The Pirates have claimed left-handed reliever Sam Howard off waivers from the Rockies, per an announcement from Colorado. Howard, 26, had spent his whole career with the Rockies after they selected him in the third round in 2014.
A slider specialist, Howard made his MLB debut in 2018 but got his first significant big league action in 2019. He tossed 19 innings in 20 relief appearances with a strong 25.3% strikeout rate, but problems with walks and home runs contributed to a 6.63 ERA. Howard showed better in 42 relief appearances in Triple-A Albuquerque, working out of the bullpen full-time for the first time in his minor-league career.
Howard comes with another option season, so he’ll give the club a flexible lefty relief piece with swing-and-miss stuff so long as he sticks on the 40-man roster throughout the winter.