Pirates Have Shown Interest in Jason Hammel

Jon Morosi reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have shown interest in right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel.

Morosi mentions the Cubs, Royals, and Braves have also expressed interest in the right-hander. I’d imagine the Pirates will be connected to a lot of starting pitchers with A.J. Burnett’s situation being uncertain. As we saw with Bronson Arroyo, showing interest doesn’t mean the Pirates are going to sign the player.

Hammel profiles as a number four starter at his best. From 2009-2011 he pitched about 170 innings per year. In the last two years he has dealt with injuries that have limited him to 118-139 innings. His ERA has always been worse than his advanced metrics, although it certainly didn’t help him that he spent most of his starting career in Colorado and Baltimore, two hitter friendly parks. He has a 45% ground ball rate in his career, although he saw a spike to 53% in 2012 after leaning more on a two-seamer. He stuck with the two-seam fastball in 2013, although his ground ball rate dropped to 40%. The 2012 season was the best of his career, with a 3.43 ERA in 118 innings, along with an 8.6 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9. He might be worth picking up on a smaller deal with hope that he could get back to those levels.

Back in early November I listed Hammel as one of my bounce back starting pitching candidates.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Share This Post On