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.