The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right-handed pitcher David Whitehead, one year after acquiring him in the Charlie Morton trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. Whitehead began the 2016 season in the starting rotation for Altoona, making 11 starts before he was demoted to Bristol. The 24-year-old had a 7.83 ERA and 2.15 WHIP in 46 innings with Altoona, walking more than one batter per inning. He also hit nine batters and had a very poor ground ball rate, with almost nothing going right during his time in Double-A.

When he got to Bristol, things barely got better, despite dropping four levels and being one of the oldest players in the league. In 35.1 innings over two starts and 16 relief appearances, he had a 7.13 ERA and 1.87 WHIP.

He wasn’t a great control pitcher before coming to the Pirates, but things got much worse this season. Last year in the Florida State League, he walked 51 batters in 135.1 innings, while posting a 4.44 ERA. His final walk total this season was 68 over 81.1 innings, plus 14 hit batters.

In a very minor move, the Pirates also released Gavi Nivar. He has been a player-coach (which means he spends the year on the DL), after spending 2009-12 as an outfielder in the lower levels for the Pirates. No word on if he will still remain a coach in the system at this time.

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  1. He is who I would have had pitch last year over Ivan Nova, they could have had him just come up and lose every 5th game, Pirates would have still missed the playoffs and still have Tarpley and Polo.

  2. Whenever the Pirates release a player shortly after acquiring him, I like to look at NH’s comments at the time of acquisition, just for kicks. Every GM has an acquisition or disposition he has to spin now and again, Huntington’s positioning is particularly creative. Except with Jon Niese, for some reason. You can still see the tire marks on Niese’s magnificent schnoz.

    So I was expecting to find a Hutchison-like rationalization, but it turns out he was pretty honest about Whitehead. Faint praise (“we like the player”) followed by his own version of “I mean, we saved $9 million. What do you expect?!?”

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