The Pirates announced that they have designated reliever Heath Hembree for assignment. After it was announced by Derek Shelton that Jerad Eickhoff would be making the start for the Pirates in Wednesday’s game against the Cubs, a corresponding move was needed.
Hembree was signed to a one-year deal after the lockout was lifted in March just prior to the start of spring training. The 33-year-old’s stint in Pittsburgh did not go well, as he posted a 7.16 ERA/8.21 FIP in 16.1 innings across 20 appearances on the season.
A big reason for Hembree’s struggles dealt with control and home run problems. He issued 14 free passes (17.9% walk rate) and served up five long balls to opposing hitters. Hembree, who recorded 375 strikeouts in 332.2 career innings prior to this season including a career-high 83 last season, struck out only 12 batters this year (15.4% strikeout rate)