Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Pitchers Claimed by the Reds

Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

News: The Pittsburgh Pirates recently lost two relief pitchers through waivers.  Both were picked up by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been able to move a lot of relief pitchers this offseason.  It all started back in November when they claimed Brady Dragmire, designated him for assignment, claimed him again, and then promptly cut him again.  This is part of every team’s offseason, as teams are always looking to improve.  Specifically, it happens most with relief pitchers.

Well, the Pittsburgh Pirates had to designate two relief pitchers for assignment recently, and both have been claimed.  First came Lisalverto Bonilla, who ironically was cut for another relief pitcher who was is DFA limbo.  The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up reliever Pat Light as the corresponding transaction in a waiver trade with the Twins.  Then on Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they picked up Bonilla off of waivers from the Pirates.  A day after trading for reliever Pat Light, the Bucs made another trade.

This time they acquired utility player Phil Gosselin from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Gosselin, who also was designated for assignment, was dealt to the Bucs for right-handed pitching prospect Frank Duncan.  Because Duncan was not on the 40-man roster, a spot needed to be cleared to add Gosselin.  The Bucs decided to cut from their bullpen depth by placing reliever Nefi Ogando on waivers, who was picked up by the Cinicinnati Reds today.  The Reds seem to be building a bullpen by trying to use the Pittsburgh Pirates approach, find young, controllable pitchers, who are cheap to acquire.

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Quick Look at the Two

Bonilla has yet to make a true impact at the major league level but had solid numbers in the minors last season.  Bonilla split time between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Dodger organization. He pitched a combined 111 innings between the two levels and he averaged 9.58 K/9, 3.24 BB/9, he allowed six home runs and posted a WHIP of 1.34.

Ogando pitched for the Marlins last season, and also put up some good numbers in his short stint.  Last season Ogando pitched 15 2/3 innings in relief. In these 15 2/3 innings pitched he struck out eight batters, he did not allow a home run, and his WHIP was 1.15. He held opposing hitters to a .175 batting average against and he posted a 2.30 ERA and a 3.66 FIP.  He did all this while averaging 95 miles per hour on the radar gun.

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Final Thoughts

Both relievers did not have obvious spots in a crowded Bucs bullpen.  However, they would have been nice depth to have when the established relievers would hit the disabled list.  One thing is a team can never have too many power arms and Bonilla and Ogando represent that.  Both also have had success in their young careers thus far, showing some projectability to be big league relievers.  Now, both will look to have the success with a division rival, barring any more waiver trips.