Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Right-Handed Pitcher Johnny Hellweg

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 29-year-old right-handed pitcher Johnny Hellweg according to his independent league team, the New Jersey Jackals. Hellweg pitched briefly in the majors as a starter for the 2013 Milwaukee Brewers.

The 6’7″ righty has a 3.79 ERA ¬†over 38 innings and 36 appearances this season. He has 19 saves, a 1.42 WHIP and 62 strikeouts. Hellweg has pitched the last two seasons in independent ball, after spending part of 2016 in Double-A and Triple-A for the San Diego Pardres. He is headed to the Altoona Curve according to the tweet linked above from the Jackals.

Indianapolis is short-handed in their bullpen due to sending three pitcher to the majors earlier this week. Both Brandon Cumpton and Cody Dickson were promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis, so it appears Hellweg is just filling the vacated hole in the Altoona bullpen. He could get a chance to pitch in the playoffs for either Altoona or Indianapolis, depending on September 1st promotions and whether both teams make the playoffs. As of right now, they each sit in first place with less than two weeks left in the season.

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.

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jason f (exo)

Not quite as fun of a name as Deathrage… but I guess it will have to do.

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