Pirates Release Fernando Nieve

The Pirates released pitcher Fernando Nieve, reports Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The 28-year-old righty struck out eight and walked two in 7 1/3 spring innings, but somehow also managed to allow 17 hits.

Last year for the Mets, Nieve posted a 6.00 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 2.1 HR/9, and 37% groundball rate in 42 innings.  18.5% of his flyballs left the yard, a rate that led all of MLB among those with at least 40 innings.  Nieve also made eight starts in Triple-A, posting a 5.63 ERA.  He signed a minor league deal with the Pirates on December 1st.

Five years ago Nieve was the Astros' third-best prospect in the eyes of Baseball America.  Back then he was said to have a plus fastball and slider, and a comparison to Ugueth Urbina was considered a positive.