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Rob Zastryzny DFA’d; Hunter Stratton called up

RHP Hunter Stratton makes his MLB debut.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have designated LHP Rob Zastryzny for assignment to make room for RHP Hunter Stratton, who has been selected from AAA Indianapolis, per a team announcement.

Zastryzny pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief last night in the six to four loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis, allowing an unearned run. Zastryzny has been largely ineffective this year, the 6’3” 31-year-old southpaw had an ERA of 4.79 in just shy of 21 innings. He didn’t strikeout very many (6.53/9) and he walked a ton of batters (5.66/9), just two more Ks than BBs. Righthanded batters were hitting a staggering .333/.423/.511 off of Zastryzny.

The 26-year-old 6’4” righty Hunter Stratton (no relation to former Pirate Chris) has spun a 3.99 ERA for the Pirates AAA affiliate in 47 games and 56.1 innings this season. He throws a fastball, cutter and a slider. The fastball sits mid 90’s and the slider is decent. He has struck out 11.82 per 9 but stop me if you’ve heard this one before, he struggles with control. Walking 4.95 per 9.

Most MLB relievers have good stuff, what separates the relievers who have staying power and establish roles in the majors from the ones who are just another guy passing through is an MLB level feel for pitching. You can’t just be a pure thrower, not at this level.

Stratton has thrown 13 and a third consecutive scoreless innings dating back to August 1st across 12 games. Walking five and striking out 19.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, they can’t afford to be picky. They have to hope that Stratton will be able to provide some innings to a pitching staff that is desperate for them.

This will be Hunter Stratton’s MLB debut.