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Pirates Sign Right-Hander Ben Heller to Minor League Deal

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Ben Heller

The Pittsburgh Pirates have added some depth to their bullpen by agreeing to a minor league deal with right-handed pitcher Ben Heller. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training.

Heller confirmed the news on Twitter.

Heller has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues between the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves. In 50 innings across 50 career appearances, Heller is 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA.

He registered 19 appearances with Atlanta this past season and pitched to a 3.86 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 11 walks in 18.2 innings. In 32 appearances in the minor leagues between the Braves and Tampa Bay Rays, Heller was 5-2 with a 3.27 ERA and 57 punch outs against 15 walks.

It was his first healthy season since 2017. From 2018-22, various injuries — including 2018 Tommy John surgery — limited Heller to just 35.2 innings.

Heller has a four-pitch mix in his arsenal after adding a cutter this past season. His new offering proved to be an effective pitch for him. In addition to his cutter, Keller also throws a fastball that averages 95 mph, a slider and a changeup.

The 32-year-old will get a chance to compete for a bullpen spot this spring. He’s the second pitcher acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason, joining waiver claim Roddery Muñoz.

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