Between 2013 and 2014, Leesman has a 9.00 earned run average across 18 innings pitched. His 6.78 FIP, 2.333 WHIP and 12.5 H/9 measures all left plenty to be desired.
During his time in the Minors, the 27-year-old has a 3.50 career earned run average across 763 innings at various levels. In 2014, he made a few appearances with Chicago’s Rookie affiliate before joining Triple-A Charlotte for 14 appearances – including 12 starts. In 68 innings of work, the lefty posted a 4.10 ERA and 1.485 WHIP to go along with 8.7 SO/9.
Both arms will get a look in Florida this spring, but the pair definitely has improvements to make before being considered effective big league options. For Pittsburgh, these arms represent an insurance policy and a depth move more than anything else, but they are both names worth remembering heading into Spring Training next month.