The Pittsburgh Pirates have had some bullpen issues this season. The team is turning to one of their top pitching prospects for help.
Last night was the final straw. The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen is in need of a boost and should no longer employee Dovydas Neverauskas. He gave up two jacks to two poor hitters. The Pittsburgh Pirates need to get him out of the bullpen and need to find a better replacement.
Well, that could be happening for today’s game. Late last night, John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reported that pitching prospect Luis Escobar is getting called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Escobar ranks as the Pittsburgh Pirates number seven prospect on MLB Pipeline’s updated list, the highest rated relief pitcher in the organization.
Obviously, Escobar ranking that high in the Pittsburgh Pirates system suggests that he could be a much-needed upgrade to the bullpen. He is a power arm that has a fastball that consistently sits in the mid to high 90s. He also has a very sharp curveball that he uses as a strikeout pitcher and has a decent changeup to keep hitters off balance.
Escobar came to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 as an Amateur International free agent. He was brought in as a starting pitcher and did so until this season. He has been on the radar for a while, especially since pitching in the MLB Futures Game back in 2017. While there was always hope that Escobar would make it as a starter, many scouts predicted he would be better suited for the bullpen. He has command issues at times, which has limited him, but he has the stuff that should play really well in the bullpen.
The Bucs started Escobar at High-A Bradenton this year. He made it Double-A last season, but with him transitioning into a relief role they wanted to keep him in Bradenton. He proved to transition quite well, throwing 13.1 scoreless innings while striking out 15.
The Bucs quickly moved him to Triple-A. He hasn’t been flawless, but has been very effective at Triple-A as well. The 6’2” right-hander has an ERA of 2.72 in his 36.1 innings of work. While he still lacks command at times, as evidenced by his 20 walks, Esobar has also struck out 42 hitters.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates promoting Luis Escobar, the team should see an improvement to their bullpen. This is a promising move that will hopefully end Neverauskas’ time as a Bucco. No official announcement or roster move has been made as of now, but this seems like the most logical move.