This is one in a series of stories looking at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 40-man roster members.
Colin Holderman’s big league career got off to a strong start with the New York Mets in 2022.
In his first 15 appearances with the Mets, Holderman went a perfect 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA/2.26 FIP in 17.2 innings. The right-hander struck out 18 batters and limited opponents to a .186 batting average and a miniscule .489 OPS.
The hot start for the now 27-year-old caught the attention of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs acquired Holderman from the Mets in July in a trade that sent designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach to Flushing, Queens.
Holderman was eventually inserted into the Pirates’ bullpen and he continued his string of success. He didn’t allow a run through his first five appearances in Pittsburgh and was the winning pitcher in his team debut.
Over his final two appearances with the club, however, Holderman was charged with seven earned runs in just 1.1 innings of work, including five runs in his final appearance of the year.
Not long after that final outing, the Pirates placed Holderman on the injured list with a right shoulder injury, a stint on the IL that would end his 2022 season.
In all, Holderman went 5-0 with a 3.81 ERA in 24 games between the Mets and Pirates.
Now back healthy, Holderman will look to erase the poor end to an otherwise strong rookie season and be an effective relief option for the Pirates beginning this upcoming year.
The 6-foot-7 righty will have a chance to crack the club’s opening day roster, but there is no guarantee that he will break camp with the team.
It will be an important spring training for Holderman as he competes with an increasingly crowded list of bullpen options for the Pirates.
Holderman still has multiple minor league options remaining, so the Pirates could opt have him start with Triple-A Indianapolis.
When he’s on, he’s shown what he is capable of being and that is a potential back-end relief option.
Holderman is essentially a two-pitch pitcher with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball and a slider which combined make up over 90% of his offerings. He will also mix in a curveball and an occasional changeup.
Now, the Pirates will be counting on him to put it all together in 2023.