Since rejoining the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month, Dauri Moreta has pitched extremely well out of the bullpen
Following an injured list stint in August, Dauri Moreta pitched in just two games for the Pittsburgh Pirates before being optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Moreta spent about a month in the minors before rejoining the Pirate roster earlier this month. Since rejoining the Pirates, Moreta has seemed to find his early season form once again.
To start the season Moreta was one of the best relievers in the Pirate bullpen. Through his first 31.2 innings pitched this season Moreta owned a 1.71 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 11.9% walk rate, 34.1% strikeout rate, and an opponent batting average of just .151. Also, he allowed just 2 home runs throug these 31.2 innings pitched.
Well, from the middle June until he was optioned to Indy in August Moreta would proceed to struggle. In 19.1 innings pitched during this stretch he posted an 8.38 ERA and a 3.93 FIP. His walk rate dropped to 10.0%, but his strikeout rate fell to 25.6% and opponent's bating average agaisnt Mortea jumped to .278.
In a lot of ways, Moreta looked like a young pitcher who was hitting a wall in their first full MLB season. He appeared to be a pitcher that was running out of gas and may need some time down. Between his IL stint and trip to the minors, Moreta pitched just 10.1 innings betwen August 3rd and Septmeber 23rd.
The lightened workload appears to be benefitting Moreta.
Moreta faced three batters on Saturday night, retiring two of them in 2/3 of a scoreless innings pitched. With that, he has now pitched 6.0 hitless, scoreless innings pitched since rejoining the Pirates. Moreta has not walked a batter while striking out 7 in these 6.0 innings.
Since Moreta has returned to the Pirates he has also looked different on the mound. The swag, confidence, and bravado he had early in the season has returned. Additionally, Moreta has had filthy stuff returning often making hitters look silly and generating a healthy number of swings-and-misses.
Looking ahead to 2024, Moreta will likely have a spot in the Pirate Opening Day bullpen. Not just that, Moreta should be a key cog in the team's bullpen as a pitcher that garners high leverage opportunities.