Pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton this week for the beginning of Spring Training. We’ve made it.
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced three non-roster invitees who will be with the Major League club on Monday, all right-handed pitchers.
Brent Honeywell, Wily Peralta and Connor Sadzeck will join the Bucs at LECOM Park and Pirates City.
Honeywell was a 2014 Competitive Balance B pick (72nd overall) of the Tampa Bay Rays and made his MLB debut in 2021 after dealing with injuries. He pitched with the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox last season and compiled a 2-4 record and 4.82 ERA in 40 games. Honeywell underwent Tommy John surgery before the 2018 season and also did not pitch in the Majors two years ago.
Brent Honeywell, Screwball (slow)— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 11, 2021
First Major League K. pic.twitter.com/OLKKxhfhz5
He was regarded as high as the No. 12 and No. 14 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America, respectively, entering the 2018 campaign. Honeywell, 28, deploys a nasty screwball 8 percent of his arsenal but struggles with his 95-mph fastball. His ground-ball percentile of 81 is in the upper quarter of the game.
Peralta, 34, is a familiar name to Pirates fans from his days with NL Central rival Milwaukee. In six seasons with the Brewers, Peralta totaled a 4.48 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 132 appearances (120 starts). He struggled in Triple-A Rochester this season, an affiliate of the Nationals, where he pitched to a 6.31 ERA in 24 starts but struck out 100 batters. He’s bounced between Kansas City and Detroit since leaving the Brew Crew and has experience pitching in the bullpen.
Sadzeck joined the Minnesota Twins organization in February of last year and hasn’t pitched in an MLB game since mid-2022. He made his big league debut in 2018 with Texas and was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the 45th round in 2010 - a round that no longer exists - but did not sign with the organization. Sadzeck, 32, also didn’t pitch in the bigs from 2020-2021 but was good in 2019 (2.66 ERA and 27 strikeouts) through 23.2 innings. He recorded a 5.40 ERA, 1.89 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 35 innings at Triple-A last season.
All three are depth signings with the hope one of them rounds into form. Honeywell feels like the most likely candidate who could sneak into the final bullpen spot or as a starter in Indianapolis one call away from pitching at PNC Park.
The Pirates officially report to Bradenton on Wednesday.