The Pirates have claimed Phillies reliever Yacksel Rios, the teams announced Saturday.
Rios, 26, has appeared in 53 games (all in relief) for the Phillies over the last three seasons. He’s flashed consistent bat-missing ability (9.00 career K/9) but has been much too homer-prone (1.96 HR/9) to firmly establish himself among the team’s late-inning options. Rios’ 96.0 average fastball velocity remains prime and perhaps represents fertile clay for new pitching coach Ray Searage to mold, but his shaky command has a long way to go.
Aside from the inimitable Felipe Vazquez, the Pittsburgh pen has been dreadfully short on production of late. Kyle Crick started strong but his again seen his command regress to pre-2018 levels, and neither Richard Rodriguez nor the volatile Keone Kela have been able to reprise past-year performances. Rios, it would seem, should be afforded a long look at some point.