Pittsburgh Pirates Release Jared Hughes
A longtime Pirate was released on Wednesday afternoon
After spending six years in the Major Leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jared Hughes has been released. This makes him a free agent for the first time in his professional career.
It has been covered on this site that Hughes is a pitcher in decline. The decline of Jared Hughes began in July of 2015 and showed no signs if turning around anytime soon. Due to this, the Pirates releasing Hughes is a smart move.
In 309 1/3 career innings pitched Hughes owns a 4.09 FIP, 4.09 xFIP, and a -0.7 WAR. His career was built around him being a ground ball specialist (61 percent career ground ball rate) due to his turbo sinker. However, in recent years his sinker was losing its sink.
Last season Hughes allowed a career-high 0.91 HR/9. Additionally, his 3.34 BB/9 last season was the second-highest walk rate of his Major League career. These are just two of the reason why he posted a career-worst 4.68 FIP and 4.77 xFIP last season.
Entering Spring Training, it appeared Hughes may have a spot locked up in the bullpen. That, however, was obviously not the case after being released today. His terrible performance this spring undoubtedly played a role in this move.
In 9 1/3 innings pitched this spring Jared Hughes allowed 15 runs on 16 hits. He also walked four batters, allowed a home run, and struck out five.
In addition to releasing Hughes, the Pirates also optioned starting pitcher Drew Hutchison to Triple-A this afternoon. Like Hughes, Hutchison appeared to enter the spring with a job locked up, however, after a horrible spring this proved to not be true.
With these moves, it leaves five pitchers competing for three spots on the Pirate roster. These five pitchers are Trevor Williams and Tyler Glasnow, who are competing for the final spot in the starting rotation, and A.J. Schugel, Tyler Webb, and Wade LeBlanc competing for the final two spots in the Pirate bullpen.
Next: Who Should Get The Final Two Spots In The Bullpen?
Jared Hughes was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. The Pirates are the only organization that Hughes has ever pitched for.