Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitchers Tyler Jones and Bo Schultz to minor league deals on Friday.
Schultz is a 32-year-old with parts of three seasons in the majors. He had Tommy John surgery at the end of March, so he likely won’t be ready for Opening Day this year. Schultz has a 4.54 ERA in 51 appearances in the big leagues, with a 1.19 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. He is a ground ball pitcher, posting a 1.87 GO/AO ratio over his eight seasons in the minors. He primarily works as a sinker ball pitcher and had his velocity up to mid-to-high 90s in his last few seasons after working low-90s as a starter in the minors.
Jones is 28-years-old who spent this past season in Triple-A with the New York Yankees. It was his first shot at Triple-A and he had a 4.38 ERA in 63.2 innings over 44 appearances. He also gets his share of ground balls, but he has been more of a strikeout pitcher in the minors, picking up a total of 437 strikeouts in 360 innings. He was twice ranked among the top 30 prospects for the Minnesota Twins, who drafted him in the 11th round in 2011. Jones in 2013 had a fastball that touched 97 MPH and an above average hard slider, which had him ranked 23rd in the Minnesota system.
Both should begin their seasons in the bullpen for Indianapolis, which already seems crowded to begin the season. Schultz will likely begin his season later, so the crowded bullpen won’t affect his placement. His big league experience makes him a nice depth option to pickup at a low cost. I’d expect both of them to receive invites to Major League Spring Training.
On a side note, Brandon Cumpton signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers today.