Walk Rate (Starter)
Jerad Eickhoff just edged out Joelvis Del Rosario for the lowest walk rate among Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitchers. He surrendered just a single free pass in his last 17 innings and four starts, which gave him enough of a window to overtake Del Rosario.
Now by no means did Eickhoff have a good season. He still had a poor 4.96 ERA, 4.57 FIP, but a solid 1.15 WHIP for Triple-A. He primarily served as organizational depth and made just one major league appearance. Unfortunately for Eickhoff, he surrendered ten earned runs on ten hits and two home runs in just 4.1 innings, which ended up being a historically bad start.
The former Philadelphia Phillies rotation arm had a 22.3% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate, edging out Del Rosario by a tenth of a point. Although Eichkhoff had a 3.57 K:BB ratio, the right-hander struggled with the longball, surrendering 17 in 114.1 innings and leading to a 1.34 HR/9 rate.
The chances that Eickhoff returns to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023 is slim-to-none. He served his role as organizational and emergency depth and soaked up innings for Triple-A. In 2021, his role was given to James Marvel; in 2019, that role was Eduardo Vera’s. The Pittsburgh Pirates will probably find a replacement for him this off-season in the form of another minor league signee.
But I do think it’s worth at least mentioning Joelvis Del Rosario here, given that Del Rosario is a prospect and Eickhoff has pitched 464.2 innings in the major leagues and is not a rookie. Del Rosario had a 3.68 ERA, 4.53 FIP, and 1.29 WHIP for Bradenton. Del Rosario had just a 6.4% walk rate, but struck out under 20% of the batters he faced (19.5%) while having an unimpressive 1.16 HR/9. Del Rosario will be in his age-22 season next year, so he’s still fairly young and has time to figure it out.