Marlins right-hander Austin Pruitt went unclaimed on waivers and has been assigned outright to Triple-A Jacksonville, per the team’s transactions log at MLB.com. He was designated for assignment Friday. It’s the second time since acquiring Pruitt prior to the trade deadline that Miami has passed him through waivers.
Pruitt, 32, has the service time to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. However, with the regular-season calendar winding down and a $617,500 salary that checks in a bit north of the league minimum — he’d forfeit the remainder of his guarantee by electing free agency — Pruitt may simply ride out the season with the Marlins’ top minor league affiliate or hope to be added back to the 40-man roster. If he’s not on the 40-man roster at the end of the season, he’ll have the opportunity to elect free agency then, as an outrighted player with three-plus years of MLB service time.
The Marlins acquired Pruitt alongside outfielder Bryan De La Cruz in the trade that sent Yimi Garcia to the Astros, but De La Cruz was the team’s primary target in that deal. Pruitt has pitched well in a limited sample with the Fish, holding opponents to one run on four hits and no walks with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 big league frames. He’s been sharp in Triple-A, too, with just four runs and a 10-to-1 K/BB ratio through 11 innings of work.
Pruitt has spent most of the 2021 season on the 60-day injured list as he recovered from Sept. 2020 surgery to repair a fracture in his elbow. That elbow trouble last year kept him off the mound for the entirety of the shortened 2020 campaign. In 207 Major League innings, most of which came with the Rays from 2017-19, Pruitt has a 4.83 ERA with a below-average 17.2 percent strikeout rate, an excellent 5.7 percent walk rate and an above-average 48.5 percent ground-ball rate.