Pittsburgh Pirates Release Pitcher Angel Sanchez
News: With the Pittsburgh Pirates gearing up for the Winter Meetings, they made two minor moves yesterday. They claimed a player on waivers and in turn released one.
The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up pitcher Sam Moll off of waivers yesterday. The 25-year-old lefty comes from the Oakland Athletics. The Pittsburgh Pirates had two open spots on their 40-man roster so a corresponding move was not necessary to be made. However, the Bucs made a move anyhow to keep their 40 man roster at 38. Instead of just adding Moll, the Bucs decided to release right handed reliever Angel Sanchez. This was a suttle moved that was announced via the team’s transaction page and later confirmed by Adam Berry, the team’s MLB beat writer.
Sanchez was originally picked up off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox organization back in 2015. The Bucs added him right before the trade deadline that season. He pitched the rest of that year in both Double and Triple A. He then missed all of the 2016 season with Tommy-John, the Pittsburgh Pirates released him, but then added him back to the organization for the 2017 season.
He had a solid season at Triple-A Indy this past year. The righty made 39 relief appearances for the Indians collecting 55.1 innings in total. He finished the year with a 3.74 ERA and had a 1.19 WHIP. The best thing Sanchez did was strike hitters out. He had 65 strikeouts in his 55.1 innings. This averaged out to be 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Normally with high strikeout minor league pitchers you see a lot of walks, but that was not the case for Sanchez. He only had 2.4 walks per nine innings pitched in his Triple-A time. Those stats, along with his 96-97 miles per hour fastball, and one could see him as a potential bullpen piece for the big league club.
Big League Debut
Well, that was not the case for the 28-year-old righty. The Pittsburgh Pirates gave him an audition when rosters expanded in September. It did not go well, and at times it was hard to watch and not feel bad for the guy. He would pound 97 mile per hour fastballs across the plate and they got pounded right back out of the zone. He made eight relief appearances and pitched 12.1 innings. His ERA was a staggering 8.76. This mainly was because he gave up a ton of home runs, averaging 3.6 home runs per nine innings by allowing five balls to leave the park. The five home runs he allowed in the big leagues was one more home run allowed than the amount he gave up in his whole Triple-A season.
Obviously, the Pittsburgh Pirates were not impressed with Sanchez. His fastball was flat and he simply did not show an effective second pitch. At the big league level, it is near impossible to get by with a flat fastball, no matter how fast it is. Part of the reason the Bucs released him was to sign and play in Korea next season. Right after it was announced that the Bucs cut him, it was announced by Dan Kurtz out of Korea that Sanchez would be signing a $1.1 million contract with the SK Wyverns.