According to Pirates Prospects (sub. req’d), the Pirates have signed right-handed pitchers Tyler Jones and Bo Schultz to minor league contracts. Both figure to provide bullpen depth in AAA. And yes, yes, “print the World Series tickets!!” Whatever. Whoever comes up with an original comment for this type of signing, instead of the same tired, brainless nonsense, wins the internet.
Schultz, 32, spent parts of 2014-16 in the majors with the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks, posting an ERA of 4.54 and xFIP of 4.05. He hasn’t pitched especially well in AAA, with a 5.27 ERA in 210 IP, but he’s been better as a reliever there than as a starter. He apparently got a significant velocity boost when he moved to relief and now sits around 96 mph. He also throws a slider. Schultz had Tommy John surgery in March 2017, so he probably won’t be available at the beginning of the season.
Jones, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors. He’s pitched in the minors since 2011 for the Twins, Braves and Yankees. He moved up through the minors very slowly, reaching AAA only in 2017. He evidently pitched better than his 4.38 ERA last year indicates, as his xFIP was 2.81. He’s always had high K rates, in double figures nearly every year, and typically walks only about three batters per nine innings. Jones throws in the mid-90s with a slider and change.