Pittsburgh Pirates News: Team Claims Pitcher Yacksel Rios

(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed an interesting relief pitcher off of waivers yesterday from the Philadelphia Phillies.  Could he make an impact this year?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the midst of playing the worst baseball they have ever played under Clint Hurdle.  They are currently in the basement in the National League Central and have the second worst record in the National League.

With the team struggling, they are given an opportunity to try to see what young talent could potentially help them in 2020.  However, they also are able to bring in some intriguing waiver claims to see if they can turn them into a part of the roster for the future as well.

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a waiver claim yesterday on an interesting relief pitcher by the name of Yacksel Rios.  Rios, who has been up and down over the last few years with the Philadelphia Phillies, was designated for assignment when they acquired starter Jason Vargas last week from the Mets.  This report came from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

"“The Pirates made one other roster move Saturday, claiming right-handed reliever Yacksel Rios on waivers from Philadelphia and assigning him to Indianapolis. Rios, 26, is 4-2 with a 6.38 ERA in 53 career appearances with the Phillies.”"

Rios is somewhat intriguing despite his poor numbers so far this year.  First and foremost he has a power arm.  His fastball velocity has averaged around 96 miles per hour so far this year.  This goes along with his projectable 6’3” frame.  He also has struck out 55 hitters in his 55 career innings at the big league level, but he also has walked over four per nine.  Rios has gotten a decent 47 percent groundball rate.

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While Rios has had a tough few years in the big leagues, having a career 6.38 ERA, the Pittsburgh Pirates are getting an interesting prospect.  Rios is a right-hander who throws hard and can strike people out.  He has control issues, but maybe a change of scenery and philosophy will help him.  If so, the Bucs might have a decent depth piece for next year, if not, then they do not lose anything.  Rios has been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis.