The Pirates will select the contract of right-hander Jerad Eickhoff prior to tonight’s game, as first reported by Jarrod Prugar of DK Sports Pittsburgh (Twitter link). Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hears the same and takes a look at Eickhoff’s road back to the Majors after beginning the year in minor league camp during Spring Training. Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster is currently full, so they’ll need to make a corresponding move.
Eickhoff, 31, is a veteran of six big league seasons, most of which have come with the cross-state Phillies. He spent the 2021 season in the Mets organization and made a handful of spot starts for an injury-depleted rotation, serving up 19 runs in 19 2/3 innings. The majority of the damage against Eickhoff came in his final outing, though, when the Mets left him on the hill to take a 10-run shellacking in 3 1/3 innings versus Atlanta.
Prior to last year’s rough stint in Queens, Eickhoff had been a generally solid contributor in Philly. His numbers dipped in his final year with the club, but Eickhoff nonetheless notched a 4.15 ERA over the course of 459 2/3 innings as a member of the Phils, striking out 21.4% of his opponents against a strong 6.8% walk rate.
Those big league numbers with the Phillies fall closely in line with Eickhoff’s career marks at the Triple-A level (4.29 ERA, 22% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate). That includes a 2022 season in which he’s logged 48 1/3 innings foe the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. In that time, Eickhoff has posted a 4.84 ERA with strikeout and walk rates close to his career norms. He’s made seven relief appearances and six starts so far in Triple-A, though he hasn’t topped 81 pitched or completed six innings in any single outing this year.
There’s no obvious 60-day IL candidate for the Pirates, who have a a full 40-man roster after acquiring Eric Stout from the Cubs earlier today. Pittsburgh also has infielder Tucupita Marcano and righty Duane Underwood Jr. on the Covid-related IL, and they’ll need a pair of spots once that duo is cleared for reinstatement. Based on Eickhoff’s forthcoming promotion and that pair of IL usages, it would seem there’s a decent bit of roster maneuvering on the horizon for the Bucs.