Pitcher Robbie Erlin
Left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin came to the Pittsburgh Pirates this past offseason as a minor league free agent. This came after Erlin had spent his entire six year MLB career with the San Diego Padres.
In San Diego, Erlin had worked as both a reliever and a starting pitcher. With the Pirates, Erlin is expected to be a member of the Bucco bullpen. While not a guarantee, Erlin could be the only lefty in the Pirate bullpen to start the 2020 season.
The 2019 season was the first in which Erlin pitched primarily in relief. Of his 37 appearances with the Padres in 2019, 36 of them came in relief. Despite a 5.37 ERA, he finished 2019 with a strong 3.61 FIP, 0.98 HR/9, 6.0% walk rate, and a 20.7% strikeout rate. He was victimized by a .373 batting average on balls against, which is a sign of poor defense and/or luck.
Overall in his career, Erlin has pitched 114.1 innings as a reliever. Out of the bullpen, Erlin owns a 3.86 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 3.9% walk rate, 21.1% strikeout rate, and a 0.94 HR/9. As you can see, Erlin has been a very effective relief pitcher in his MLB career. If he can repeat this in 2020, he can help the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen while also building his trade value for the August 31 trade deadline.