The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right-handed pitcher John Holdzkom, who was designated for assignment on April 3rd when they set their Opening Day roster. We have seen multiple times this year that the Pirates have released a pitcher, only to re-sign him to a minor league deal. They did it with Casey Sadler, Guido Knudson and Angel Sanchez this off-season, and had the intentions to do it with Jesse Biddle as well, but the Atlanta Braves claimed him off waivers.
No word yet if the Pirates have intentions of doing the same thing with Holdzkom. When he was sent to minor league camp during Spring Training, he was listed on the injured roster. His velocity was well down during Spring Training this year, sitting 90-91 MPH.
UPDATE 7:03 PM: I just confirmed that Holdzkom cleared waivers, but the Pirates were unable to outright him to Triple-A because he’s not “healthy”. Thus, the release. I’d expect them to try and sign him back. -Tim Williams
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.