Pittsburgh Pirates News: JT Riddle Designated For Assignment


On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed reliever Sean Poppen off waivers from the Minneosta Twins and designated utility man JT Riddle for assignment

Last off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed super utility man JT Riddle in free agency. The former Miami Marlin shortstop was signed by the Bucs to serve as the team’s back up shortstop, as well as to serve in a super utility role.

Well, from the get go, Riddle’s tenure with the Pittsburgh Pirates was rocky. He started the 2020 season on the injured list, which contributed to him playing in just 23 games for the Bucs. Well, after just 23 games, his tenure in Pittsburgh has come to an end as he was designated for assignment by the team on Thursday after they claimed reliever Sean Poppen off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.

In Riddle’s 23 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates he hit for just a .149/.174/.224 slash line. He struck out 18.8% of time and wlaked in just 2.9% of his at-bats. Mix in poor defense at multiple positions, and Riddle finished the season with a -0.8 fWAR.

As he was struggling, yet still get at-bats for the Pirates, many fans began to really sour on Riddle. At one point, the question had to be asked – why is Riddle even on the Pirate roster? Well, his tenure in Pittsburgh is now over.

As for Poppen, the righty logged 7.2 innings in six games pitched for the Twins in 2020. He allowed 4 runs on nine hits, four walks, no home runs, and he struck out 10 batters. This led to him posting a 4.70 ERA, 2.15 FIP and a 4.61 DRA.

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Poppen throws a sinker, slider and a change up. The best pitch of the trio in 2020 was his slider, as opposing batters were just 1-for-15 with eight strikeouts against the pitch. As for his sinker and change up, opposing batters were 8-for-16 with just two strikeouts. This included both extra base hits (a double and a triple) that he allowed in 2020. So, if Poppen sticks with the Pirates, look for Oscar Marin to want him to lean on his slider a bunch come spring training.