Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Notes for November
Here are some notes regarding some news about prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system.
It is early November and teams are shuffling things around to get their off-season strategy in order. With that, there are often smaller moves that occur this early in the off-season. For instance, the Pittsburgh Pirates already picked up off waivers a fringe major league reliever in Nik Turley from the Twins.
Yesterday, it was announced that former top prospects Luis Heredia would enter the off-season as a minor league free agent. Essentially, Heredia was given the largest bonus in Pittsburgh Pirates history for an international free agent. He really struggled as a starter and was transitioned into a relief role where he saw more success. Still, his development has taken way longer than expected and he is now free to sign with any team.
Joining Heredia as a minor league free agent is pitcher Brandon Cumpton. Cumpton was on a one year deal after rehabbing from Tommy-John Surgery and shoulder surgery. He most likely will be brought back on another minor league deal, as the Bucs have invested quite a lot into the former rotation piece. Cumpton pitched to a 4.04 ERA over 15 starts and 22 total games.
The last minor league free agent of note is first baseman Edwin Espinal. Espinal won a minor league gold glove at first base. He also had a slash-line of .294/.327/.447. Espinal could serve as depth option next season, so the Bucs will likely try to retain him.
Next: Luis Heredia Minor League Free Agent
Brandon Waddell is pitching really well in the Arizona Fall League thus far. The former starter has pitched mainly out of the bullpen this fall and may have found his niche. The former Virginia Cavalier has also made one start. Still, he has compiled 13 innings and has a 1.38 ERA. He has struck out 12 while only walking three. The biggest improvement is in his command. Over the last two seasons, Waddell has struggled with command, especially deep into starts. So pitching out of the bullpen could be leading to his command numbers looking better than normal. Hopefully, he continues to do so, because the Pittsburgh Pirates may have their next Tony Watson type relief pitcher coming up soon.