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Pirates sign Kyle Waldrop to minor-league deal

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Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The Pirates have signed reliever Kyle Waldrop to a minor-league contract. Waldrop, 27, appeared in 24 games for the Twins across 2011 and 2012. That Waldrop was unable to stick given Minnesota's horrible pitching says a lot of what you need to know about him, and ultimately, whatever else you might have going for you, you have to strike out someone. Waldrop struck out just 28 batters in 60.1 innings across three levels last year, which explains why he's not on a 40-man roster anymore.

But what Waldrop does have going for him is a ridiculous 72.2% ground ball percentage in his brief big-league career, along with very strong ground ball percentages throughout the minors. He also keeps the ball in the zone. As you might expect, given that profile, Waldrop is a tall pitcher who throws a ton of sinkers. If the Pirates get short on relievers, and they probably will, sending Waldrop to the mound to run Clint Barmes ragged really isn't the worst idea I've ever heard. Waldrop will probably just be depth for Indianapolis, but he's worth keeping an eye on.