Huntington on Gomez
The Pirates on Wednesday acquired pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the Cleveland Indians and he’s a pitcher there’s some intrigue about from Pirate scouts. The 24-year-old Gomez went 5-8 with a 5.96 ERA (90.2ip/60er) in 20 games (17 starts) with Cleveland last season and 6-5 with a 4.41 ERA (69.1ip/34er) in 11 starts with Triple-A Columbus. He has posted a 14-16 record, 5.18 ERA (206.2ip/119er) and 112 strikeouts in 42 appearances (38 starts) in his big league career.
Gomez joins a long list of pitchers, headlined by Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson, who will enter spring training battling for one or two rotation spots.
“We feel he is an interesting young pitcher with remaining upside that adds to the group we have to compete for a spot in our rotation and or in our bullpen,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com.
Pirates scouts are high on Gomez’s sinker to get ground ball outs.
“We like his sinker and the corresponding ability to get ground balls as well as his ability to throw strikes with all of his pitches,” Huntington said.
LATEST JOE SAUNDERS & FRANCISCO LIRIANO RUMORS
Are the Pirates back in the hunt for 31 year old lefty Joe Saunders?
Prior to reaching their now failed agreement with Francisco Liriano in December, the Pirates were also showing interest in Saunders but balked at the three year asking price in the $24-$27 million range Saunders was seeking and the Pirates also saw the higher upside in Liriano.
With Liriano, according to multiple Pirates sources, out of the picture for now, there’s some chatter again that the Pirates are looking at Saunders as a target to fill their No. 3 spot in the rotation, per John Perrotto.
The 31 year old lefty went 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA last season, splitting time with the Diamondbacks and Orioles. The Pirates looked into Saunders last summer prior to acquiring Wandy Rodriguez near the trade deadline. Saunders is an innings eater and a safe pitcher in that you know what you’re going to get from him. However, is he worth a three year deal? No, and he’s not going to get it from the Pirates if they go all in for him.
THE LATEST FRANCISCO LIRIANO RUMORS
Huntington has said that the Pirates remain “engaged” with Liriano’s agent but not one Pirates front office type I’ve heard from speaking on or off record has told me I hope we can still work something out with Liriano. Without anyone flat out saying it, there really seems to be a strong sense that the Pirates have moved on after pulling their 2 year offer.
Liriano’s agent has refused comment to this point.
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