The Pittsburgh Pirates have been getting to know their NL Central foes farms pretty well as of late as they made their third trade in two weeks with a division rival on Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, who have been growing fond of making trades on holidays with the Josh Bell trade on Christmas Eve, have made another holiday trade on this Fourth of July. For this trade, the Pirates matched up with the Milwaukee Brewers for the second time in two weeks, and third with a divisional rival.
In this trade, the Pirates erased the chances of having the Seinfield themed duo of Kevin Kramer and Kevin Newman in the infield as Kramer was traded away in exchange for left-handed reliever Nathan Kirby.
Kirby was a former 40th overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft. Originally, Kirby was to be someone who could be a starter but after posting a 5.68 and a 4.82 ERA in his first two seasons, the Brewers decided to make him a full-time reliever where he has excelled this season.
Kirby has pitched in 17 Double-A games this season where he is posting a great ERA of only 1.93. Additionally, he is holding opponents to a batting average of only .182, which is phenomenal for a relief pitcher that is used to get out of jams.
There however is one area that Kirby needs to work on though if he wants to make himself a great reliever and make the Major League squad down the road, and that is his walk rate. Currently, even with an opponent’s average of .182, his WHIP is sitting at 1.34 which is ok but could be a decent bit better.
The reason that his WHIP is so high, is due to the fact that his BB/9 is all the way up to 6.27 which is the highest it has been in his career. All of his other numbers have been trending in the right direction though, so it may just be some rust from not having a season last year but is definitely something to keep an eye on as he progresses through the minor league system.