The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first roster move the offseason when they claimed a relief pitcher off waivers on Wednesday afternoon
With the conclusion of the World Series on Tuesday night the offseason officially kicked off for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of Major League Baseball on Wednesday. Well, at least for now with a lockout looming at the end of the month. But, for now, I digress.
Wednesday afternoon saw the Pittsburgh Pirates make their first move of the offseason. This move was made via a waiver claim. The waiver claim addition the Pirates made on Wednesday was right-handed relief pitcher Eric Hanhold.
The 28-year-old Hanhold was a 6th round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2015 MLB Draft. A fun fact about Hanhold is that he was the player to be named later in a trade that saw Neil Walker get traded from the New York Mets to the Milwaukee Brewers in August 2017.
Hanhold made his MLB Debut with the Mets in 2018, pitching 2.1 innings in 3 relief outings. This past season Hanhold returned to the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles. With the Orioles this past season Hanhold posted a 6.97 ERA, 5.96 FIP, allowing 13 hits, 2 home runs, he walked 3 and struck out 6 in 10.1 innings pitched.
A four-pitch mix is what Hanhold offers. He throws a four-seamed fastball, slider, changeup, and a sinker. He throws his fastball the most while his slider appears to have the highest upside of his four pitches.
Waiver claims like this are made throughout the offseason by each MLB team. Often times players are claimed off waivers only to then be designated for assignment again later in the offseason and it would not be a surprise to see this prove to be the case with Hanhold.
Hanhold still has two minor league options. Due to this the Pittsburgh Pirates could option him to Triple-A without him having to first clear waivers. While this will work in Hanhold’s favor it is still far from a given that he will survive the offseason on the team’s 40-man roster.