Pittsburgh Pirates News: Kyle Keller Signs With Hanshin Tigers

Aug 2, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Keller (67) delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Keller (67) delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /
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After spending the 2021 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Kyle Keller will now continue his baseball career in Japan

During the 2021 season the bullpen took its lumps for the Pittsburgh Pirates. One of the relievers who struggled was righty Kyle Keller who joined the Pirate organization after being traded to Pittsburgh from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for cash considerations last April.

Keller pitched in the majors with the Miami Marlins in 2019 and with the Angels in 2020. However, he logged just 13 innings in 12 relief outings across these two seasons. In 2021 Keller soared pass these numbers pitching 33.1 innings in 32 innings of work.

The Pittsburgh Pirates used Keller in a variety of ways out of the bullpen. He pitched in long relief, as well as being given opportunities to pitch in high-leverage situations due to his possesses plus power stuff that he has just never been able to harness.

In his 33.1 innings of work Keller struggled mightily. He allowed 30 hits, 9 home runs, hit 5 batters, walked  woeful 14.2% of batters faced, and he struck out 23.2% of opposing batters. This resulted in Keller posting a 6.48 ERA, 6.95 FIP and a -0.6 fWAR on the season.

Following his struggles Keller removed from the 40-man roster by the Pirates leading to him becoming a free agent. The 28-year-old Keller now has a new home. In 2022 Keller will play for the Hanshin Tigers of the Nippo Baseball League in Japan.

Keller has the tools necessary to be a quality relief pitcher. His fastball averages 94.5 MPH and generated a 34.7% whiff rate in 2021. He has, however, been burnt by allowing too many fly balls, which has led to career home run rate of 2.33 HR/9.

Next. Four Potential Minor League Signings. dark

All of us here at Rum Bunter wish Keller all the best in Japan. Hopefully he will be able to harness his potentially plus stuff, pitch well and return to Major League Baseball one day in the not so distant future.

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