Pittsburgh Pirates Add Left-Handed Reliever Via Rule 5 Draft

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

During the MLB portion on Wednesday’s Rule 5 Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates added a left-handed reliever from the Los Angeles Dodgers system

Every year on the final day of Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings there is the Rule 5 Draft. This is done to give players who have been stuck in the minors for five years or more an opportunity to make another team’s MLB roster. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates added a pitcher in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

With the Pittsburgh Pirates searching for left-handed bullpen help, they selected Jose Hernandez from the Los Angeles Dodger organization in the draft. With the High-A and Double-A affiliates of the Dodger last season, Hernandez posted a 3.32 ERA, 4.50 FIP, and a 27.8% strikeout rate in 59.2 innings pitched.

Hernandez is a hard-throwing lefty who can touch triple digits. However, as is often the case for pitchers selected in the Rule 5 Draft, control is a question for Hernandez who walked 11.4% of batters faced at the Double-A level last season.

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Hernandez must remain on the team’s active roster for the entire season. If not, he will be returned to the Dodgers unless the Pirates can work out a trade to keep him. with Jarlin Garcia the only other lefty currently on the Pirate 40-man roster, Hernandez should have a legitimate path to cracking the team’s Opening Day bullpen.

In the MLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft the Pirates also lost a player. One pick after the Pirates selected Hernandez, they watched their division foe Cincinnati Reds select catcher/outfielder Blake Sabol. Sabol appeared to be the most likely player of those left unprotected by the Pirates to be drafted, so it did not come as a surprise that he was selected.

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There was also some movement with the Pirates in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. The Pirates added right-handed pitcher Weh-Chieh Huang from the San Francisco Giants and outfielder Joshua Palacios from the Washington Nationals. The Pirates also lost pitchers Enmanuel Mejia, Trey McGough, Austin Roberts, Cristian Charle, Peter Solomon, Joelvis Del Rosario, Joe Jaques, Wilkin Ramos, and Domingo Gonzalez in the minor league portion of the draft. The Bucs also lost infield Yoyner Fajardo and outfielder Jared Oliva.