The Pirates have agreed to a minor league contract with left-hander Robbie Erlin, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. The Apex Baseball client will be in Major League camp this spring and would lock in a $1.5MM salary if he makes the club. The deal also contains an extra $100K worth of incentives.
Erlin, 29, has 313 innings of big league experience, all coming with the Padres from 2013-19. He’s worked both out of the rotation (38 career starts) and the bullpen (68 relief outings) and compiled a career 4.57 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 0.98 HR/9 and a 43.4 percent ground-ball rate. Notably, his career ERA as a reliever (3.86) is more than a run better than his earned run average out of the rotation (4.98).
This past season, Erlin showed above-average spin on his fastball and curve, and it’s also worth pointing out that his career FIP (3.59) is nearly a full run lower than his ERA. Erlin has routinely been plagued by a below-average strand rate, and last year’s ugly 5.37 earned run average was in part impacted by a sky-high .373 average on balls in play.
The Pirates don’t have an established lefty in their bullpen at the moment, so Erlin will give the club some spring competition for Sam Howard and fellow non-roster southpaws Nik Turley and Brandon Waddell.
Biggest pick up of the buccos offseason right there. They are probably hoping he does decently so they can flip him for a prospect at the deadline.
I wouldn’t get too excited about this guy if I were you.
Me thinks the post was being a little sarcastic 🙂
dynamite drop in monty
Why? It was true.
WRONG! They got Gil Heredia.. solid 4th OF
As an A’s fan I remember Gil Heredia well, but he hasn’t pitched in 19 years. Highly doubt he can step into your 4th outfielder spot since A) he’s 54 years old, B) never played a single inning in the OF
All negativity aside … he could work himself to be the Pirates #4 SP no? behind Musgrove Archer and Williams (until Taillon returns)
If he prooves himself yes good point .. but Erlin has the stuff to make it interesting
I think Keller needs to be given a long leash. I’d put him in the rotation for the season unless disaster strikes.
Erlin probably has more upside than Kuhl or Brault though.
We can only hope that someone—anyone—will teach Keller that while a 96-97 mph heater is nice, it’s a lot like the curve balls and spin pitches he hangs dead red
But hey, one or two seasons here and they can trade him to Tampa or Houston, where he’ll undoubtedly blossom
Going to give the new coaching staff benefit of the doubt. Clearly the old staff was part of the problem. They could improve a scraper or reclamation guy but had real problems bringing out the best in young talent who didn’t fit their mold.
Your last statement would hold water if the Pirates still had the same coaching staff. But they don’t soooo..
Was hoping for Salazar or Walker, but honestly this is probably a better move.
I like it. Going to have to take pleasure in the little things this off-season.
dynamite drop in monty
That’s what she said.
Hey you leave my gherkin out of this.
Glad to see teams like the O’s and Pirates adding some veterans to compete for a spot. Shows they are open to possibly winning once every 5 games.
..and not when these guys pitch 😉
Some of you trolls really should let people who know what they are talking about post. And go play dungeons and dragons. Something you all understand.
Agreed. I swear there are some fans that seek out Pirates articles just to troll. Mets fans do this the most, mainly because the Pirates are the only team that have been as bad as they are this century.
dynamite drop in monty
The only people who make fun of D&D are people who never played it because they grew up without friends. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy.
The only people who/ play/ D&D are people/ without friends.
A Lottery ticket that if he makes the team and pitches well in true Pirates fashion cash it in for a younger Lottery ticket at the deadline.
Peart of the game
Looks like another competitor for the Pirates #5 rotation spot.
That’s all they have right now is all number 5 starters lol
Yes! nothing will get past the Erlin Wall
Is there benefit if the Pirates call it a minor league deal? It seems like he’s good enough to be with the club on opening day
It is what it is
On a minor league deal the salary isn’t guaranteed and neither is the roster spot.
They also don’t have to put him on the 40 man now, they can wait until the end of spring training. There’s way less risk in it for the Pirates.
I’m glad we are allocating that money saved on Marte wisely with these types of adds. The first pick of the 2021 and 2022 and 2023 MLB draft picks, the Pittsburgh Pirates take ….
2021 – 18th ranked high school pitcher
2022 – slick fielding shortstop with no bat
2023 – making history by drafting the first ever blind catcher.
The starter/reliever splits on him are very real, Pirates would be wise to pencil him in as a middle reliever and avoid trying to press him into a backend starter role.
To a certain degree he’s been unlucky, both in terms of BABIP and role. He’s actually not a bad bullpen piece, but rebuilding Padres teams forced him into the starting rotation where he didn’t need to be so hopefully the Pirates dont make that mistake as well.
I liked this guy. He is a decent reliever, can get you out of a jam, plus he can fill in as a starter.
Good luck to him, hopefully he performs well
Look on the bright side, every year we will get a number one pick for our losing seasons.
How many number one picks did we have during the 20 year losing season stretch? It didn’t seem to help much! Still I like this deal. It’s a minor league deal so there’s no risk and we need lefties.
Good point and truly, this present era reminds one of that stretch. With no pitching, holes in the outfield and behind the plate and more importantly, no help on the horizon in the minors at any of those positions, it’s extremely hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. This is going to go on for a while
Past overall number 1 picks, Jeff King, Kris Benson, Bryan Bullington and Gerrit Cole.. Prior to Cole not too many All Star selections here.
Other recent forgettable no. 1 picks since 2000 in top 10 of draft were Tony Sanchez, Pedro Alvarez, Daniel Moskos , Brad Lincoln, Paul Maholm and John VanBenschoten.
Sure looks like they are not doing well at this task.
Alvarez led the NL is HR’s one year, then the Pirates completely ruined his confidence by not moving him off 3B sooner and letting his confidence spiral out of control. I wouldn’t lump Pedro in with the rest of those.
Also, since we’re mentioning no 1. picks, lets not leave out McCutchen, Walker, Taillon, Meadows. Not every no 1 pick has been a complete joke.
Agree they have make a few good picks but their percentage of good vs bad should be much higher during the beginning of the first round.
Actually the Pedro pick was pretty bad considering Posey was still on the board with way fewer question marks about him.
He can pitch the 4th-6th Innings when Archer has to be pulled after 3.
San Diego Padres Fan, here: Robbie Erlin was the longest tenured Padre up until this transaction, and that is for a reason. Great Swingman signing by the Buccs. Erlin can toss out of both the Bullpen, and as a great Spot Starter. Wish the Friars had held onto him.