The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed Rinku Singh, who was eligible for minor league free agency this off-season, according to Baseball America. This is pretty minor news, as Singh hasn’t pitched in the last three years due to elbow issues, and isn’t a big prospect when he’s healthy. However, he’s a big story due to his background, after signing out of India in the Million Dollar Arm contest, which eventually led to Disney making a movie about him.
Singh missed the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery, then missed the 2014 season after setbacks with the injury. He tried to return during instructs in the fall of 2014, but broke his elbow, and missed the entire 2015 season as a result. He never had a lot of velocity, throwing in the mid-80s, so there’s not much concern about his arm returning to former high marks in velocity. His bread and butter in the past was his great breaking stuff and command as a lefty, and we’ll see how that works out after a long layoff.
In the past, I’ve called Singh a guy who could reach Double-A and max out there. The control and the breaking stuff allowed him to dominate in relief in the low levels, but that doesn’t usually work out above A-ball. Reaching Double-A would still be a great story for a guy with his background. I could see him returning in an organizational role as a lefty bullpen filler in Bradenton or Altoona next year.
The Pirates also re-signed Jason Erickson, Kieran Mattison, Sammy Gonzalez, Drew Rossi, Adam Godwin, and Gavi Nivar. All six were player/coaches in the system last year, and they will all return to that same role next year.