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Pirates Assign Eric Hanhold, Chase De Jong to Minor League Camp

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The Pittsburgh Pirates reassigned right-handed pitchers Chase De Jong and Eric Hanhold to minor league camp, the team announced on Sunday

De Jong was signed to a minor league contract on March 17 and appeared in three spring training games, pitching three innings with three strikeouts and allowing one earned run for a 3.00 ERA.

De Jong first signed with the Pirates on Jan. 5, 2021 on a minor-league deal. He as selected to the active roster last May 30, and made eight starts with Pittsburgh last season, with a 1-4 record and a 5.77 ERA. His season was cut short after being struck by a line drive on July 30. The Pirates released him from the 40-man roster in November.

This spring, he was unable to beat out a group of starters that includes JT Brubaker, Mitch Keller, Wil Crowe, Bryse Wilson, Zach Thompson, Dillon Peters and Jose Quintana. Some of those contenders that don’t make the final roster will likely shift to the bullpen, as the Pirates will want long options available, with starters not fully stretched out thanks to an abbreviated spring.

That could also have helped displaced Hanhold, who is mostly a one-inning option. Hanhold was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Nov 3, 2021 and was designated for assignment by the Pirates on March 21. Hanhold pitched in one inning during spring training with one strikeout and allowed one earned run.

Hanhold, 28, appeared in 3 three games with the New York Mets in 2018 and 10 with the Orioles in 2021, all in relief. With Triple-A Norfolk in 2021, he pitched 26 innings in 25 games had a 5.19 ERA and 1.692 WHIP in 25. He also served as their closer for part of the season, finishing 14 games and earning four saves.

The Pirates are now carrying 37 players in their major league camp: 18 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders, and six outfielders. This season, MLB teams will be able to carry 28 players on their active rosters through May 1, to help alleviate the strain on pitchers stemming from the lockout-impacted offseason. The limit will return to 26 through the end of August, then increase back to 28 for September.

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