Pittsburgh Pirates: Five More Surprising Ex-Players Still Active

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Vin Mazzaro #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 9, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Vin Mazzaro #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 9, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 07: Vin Mazzaro #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Four of the National League Division Series at PNC Park on October 7, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 07: Vin Mazzaro #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Four of the National League Division Series at PNC Park on October 7, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

Vin Mazzaro

Vin Mazzaro was a small-time acquisition by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2012-2013 offseason. Mazzaro was a fairly underwhelming swing-man type pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals from 2009 through 2012. He pitched 286 innings, posting a 5.22 ERA, 5.01 FIP, and 1.622 WHIP. He surrendered 38 home runs while only having a 9.5% walk rate, and a poor 13.5% strikeout rate.

The Pirates swapped Mazzaro, along with Clint Robinson for Luis Roco and Luis Santos. The right-hander was brought in to serve a similar role, as a long-relief man. He did just that and then some. Mazzaro became an integral part of the Pirate 2013 bullpen.

In 73.2 innings, Mazzaro pitched to the tune of a strong 2.58 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 1.208 WHIP. Mazzaro only had a 15.1% strikeout rate, but lowered his walk rate to 6.9% and kept an HR/9 below .5, .37 to be exact. 15 of his outings lasted at least 2 innings, but he ended up pitching in higher-leverage roles as the season went on.

However, despite this strong season, the Pirates essentially moved on from Mazzaro. He only pitched in 10.1 innings with the Bucs, all coming in 2014. He also tossed 13 innings with the Miami Marlins in 2015 and San Francisco Giants in 2016. But that was the end of his time in the major leagues, at least so far.

Since 2017, Mazzaro has pitched in the indy leagues. Last year, he pitched 41 innings with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks. However, he pitched poorly allowing 35 earned runs,35 walks, and only 21 strikeouts. Plus he allowed 5 home runs.

Mazzaro’s departure from the Pirates was a bit strange. After pitching extremely well in 2013, the team essentially completely moved on from him one year later. While it’s not to say that he should have taken over the closer’s role, the Bucs could have slotted him in as a long-relief man as he served in 2013.