10 Former Pittsburgh Pirates You Didn’t Know Were Still Playing

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 10: Travis Snider #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates can't catch a ball hit by Tommy Medica #14 of the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of their game on August 10, 2014 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Padres defeated the Pirates 8-2. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 10: Travis Snider #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates can't catch a ball hit by Tommy Medica #14 of the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of their game on August 10, 2014 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Padres defeated the Pirates 8-2. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 19: Radhames Liz #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game at PNC Park on May 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 19: Radhames Liz #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game at PNC Park on May 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

Pitcher Radhames Liz

Radhames Liz was once a top-pitching prospect with the Baltimore Orioles. Going into 2008, he was considered a top 100 prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. However, Liz struggled to produce once he reached the upper minors and his brief time in the major leagues with the O’s wasn’t all that promising. He pitched 110 innings with the Orioles in 2007-2009, Liz produced a 7.50 ERA, 6.26 FIP, and 1.885 WHIP.

Liz was then claimed by the San Diego Padres where he spent the 2010 season with their Triple-A team but was let go in January 2011. That’s when Liz headed over to South Korea where he had a fairly successful three-season run with the LG Twins. This earned him a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2014 season and while he continued to pitch well for their Double-A and Triple-A team, he never appeared in the majors.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were the next team to give Liz a shot and he made his return to the major leagues in 2015. The right-hander made the Pirates’ opening day roster as a long relief man. In total, he only pitched 23.1 innings, surrendering 11 earned runs on 4 home runs and walking 12 more batters. He did have a strong 29% strikeout rate. While he was limiting hard contact and showing a mid-90’s fastball, he seemed to have no control and was subsequently released after the season.

Liz headed back overseas, this time to Japan where he had a solid 2016 season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, and once again, got a shot with a National League Central Club, this time the Milwaukee Brewers. But he struggled with their Triple-A team, leading to him making his way through some Dominican Winter League clubs, and even having a stop in China.

Liz was still pitching as of 2021. He tossed 71.1 innings in the Dominican Winter League and Mexican League where he’s done pretty well. He has a decent 3.15 ERA while only allowing 2 long balls. While his 21.8% strikeout rate, nor his 9.2% walk rate are going to stand out among the crowd, he’s still posting solid results in other leagues.

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