Pirates Non-Roster Invitees who could make the Opening Day bullpen

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1. RHP Hunter Stratton

27-year-old Hunter Stratton has showcased why he’s arguably the top candidate to make the Opening Day roster, after posting solid numbers so far this Spring. Stratton (not to be confused with former Pirates pitcher, Chris Stratton) debuted with the Pirates following a solid 2023 season with the Indianapolis Indians. In 47 appearances, Stratton posted a 3.99 ERA, 74 strikeouts, and 6 saves out of the bullpen. With the Pirates bullpen, Stratton posted a 2.25 ERA, 4.76 FIP, and had 10 strikeouts across 12 innings.

Stratton elected free agency during the 2023 off-season and subsequently re-signed with the team on a Minor League Deal with an invite to Spring Training. As of writing this article, Hunter Stratton has posted a 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 5 strikeouts across 5 innings of work in Grapefruit League games. Granted, this is a small sample size, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. Stratton relies heavily on his 3-pitch mix, which consists of a 95-mph fastball, 91-mph cutter, and an 85-mph slider. If I were a betting man, I’d highly consider Stratton as the top NRI option to make the team.