Pittsburgh Pirates: Pirates Add Relief Pitching Depth

Aug 22, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Anthony Banda (53) delivers a pitch during the tenth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Anthony Banda (53) delivers a pitch during the tenth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports /
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After trading away several relief pitchers including their former closer Richard Rodriguez, the Pittsburgh Pirates added an arm to the bullpen when they claimed Anthony Banda from the Mets.

The Pittsburgh Pirates added another arm to their bullpen after the beating it took on Sunday from the Phillies in the final game of the series. The player that they added was the 27-year-old lefty, Anthony Banda.

Banda has been a career journeyman, as he has been in five different organizations before this latest move to his sixth. He also has had very little time in the Majors, as he has only racked up just over a year of service time so far in his career.

Banda is a two-pitch type of reliever, as he throws his 94 mph fastball 50% of the time and his changeup 46% of the time. With these pitches, he is more of a pitch-to-contact type of reliever, as he has only struck out 18.9% of the batters that he faced in the brief stint that he had with the Mets. Additionally, his K/9 in the Majors has sat just below 9 for each of his stints with the different Major League clubs that he has been on.

Banda has one big red flag as a reliever, which is what led to him being on waivers for the Pirates to claim, and that is his inability to keep runners from scoring. From Banda’s time with the Rays in the Majors until now, he has only been able to leave about 50% of the runners on base. This really affects his ERA and is a bad stat for any pitcher, let alone a relief pitcher.

Between this LOB% and the number of home runs that he has allowed, 5, Banda’s ERA in the MLB is all the way up to 6.14. His FIP however is down to 3.87, which shows that while he has a bad ERA, when fielding is taken out of the potential he is not as bad as his other stats show.

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While Banda is more than likely just a player that will be used to eat up innings in what will be an interesting second half before leaving in the offseason, there is a small glimmer of hope that he can turn himself around and get back to performing well, like he did when he was a top prospect back in the day for the Diamondbacks.

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