A recently DFA’d reliever could help the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen depth
For much of the 2019 season the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen has struggled. The last two weeks the ‘pen has been better. Entering play Monday, the Pirates ranked in the top 3 in the National League in bullpen ERA, FIP, strikeout rate, and fewest home runs allowed since June 11th. However, the team can still use another bullpen arm.
As the old saying goes, ‘you can never have too much pitching.’ This saying remains true and always will in the game of baseball. Due to this, the Pirates should take a flier on reliever Matt Wisler.
On Saturday, the San Diego Padres designated the 26-year-old Wisler for assignment. Despite an ugly 5.28 ERA, Wisler has pitched well this season. In 29 innings pitched he owns a 4.11 FIP and a 26.4% strikeout rate.
Wisler’s strikeout rate is a new career high. It is 7.1% than last season’s strikeout rate of 19.3%. Additionally, his 7.8% walk rate is the second lowest of his career. Wisler also throws a curveball that has an above league average spin rate.
If his name sounds familiar, it is because Wisler played a role in arguably the most exciting game of the season thus far. On June 23rd, the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit in both the 9th and 11th innings to defeat the Padres. In this game Wisler issued a walk-off walk to Kevin Newman in the bottom of the 11th.
Wisler would also be an upgrade over the likes of Dovydas Neverauskas, Geoff Hartlieb, and Rookie Davis as the final arm in the Pirate bullpen. He could also turn into a valuable middle reliever for the Pirates for years to come.
Even with his struggles this season, Wisler has flashed a lot of good. He also appears to be an upgrade over relievers such as Dovydas Neverauskas and Geoff Hartlieb. Getting the latter two back down to Triple-A to work things certainly would not hurt.