Pirates reliever Geoff Hartlieb underwent surgery on his right foot Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2020 season.
The 25-year-old right-hander, who appeared in 29 games with the Pirates this season, posted a post-surgery photo on Instagram Wednesday afternoon.
The photo showed him lying in a hospital bed with a heavily bandaged right foot – and Hartlieb flashing two thumbs up.
Hartlieb joined the Pirates in 2016 after the club selected him in the 29th round of the June draft out of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder made 16 appearances that season for Bristol in the Appalachian League, going 4-1 with a 4.44 ERA in 26 1/3 innings.
In 2017, Hartlieb divided his season between West Virginia in the Class A South Atlantic League and Bradenton in the Florida State League. He went a combined 2-6 with a fine 2.12 ERA in 63 2/3 innings. Hartlieb yielded 51 hits and 15 walks while striking out 62.
That earned him a promotion to Class AA Altoona in 2018, and he again pitched well, posting an 8-2 record and a 3.24 ERA in 47 games – all in relief.
He followed that with a stint in the Arizona Fall League, but faltered there by giving up 23 hits and 10 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings over 10 relief appearances.
Hartlieb more than held his own at Triple-A Indianapolis this year, striking out 50 and posting a 2.50 ERA in 39 ½ innings over 26 relief appearances.
But he was not nearly as effective in his stint with the big club. He surrendered 52 hits and 18 walks in 35 innings, and wound up with a 9.00 ERA. He did, however, strike out 50 batters.
It’s not known if health issues played a role in Hartlieb’s ineffectiveness at the big league level.
The exact nature of Hartlieb’s surgery – or the injury that precipitated it – was not known as of Wednesday. In his Instagram post, Hartlieb wrote, “Looking to get this bad boy healed up and getting ready for 2020 … excited to be healthy on the mound once again.”