The Pittsburgh Pirates lose another pitcher, this time to circumstances that were beyond their control.
"Thank You ⚾️ you have been great to me. Looking forward to starting my next chapter in the game. Idk when or what that will be. But first I have some 5 year old softball to watch."
Koehler was signed by the Bucs on a two-year minor league deal in February 2019, and was brought in as a reclamation project. However, he was already going to miss most of 2019 after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of the 2018 season. However he did manage 4 innings between the Pirates’ Rookie, Low-A, and Double-A ball levels last season.
Before undergoing surgery in 2018, the 18th round pick was a stalwart rotation piece for the Marlins. From his first full season in 2013 to his final full season in 2016, Koehler posted a 4.14 ERA, 4.30 FIP, and 1.372 WHIP across 698.1 innings. He was a very good workhorse starter, as he averaged 194 innings on a 162 game basis. His best season came during 2014 when he recorded career bests in ERA (3.81), FIP (3.84), WHIP (1.269), K/BB ratio (2.15), and ERA+ (97) through 197 innings.
2017 will go down as the last season Koehler played in the bigs. Things didn’t get off to a great start for the veteran right hander, as he gave up 67 hits and 49 earned runs through the first 55 and two-thirds innings of the season. Of the 67 hits he let up, 15 were hit out of the ballpark, resulting in a 2.4 HR/9. His struggles led him to being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Osman Gutierrez, and Koehler seemed to find a grove up North. In 17 innings, mainly coming out of the bullpen, Koehler posted a much better looking 2.65 ERA, 3.22 FIP, and 1.29 WHIP.
Koehler’s short but excellent stint with the Blue Jays helped him land a one-year, $2 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but his tenure in California was short-lived. In early March of 2018, Koehler missed most of Spring Training because of an anterior capsule strain. In June, Tom hit setback in his recovery, suffering an AC strain. Eventually, Koehler underwent the shoulder surgery at the tail end of July, which caused him to miss the rest of 2018, and most of 2019.
That’s when the Pirates snagged him up on a two-year minor league deal, hoping he could eventually return to the mound. Had Koehler not retired he probably would have factored into the team’s bullpen plans. He entered Spring Training as one of the team’s many minor league signees, along with Hector Noesi and Miguel Del Pozo as potential names to make the final cut. However, now that Koehler is no longer going to factor into the Pirates’ plans, some guys on the bubble, like the aforementioned Del Pozo, and Noesi along with Dovydas Neverauskas, and Geoff Hartleib might get a longer look since there is less competition.
We here at Rum Bunter wish Koehler luck in his future endeavors beyond his baseall playing days.