Once a well regarded Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitching prospect Yerry De Los Santos has returned to the mound for Double-A Altoona
Right-handed pitcher Yerry De Los Santos is a bit of a forgotten name in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system. He started the season with Double-A Altoona and was viewed as a reliever who could pitch his way to the Major League roster this season.
However, on June 1st these plans took a hit when he was placed on the injured list. De Los Santos was placed on the IL, retroactive to May 29th, with a forearm issue. This raised a red flag as often times forearm issues lead to bigger problems for pitchers.
Luckily it was a minor issue for De Los Santos. After not requiring surgery De Los Santos was able to return to the mound for the Altoona Curve on Thursday night. This return will give De Los Santos an opportunity to finish the season strong and put himself in a spot to potentially contend for an Opening Day roster spot.
In his return to the mound for the Curve on Thursday night De Los Santos faced four batters. He allowed a hit, issued a walk and induced a double play while pitching a scoreless inning for Altoona.
Overall this season at the Double-A the 23-year-old De Los Santos has pitched 13.2 innings in 9 relief appearances. De Los Santos has posted a 1.98 ERA and a 4.16 FIP in his 13.2 innings of work. He has walked 8.8% of batters faced, has struck out a healthy 24.6% of batters faced and has allowed just a single home run for a home run rate of 0.66 HR/9.
Pitching well is nothing new for De Los Santos. In his minor league career De Los Santos owns a 2.89 ERA in 149.2 innings pitched. He’s allowed home runs at a 0.30 HR/9 rate while striking 143 batters.
This offseason De Los Santos will be Rule 5 Draft eligible. If he finishes the month of September strong this could make him an intriguing arm for other teams in the Rule 5 Draft. Due to this the Pittsburgh Pirates may be facing a decision with De Los Santos.
As Noah has previously discussed the Pittsburgh Pirates will be facing multiple Rule 5 Draft related roster decisions this offseason. If De Los Santos is added to the 40-man roster to protect him then, obviously, that is a sign that the Pirates think highly of De Los Santos and see a future for him with the organization.
If he is added to the 40-man roster this offseason it is not out of the realm of possibility that he could enter Spring Training with a possibility of cracking the Opening Day roster. Even if he is not protected, and then is not selected in the Rule 5 Draft, this could be a possibility. After all, De Los Santos will be 24-years-old on Opening Day, has always had strong minor league numbers and the Pirates will be in need of bullpen help.