The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first post-Neal Huntington move on Wednesday afternoon, claiming left-handed pitcher Sam Howard from the Colorado Rockies.
The 26-year-old Howard was a third round pick in 2014 by the Rockies and has pitched parts of two seasons in the majors. He made it to the show last June and gave up one run over four appearances in four outings. He spent seven weeks in the majors this season over two different stints, posting a 6.63 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 19 innings over 20 appearances.
Somewhat surprisingly, most of the damage Howard gave up this year came on the road, with a 3.38 ERA at Coors Field and 9.00 away from home. His worst outings were actually against the two World Series teams, giving up seven runs over 4.2 innings combined versus the Astros and Nationals, while allowing seven runs over 14.1 innings to everyone else. He faced the Pirates on August 31st and allowed one run on four hits and four strikeouts in two innings.
Howard was ranked as high as #11 in the Rockies system according to Baseball America. That was in 2017 and it was the fourth time he was rated among the team’s top 30 prospects. He was throwing a low-90s sinker at that time, with a strong mid-80s slider and an average changeup.
No other move needs to be made at this time because the Pirates opened up three spots on their roster last week.