Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates have made their first roster addition of the offseason
On Monday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed left-handed relief pitcher Nik Turley off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The 28-year-old Turley was the 50th round draft pick of the New York Yankees in 2008. On top of the Twins, he has also pitched in the Giants and Red Sox organizations.
Nik Turley logged just 17 2/3 innings at the Major League level for the Twins in 2017. Turley averaged 6.62 K/9, 4.08 BB/9, and he allowed eight home runs in these 17 2/3 innings pitched. He owned an 11/21 ERA, 7.02 FIP, and a 5.60 xFIP.
At Triple-A, Nik Turley dominated in 2017. He averaged 10.51 K/9, 2.93 BB/9, and he allowed just 58 hits and four home runs in 67 2/3 innings pitched for the Rochester Red Wings. He posted a 2.61 ERA and a 2.84 FIP for the Red Wings.
2017 was the first Major League action of Turley’s career. Despite this, he is out of minor league options. This makes it a requirement for Nik Turley to make the Pittsburgh Pirates’ roster out of Spring Training in 2018, or the Bucs will risk losing him on waivers.
There is a great chance, however, that Turley does not last on the 40-man roster until Spring Training. As the Pirates make more roster additions this offseason Turley will be at the bottom of the totem pole as Neal Huntington looks for players to designate for assignment.
If Nik Turley makes it to Spring Training, he could be given the opportunity to earn a spot in the Pirate bullpen. A.J. Schugel, Daniel Hudson, Felipe Rivero, and George Kontos are locks to start the 2018 season in the Pirate bullpen, and Dovydas Neverauskas appears to be as well.
However, the team will need at least one more left-handed reliever in the bullpen and Turley may have the opportunity to earn this role if he makes it to Spring Training with the Pirates. However, as was said above, there is a very good chance that Turley does not make it that far with the Bucs.