What are the Pittsburgh Pirates getting in recently claimed right-handed pitcher Roddery Muñoz?
On Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed right-handed pitcher Roddery Muñoz off waivers from the Washington Nationals. The former Atlanta Braves farmhand was a top-30 prospect in the Washington farm system.
Muñoz was added to Atlanta's 40-man roster ahead of last season to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. He was promoted to the majors for the first time in his career in June, but did not make his debut before being designated for assignment.
After being DFA'd, Muñoz was claimed off waivers by the Washington Nationals. He then pitched for the Nats' Triple-A team, the Rochester Red Wings, for the remainder of the 2023 season. After being DFA'd by the Nats, Muñoz now joins the Pirate organization.
In the minor leagues last season, Muñoz pitched in the Complex League, Double-A, and Triple-A. Muñoz pitched in 34 games, making 14 starts, logging 78.0 innings. He posted a 5.42 ERA, 5.56 FIP, 15.1% walk rate, and a 23.0% strikeout rate. Opposing batters hit .237 off of Muñoz, to go with 11 home runs (1.27 HR/9). He also hit 4 batters.
Muñoz throws a fastball, slider, and changeup. His two best pitches are his fastball and slider. FanGraphs rates Muñoz's fastball as a 60-grade pitch, and his slider is also rated as a 60-grade pitch by FanGraphs.
However, the big issue with Muñoz is his control. His command has just a 35-grade rating from FanGraphs. His 15.1% walk rate last season and career 11.7% walk rate in the minor leagues exemplify the command issues of Muñoz.
If Muñoz can improve his command, he could be worth a look out of the Pirate bullpen. Without that happening, he's nothing more than an organizational filler set to spend the 2023 season with Triple-A Indianapolis.