RHP Cody Bolton
Cody Bolton didn’t pitch in 2020 because of COVID shutting down the minor leagues and missed all of 2021 because of a meniscus injury. 2022 was a make-or-break year for Bolton, and while there were still some concerns, he put together a fairly solid campaign. Bullpen depth is currently the Pirates’ biggest weakness, so Bolton could secure a long-relief role next season.
Bolton spent the entire year at Triple-A Indy, where he racked up a total of 75.2 frames. He worked as a swingman, starting 14 of his 30 appearances. He had a solid 3.09 ERA, 3.81 FIP, and 1.28 WHIP during his time at Indy. Bolton struck out over a quarter of his opponents with a 25.4% K-rate, allowing just four home runs.
But there were some concerns about his season. Bolton walked 12.4% of the opponents he squared off against. Despite his low home run rate, he only had a 40.6% ground ball rate. His HR/FB ratio was just 5.1%, representing good flyball luck. Bolton had a 4.85 xFIP, which adjusts for his ground ball rate and HR/FB ratio.
But Bolton was still fairly solid overall. Bolton looked decent after missing two seasons. He was in the 92-95 MPH range with a decent slider. His command also got better as the season went on. He had a much more manageable 9.6% walk rate in the second half of the year. He might not be a starting pitcher, but he could make the occasional spot start here and there.