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Pittsburgh’s Newest Sensation: Dauri ‘Big Bank’ Moreta



Dauri Moreta, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Dauri Moreta has only been a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates for a short while, but he has quickly become a fan favorite.

Moreta, who turns 27 later this week, made an instant impact in his Pirates’ debut against the Cincinnati Reds in the season opener. He struck out Reds outfielder Will Benson to escape a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning and preserve a 4-4 tie. The Pirates went on to win the game, thanks in part to Moreta’s performance.

While the right-hander was able to pitch himself out of trouble, it was what he did after that got the attention of Pirates’ fans. After he struck out Benson, he was visibly fired up while walking off the mound headed towards the Pirates’ dugout.

Moreta went back out to pitch the sixth inning and struck out both batters he faced. When manager Derek Shelton went to get the ball from Moreta to make a pitching change, Moreta rubbed his fingers together indicating money signs after handing over the ball to his manager.

A fan favorite was quickly born. The money signs were fitting. Moreta’s nickname, after all, is “Big Bank.” So how did the nickname come to be?

“Oh, everyone asks me this,” he said with a laugh. “Ya it’s a funny story. I went out with the guys and they needed change and I got like ($2,000) in twenties and (they) said I got a lot of money, like ($2,000) in twenties, and said “oh you’re big bank,” and it stuck.”

‘Big Bank” embraces the nickname with his confidence and, to this point, with his performance.

The Pirates acquired Moreta in the offseason from the Reds for infielder Kevin Newman. He was excited then to be coming to the organization and he’s still happy to be here.

“I don’t know man I felt really good, like I was saying before I feel really good with this team and the energy, the support, I love everything about this team that has let me feel good and I’m pitching good.”

Perhaps Moreta’s biggest accomplishment so far with his new team came on Friday night against the Chicago White Sox. Moreta picked up the win, giving him the first win of his big league career.

Oh, I was excited, man. I celebrated with my guy after the game, that was awesome,” he said. 

Moreta has brought an energy to the team that is contagious and felt by his teammates. It feels different in the Pirates’ clubhouse this season and Moreta is a big reason why. His infectious personality makes him a joy to be around.

Perhaps the loose and fun atmosphere that he and some of his teammates have created is a reason why the Pirates have started out their 2023 season on a pretty good note.

Sure it takes executing and a combination of timely hitting and strong pitching, but the good vibes that are in the Pirates’ clubhouse and dugout make it more enjoyable for the players to lace up the spikes and get out to work.

The upbeat Moreta knows that he’s been enjoying being a Pirate and he’s made that abundantly clear.

I feel really good. I love the energy of this team, the support. We play as a team, we play for winning games, we play together. You know, everybody is together and I love this team.”

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