Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Relievers to Watch This Spring

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Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates breakout reliever during the 2018 season was then-rookie Edgar Santana. Santana, throughout his minor league career, was viewed as one of the team’s better relief prospects.  The right-handed pitcher made consistent progress throughout his first big league season in 2018.  He ended up throwing in 69 games and compiled 66.1 innings.  Overall, his ERA was at a solid 3.31 with a positive strikeout to walk ratio of 54 to 12.  He looked like he would be an important arm for the team in 2019 and beyond.

Then all of a sudden Santana looked like he hit a brick wall.  His numbers would have been even better if it were not for a very poor statistical September.  He made seven appearances and saw opposing hitters put an OPS up over 1.200, which led to him giving up seven runs in just five innings.  However, it quickly became apparent why he all of a sudden was being hit around.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Santana ended up being shut down due to tenderness in his right-elbow, which led to him receiving the dreaded Tommy-John surgery. He sat out all of 2019 as he worked his way back.  Hopefully, a good start to spring training will allow him to pick up from where he left off in 2018.

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