A rehabbing Pittsburgh Pirates reliever has had mixed results thus far on his rehab stint at Triple-A
On May 25th, the Pittsburgh Pirates placed reliever Chris Stratton on the 10-day injured list. Stratton hit the IL with a side injury, and is one of 23 Pirate players to hit the IL during the 2019 season.
On Wednesday, Stratton started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. He made his second rehab outing for the Indians on Friday night. Thus far, Stratton has struggled.
In his first rehab outing Stratton allowed a solo home run, a single, did not issue a walk, and struck out a pair on 2 innings of work. He again pitched 2 innings on Friday night, and allowed five hits, he issued a walk, and he struck out two more. In these 2 innings of work he allowed 3 runs, but 2 of them were unearned.
Rehab stints, much like Spring Training, is less about results and more about getting work in. Stratton’s main goal during his rehab stint is just to face live batting, knock off rust, make sure he is completely healthy, and work on anything else the Pirates may want him to improve. For these reasons, just getting Stratton on the mound and pitching is more important than the results.
Prior to going on the IL, Stratton had pitched in four games for the Pirates after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He posted a 5.40 ERA, 5.07 FIP, a 5.4% walk rate, and a 21.6% strikeout rate in 8 1/3 innings pitched for the Pirates.
Most of the damage done against him, however, came in the final inning of a 3 innings outing against Diamondbacks on May 15th. In the bottom of the 8th inning of this game Stratton allowed both home runs he has given up in a Pirate uniform, and 4 of the 5 runs he has allowed.
When Stratton returns, which should be sooner rather than later, he will have the opportunity to earn a key spot in the Pirate bullpen. With the injuries to Keone Kela and Nick Burdi, as well as Richard Rodriguez imploding this season, the Pirates have spent the entire season looking for reliable relievers not named Felipe Vazquez, Kyle Crick, or Francisco Liriano. Due to this, opportunity will be knocking for Stratton when he returns.