The Pittsburgh Pirates made a minor trade on Monday with the Los Angeles Angels, acquiring left-handed pitcher Dillon Peters from the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations. To create a space for Peters on their 40-man roster, the Pirates designated right-handed pitcher Kyle Crick for assignment. Originally selected by the SF Giants in the first supplemental round of the 2011 MLB draft out of Sherman High School (TX), Crick was sent to Pittsburgh as part of the Andrew McCutchen trade package.
The Pirates designated former SF Giants RHP Kyle Crick for assignment.
It comes as somewhat of a surprise to see the last-place Pirates move on from a veteran reliever like Crick. The organization could technically retain the 28-year-old if he clears waivers and accepts a minor-league assignment. Still, Crick will almost assuredly be moved in the next week or declare himself a free agent based on his track record.
Crick is admittedly struggling this year but has a passable 4.44 ERA across 27 relief appearances. However, once known for his high-velocity fastball, Crick’s fastball has regressed significantly over the past two years. Consistently averaging at least 95 mph, his average velocity has dipped to 92.6 mph this year, and his numbers have taken a hit as well. Crick has seen his strikeout and walk rates plummet to a career-worst 19.6% and 17.8% rates, respectively.
Once a top starting pitching prospect with the Giants, Crick racked up strikeouts but struggled with control throughout his minor league career. A move to the bullpen helped him find more consistent success and debut with the Giants in 2017. In 30 relief appearances in San Francisco, he recorded a 3.06 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 17 walks across 32.1 innings pitched. Then, that offseason, Crick and outfielder Bryan Reynolds were sent to the Pirates for McCutchen.
Crick quickly emerged as a high-leverage reliever in Pittsburgh, posting a 2.39 ERA over 60.1 innings pitched in 2017. However, the young reliever struggled to take the next steps in his development and has seen his play consistently decline since. Over his five-year career, Crick has made 180 appearances, recorded a 3.80 ERA, struck out 182 hitters, and walked 98 in 171.2 innings pitched.
Former SF Giants first-round pick Kyle Crick was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The five-year veteran will likely be donning a new uniform in the coming weeks with a team that believes it can help him rekindle his old form as a legitimate high-leverage arm in the back of their bullpen.