Pirates Send Three Pitchers Outright to Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that pitchers Luis Escobar, Montana DuRapau and Williams Jerez have all cleared waivers and they have been sent outright to Indianapolis. The three were designated for assignment back on November 20th when the Pirates set their 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Jerez has the option to become a minor league free agent. More on these moves shortly.

Escobar is the surprising one here. He has a mid-90s fastball that touches 98 MPH in relief, a curveball that he uses as a strikeout pitch, and a changeup that is one of the best in the system, with good separation and a late drop. Control has always been an issue for him, but he’s still just 23 years old and had success during a brief stint (five starts) as a starter with Indianapolis this season. He struggled in a relief role, but it was also his first year pitching out of the bullpen.

Escobar will be Rule 5 eligible, though it seems unlikely that anyone will take him now when they could have picked him up cheaper and without Rule 5 restrictions over this past week. Minor league free agent signings have been picked in the Rule 5 draft, so it’s still possible. Right now he’s the best prospect the Pirates have eligible for the draft. His three-pitch mix, plus the fact that he has big league experience, makes him an intriguing choice.

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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