Mike Leake will be looking for a bounceback season after sitting out 2020 due to COVID-19. The former Cincinnati Red starter has been one of baseball’s most durable arms since his arrival in MLB back in 2010.
In the three seasons prior to 2020, Leake was about a league average starter. In 568.2 innings stretching from 2017 to 2019, Leake had a 4.19 ERA, 4.43 FIP and 1.28 WHIP. This comes out to a 101 ERA+, 99 ERA- and 103 FIP-. He was also roughly league average in terms of xFIP. With a 4.28 mark, he had a 98 xFIP-.
Leake’s strong suit was preventing free passes. With a walk rate of just 4.1%, only Miles Mikolas had a lower walk rate in these 3 seasons (min. 300 innings pitched). His HR/9 rate was inflated during his last year, giving up 15 home runs in his final 60 innings of 2019, but that was also the first season his HR/9 rose above 1.2 since 2012.
However, what might make him a potential pitcher on the Pirates’ radar is his durability. He’s failed to pitch less than 180 innings just two times from 2012 onward. Like with Porcello, Leake would give the Pirates 6 sold innings of baseball every five days which would help take a load off a young bullpen.