Late Monday night the Pittsburgh Pirates capped off a busy day of roster moves by releasing right-handed pitcher Cody Ponce
Monday was a busy a day around all of Major League Baseball. This is due to the CBA being set to expire later this week which causes a lockout to be looming. Among the many busy MLB teams on Monday was the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The day started with the Pittsburgh Pirates designating Steven Brault for assignment as they made the signing of José Quintana official. Jacob Stallings was traded to the Marlins, Jerad Eickoff was signed to a minor league deal, and Colin Moran was designated for assignment as the team officially re-signed Yoshi Tsutsugo.
Assuming Zach Thompson, who was one of the three players acquired for Stallings, replaces Stallings on the 40-man roster, the Pirate 40-man roster appeared to be full. However, that may not be the case. That is as a result of the latest roster move by the Pirates.
According to the team’s official transaction page they have released right-handed pitcher Cody Ponce.
Entering the offseason the 27-year-old Ponce was a candidate to be taken off of the Pirate 40-man roster. It appears that move has now taken place. Ponce is coming off a season in which he made a pair of starts, pitching in 15 games.
Ponce pitched 38.1 innings in his 15 outings posting a 7.04 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 20.1% strikeout rate and he allowed home runs at a concerning 1.88 HR/9 rate. The past two seasons Ponce has pitched 55.1 innings for the Pirates in 20 games, 5 of which were starts. Ponce has a lifetime 5.86 ERA, 5.46 FIP and a home run rate of 2.11 HR/9.
This gives the Pirates an open spot on their 40-man roster entering what could be a busy Tuesday. In addition to it being MLB’s non-tender deadline, the Pirates also enter the day needing to add a catcher before the lockout begins. The team could use more starting rotation and bullpen help as well, but they currently do not have a catcher on the 40-man roster. By releasing Ponce they now have an open spot on the 40-man roster.