Pilkington, 25, has spent a little more than two months in the Arizona organization. The Snakes purchased his contract from the Guardians on May 1, a few days after Cleveland designated him for assignment while promoting top prospect Tanner Bibee. The D-Backs kept Pilkington on optional assignment to Triple-A Reno since acquiring him, but he’s had a tough time in the brutal Pacific Coast League setting for pitchers.
Through 11 starts and 39 2/3 innings with the Aces, the former 3rd-round selection has allowed a 9.53 ERA. He’s walked nearly as many hitters as he’s punched out (33 vs. 37) and surrendered a staggering 11 home runs.
Pilkington’s lone MLB appearance of the year was a two-inning relief outing for Cleveland on April 25. He’d pitched 15 times (including 11 starts) for the Guardians last season. Pilkington managed a respectable 3.88 ERA through his first 58 MLB frames, although that came with a modest 19.4% strikeout percentage and a lofty 12.4% walk rate.
This is the first time in Pilkington’s career in which he has cleared waivers. Because he also has fewer than three years of MLB service time, he doesn’t have the ability to explore free agency. Pilkington will stick with Reno and look for better results that could secure him a new spot on the 40-man roster.