Pirates Release Tom Boleska, Activate Brian Leach
The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right handed reliever Tom Boleska, in order to make room in Altoona for right handed reliever Brian Leach, who is coming off the disabled list. Boleska currently has a 5.40 ERA in 16.2 innings, with an 11:12 K/BB ratio. Most of his struggles are recent, as he started the season with 10.2 shutout innings, before allowing 10 runs in six innings over his last four outings. However, his strikeout numbers weren’t strong in April, with a 5:6 K/BB ratio in those 10.2 shutout innings.
Boleska was drafted in the 35th round of the 2007 draft, and is currently in his second season in Altoona, spending half a season at the level in 2010. He put up a 2.73 ERA in 26.1 innings last year, with an 18:8 K/BB ratio. When I saw him during Spring Training, he was touching 93 MPH with his fastball.
As for Leach, he has struggled with his control this year, with 12 walks in 11.2 innings prior to his trip to the disabled list. That was an issue for him in the Arizona Fall League over the off-season. Leach has a good arm, throwing his fastball consistently in the 94-96 MPH range. He could make a good late inning reliever if he managed to fix his control issues. Last year he pitched 138 innings in the Bradenton rotation, and only allowed 44 walks.