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Pirates claim LHP Sam Moll from Oakland

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have claimed 25-year-old lefty reliever Sam Moll off waivers from Oakland. The team’s 40-man roster now stands at 39, so no move is required.

Despite being just 5’10”, Moll was a third round draft pick of the Rockies out of the University of Memphis in 2013. He had some injury problems in his first couple pro seasons, but had a big 2015 season at the high A and AA levels after moving to relief. He’s been less successful the last two years in AAA, with a combined 4.25 ERA and 7.6 K/9, albeit in hitters environments in the Pacific Coast League. The Rockies evidently weren’t overwhelmed by him, as they shipped him to Oakland for cash last August. He got hammered in 11 outings for the A’s.

Baseball America had Moll in its Colorado top 30 prospects list throughout his four years there, usually in the 20s. According to BA’s 2016 report, he throws a fastball at 93-96 mph, with a good slider that makes him tough on left-handed hitters. His fastball averaged only 92.4 mph during his time with Oakland, though, and he wasn’t effective against LH hitters in AAA this year.

The Pirates also recently picked up two other lefty relievers, Nik Turley and Jack Leathersich, the former off waivers after the season and the latter from the Cubs late in the season. They’ll probably sort through the group to come up with a bullpen option for 2018. I’d be a little surprised if all three are still on the 40-man roster by the start of spring training.