Pirates Claim Left-Handed Pitcher Jack Leathersich from Cubs

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed 27-year-old left-handed relief pitcher Jack Leathersich off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates already had an open spot on their 40-man roster, so no additional move needs to be made. Leathersich has been assigned to Indianapolis.

Leathersich has pitched parts of two seasons in the majors, 2015 with the New York Mets and 2017 for the Cubs. He had a 2.31 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11.2 innings over 17 appearances with the Mets. He pitched once for the Cubs back on July 6th and allowed two runs, while recording just two outs. That was his only appearance in the majors this season. He has made just one career start in seven seasons of pro ball.

Playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League for Iowa, which isn’t as bad for pitchers as most of the west coast teams in the league, Leathersich has a 2.84 ERA in 44.1 innings over 41 appearances, while striking out 72 batters. He has a 1.20 WHIP, a .167 BAA and a low 0.69 GO/AO ratio. Those numbers are in line with his career stats, where he has had a high strikeout rate, slightly high walk rate and a low ground ball rate.

Leathersich has one option remaining after this season, so he is a player who could still around next year as Triple-A depth. He missed the end of 2015 and start of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, so this is his first full year back.

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BuccosFanStuckinMD

He had an option, had decent minor league numbers, but the Cubs waived him….why?

jimmyz

Control issues seem to be his major red flag. If he can get his walks down in the 2.5 to 3.5 per 9 range then he could be a great pickup.

David N

Too much talent in their system. Mariners took two today.

juniorkrz

Plus, we need a lefty in the pen for 18. Worth a look.

joe s

The bullpen is now secure.

Pete Cepulis

Big minor league strikeout numbers plus an option for next year. Why not?

Ben E

Poor Jack and this close to the playoffs. At least he’s still on a 40 man and getting his checks.

Bucco99

JB just raked one. The only reason to watch this team – Bell and the kids like Diaz, Luplow, Williams and JT.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

Yep, despite the Pirates incompetence in keeping Stewart around, Diaz has still managed to contribute…

I’m happy for Luplow – getting his first hit, first HR, etc. I’ve been hopeful for him since his first year or two in the system…Moroff is starting to figure it out as well.

How about Kuhl? Yes, he’s been up and down all season and has had a few horrendous outings. But, he’s kept battling, has never missed a start that I recall, and he has shown enough promise to want to see him get another rotation shot in 2018. I’d like to see the Pirates try to move Nova, and free up the rotation to provide Glasnow and/or Kingham shots in 2018.

jimmyz

To me, it seems like Trevor Williams has earned a rotation spot over Kuhl though I’m sure they’ll both battle it out with others in Spring Training.

I just feel like Williams pitches deeper into games far more consistently than Kuhl and that Kuhl’s inability with a changeup make him better suited to bullpen work. Plus I like the idea of potentially having a lefty/righty combo of Brault and Kuhl in the pen to play matchups in the 6th and 7th instead of having Williams sitting in the pen waiting for a 13-2 ballgame or an injury to a starter in the first few innings in order to pitch.

j.3.feeney

If Kuhl can use his curveball like he did yesterday as a change of speed he can be good enough to stick around in the rotation. Cubs stacked their lineup with 7 lefties yesterday, Bryant and pitcher as the only right handed batters. Plus I remember a couple games in this stretch of decent pitching where I feel like he said he wasn’t feeling the curveball and still fought into the 6th.

OTOH I totally agree that Williams earned a shot because it just seems like he always knows what he’s doing out there. It’s been almost 2 months since he’s gone fewer than 5 innings and he has a 3.32 ERA.

dr dng

When has this management team ever looked
at lefty/righty matchups?

leefoo

Why not? At worst, AAA depth, at best, a good LHRP out of our ‘pen?

PieRat

His stats seem ok. Even on the Cubs a lefty reliever could have been used so their regulars can be fresh.

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