Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Pirates to Sign Free Agent Reliever on a Minor League Contract

Jake Woodford is in agreement to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chris Cotillo of reports. Woodward will settle in as a member of the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis. The 27 year old elected free agency over the weekend after accepting an outright with the Chicago White Sox. Woodford posted a 10.80 ERA and  7:5 K:BB over 8 1/3 innings with Chicago. In two starts, he was tagged for 10 runs on 15 hits and five walks with seven strikeouts. He had a rough go at Triple-A Charlotte, pitching 49 2/3 innings with a 5.26 ERA across ten starts.

Jake Woodford Signs with the Pirates

Woodford was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015, where he spent his entire career prior to this season. The right-hander did post a 3.26 ERA as a swingman with the Cardinals from 2021-22. In parts of six Triple-A seasons, Woodford pitched to a 4.19 ERA with a 19.5 percent strikeout rate and a 10.2 percent walk rate.

Woodford is Familiar with the National League Central

Woodford is familiar with the NL Central. His performance against the division has come against the Milwaukee Brewers. In eight games, Woodford posted a 3.20 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. Opposing hitters on the Brewers slashed .205/.286/.364 in 98 plate appearances. He provides a major league caliber option for a Pirates team that has battled with inconsistencies in the bullpen. But Woodford could work his way into the mix for a long-relief or fifth starter role with the Pirates.

“We believe we have a ton of talent in the bullpen. We believe we can stack up with anybody from a talent perspective,” general manager Ben Charington said on the radio. “We’ve had some stretches where it’s been inconsistent. You’re not going to find guys with better stuff. It doesn’t mean we won’t keep looking, but that’s an area where we’re just as focused on, ‘How do we help our guys be more consistent?'”

Pittsburgh’s rotation includes fellow rookies Paul Skenes and Jared Jones– in addition to All-Star Mitch Keller. Left-handers Martín Pérez and Martin Gonzales were expected to hold down spots in the rotation behind Keller and Jones. Unfortunately, Perez landed on the injured list last month with a groin strain. Meanwhile, Gonzales has made only three starts before a forerarm injury that’s sidelined him for two months. Quinn Priester joined them on the injured list due to a lat strain.

Main Photo: © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message