Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Tom Koehler Returns To Action


A rehabbing veteran pitcher returned to action in the minor leagues for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night

This offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates signed veteran right-handed pitcher Tom Koehler to a minor league contract. Koehler, who has pitched for the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays, had not pitched since 2017. However, his long road back now has a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Tuesday nigth, Koehler pitched in a game for the first time since September 29th, 2017, when he took to the hill for the Gulf Coast League Pirates. For Koehler, just to toe that rubber again had to be a great feeling. It undoubtedly had to be a relief as well.

Facing the Gulf Coast League Twins, Koehler pitched 2/3 of an inning on Tuesday night. He was charged for 2 runs on two hits, no walks, no home runs allowed, and a strikeout. Koehler also hit a batter. While the outing did not go as he had hoped, all that matter was Koehler was back on a mound and pitching in a game.

In 784 1/3 career MLB innings Koehler owns a 4.39 ERA, 4.49 FIP, and a 4.0 fWAR. He has pitched in 161 MLB games, with 133 of them being relief outings.

Prior to the start of the 2018 season Koehler signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, due to shoulder issues that led to surgery, he never pitched for the Dodgers. The Dodgers then released Koehler in November of 2018.

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It will be intriguing to watch how Koehler progresses the rest of the season. If he can prove he is healthy and begin to build his arm back up then he could see some time in the Arizona Fall League in an effort to continue to build his arm up. Koehler could become an intriguing pitching option for the Pirates at some point in 2020.