Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed relief pitcher Michael Plassmeyer to a minor league deal.
Plassmeyer, 27, was a fourth-round pick by Seattle in the 2018 draft. He only spent a couple months playing for the Mariners and the following season, he was dealt to Tampa Bay as part of a five player trade. In 2019, he was dominating across 3 levels for the Rays, pitching to a 1.91 ERA in 25 appearances.
He lost his momentum in 2020 with the minor leagues being canceled and he was traded towards the end of the 2021 season to the San Francisco Giants. He struggled pitching for the Giants organization in 2021 and 2022 and posted a 7.38 in 11 Triple-A outings.
His season took a turn for the better after being traded to the Phillies halfway through the 2022 season. With Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he posted a 2.41 ERA in 82 innings of work across 16 starts. The solid performance led to Plassmeyer getting his first call to the Majors late in the 2022 season.
Last season, Plassmeyer spent most of his time at Triple-A and he finished the season with a 3-4 record with a 5.05 ERA for Lehigh. He got another brief call up to Philadelphia and started 1 game and was rocked for 8 hits and 9 earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched.
The 27-year-old is a lefty starting pitcher who throws 3 pitches—a fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball tops out at 90-91 and plays in the high 80’s most of the time. He throws a slider that has a good break but is mostly only thrown as a two strike pitch, trying to get a chase. His changeup is thrown around ⅓ of the time and he does a good job of keeping hitters off balance and locates the changeup well.
Plassmeyer has had some cycles of giving up the gopher ball in bunches. He is not a strikeout pitcher and does not throw hard enough to blow pitches by a batter. His pitching style is based on command and when he misses his spots, he can be hit very hard.
Michael Plassmeyer most likely will get an invite to Bradenton and be another arm trying to crack the no. 5 spot in the rotation. Draft Nation thinks this is more of a depth pickup and that the Pirates are still going to bring in another solid starting pitcher for the rotation. He could go to Indianapolis and be an early season call up if rotation has injury issues.