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

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
5 of 6

4. RHP Brent Honeywell Jr.

On February 8th, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed former top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell Jr. to a Minor League deal, with an invite to Spring Training. After being named one of the top pitching prospects in Major League Baseball for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017, Honeywell unfortunately got injured during Spring Training in 2018 and underwent Tommy John Surgery. For the next few seasons, Honeywell dealt with a variety of injuries that kept him off the field, and he bounced around to the Athletics, Padres, and White Sox from 2021-2023, until he recently landed with the Pirates.

With the Padres and White Sox, Honeywell posted a 4.82 ERA, 5.62 FIP, 45 strikeouts, and a 1.45 WHIP across 52.1 innings. Honeywell was a decent ground baller (48.8 groundball %) but struggled with control at times. His numbers with the Padres were better than his combined ERA, because his awful stint with the White Sox inflated his ERA from a 4.05 (with San Diego), to a 4.85 combined ERA. One of Honeywell’s best pitches is his screwball, which is fairly uncommon in today’s league, and it has been fun to watch during Spring Training.

Brent Honeywell Jr. has had his ups and downs this Spring for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he should still be a consideration for one of these bullpen vacancies. I am hopeful that Brent Honeywell Jr. will bounce back and put together a decent year out of the bullpen, but only time will tell if he makes the Opening Day roster.