Eickhoff, 31, appeared in just one game for the Pirates and was torched for 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Cubs this week. Remarkably, that’s the second consecutive big league appearance in which Eickhoff has been tagged for 10 earned runs; he also yielded 10 runs (in 3 1/3 frames) to the Braves in his final outing of the year with the Mets last season.
Those two outings have combined to help balloon Eickhoff’s career ERA to 4.50 and mark the continuation of a recent decline in Eickhoff’s overall performance. While he was a solid rotation option with the Phillies from 2015-17, pitching to a 3.87 ERA over 376 1/3 innings during that time, Eickhoff has totaled just 87 2/3 Major League innings from 2018-22 and pitched to a collective 7.19 ERA along the way. The Pirates will have a week to trade Eickhoff, release him or attempt to pass him through outright waivers. He has enough service time to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency if he chooses.
Brice, meanwhile, will join the big league bullpen on the heels of a sharp 3.04 ERA through 26 2/3 innings in Triple-A Indianapolis. He’s posted strong strikeout and ground-ball rates in Indy (27.2% and 50.7%, respectively), but has also issued a walk to 11 of the 114 batters he’s faced (9.6%) and plunked another three. Brice is a veteran of parts of six Major League seasons — the best of which came with the 2019 Marlins (44 2/3 innings, 3.43 ERA). Overall, he carries a lifetime 5.17 ERA in 162 big league innings.