JT Riddle still having a job is sort of baffling, considering the Pittsburgh Pirates have many young guys who would much better replacements waiting in the minors (luckily Ke’bryan Hayes is no longer one of those guys). Granted, he is a strong defender, posting +12 defensive runs saved with Miami in 2018. Yet, the Pirates are not without options at shortstop.
Instead, Riddle has seen a lot of time in the outfield. He isn’t a terrible glove out there, but its not his true position. He’s also never been a strong hitter. So why does he still have a job?
We’ll give this signing a D rating.
Robbie Erlin is a guy, much like Chris Archer was (before the Pirates destroyed his career…) has always pitched better than his line has shown. Despite the career 4.73 ERA, Erlin’s 3.77 FIP shows there may be something more to this guy. In his 3.1 innings with the Pirates, he posted a 5.40 ERA, but a 2.53 FIP.
And then the Pirates DFA’d him.
How Erlin was DFA’d but Dovydas Neverauskas is still a member of the Pirates is baffling. We’ll give this signing a D, mostly for the lack of effort on the Pirates side to roster this guy.
There are still plenty of games to be had so these ratings are subject to change. We won’t see Del Pozo, Heredia, or Erlin in black and gold again, but besides that these other guys (and the injured Maile) will have more opportunities to improve their scores and hopefully help the Pittsburgh Pirates shed the “worst team in baseball” tagline. Whatever happens, the Pittsburgh Pirates once again struck out in free agency.