Chris Leroux is kind of an odd case in my opinion. The Pirates really seem to like the guy as a bullpen arm, which is the only way he’s making the team. And he did have success in 2011.
|PIT (3 yrs)||1||2||3.95||39||41.0||98||1.293||9.0||0.2||2.6||8.8||3.33|
|FLA (2 yrs)||0||0||8.03||22||24.2||54||2.027||12.8||0.4||5.5||7.3||1.33|
Last season it seemed like he was a lock for the bullpen being out of options and all but a pectoral injury ended up putting him on the 60 Day DL. When he was ready to come back the Pirates didn’t have a spot for him so he ended up DFA. No one claimed Leroux and he pitched well over 21 games, including 7 starts.
As you can see above though, Leroux had a pretty bad ERA in the bigs after he was called up. Despite that his secondary numbers are all pretty to really good. He has strikeout stuff and keeps the ball in the park.
The problem is he is 28 now. He will be 29 the first month of the season and has only 65.2 big league innings. Many of those innings were pretty awful. He is the type of guy that you could use as a model in regards to reliever inconsistency.
On top of that he saw a bit of a drop in velocity, but that didn’t seem to have much effect on his strikeout numbers. His fastball sat around 91 last season, after nearing 94 in all prior seasons. How much of that was due to the pectoral injury remains to be seen.
That said he has some pretty positive aspects as highlighted above. The Pirates have guys like Jared Hughes in the bullpen with three options left, so there is some room to wiggle with in regards to Leroux.
For me it’s hard to say if he should make the team or not. He is exactly the type of guy Spring Training was made for and that likely will decide his future with the club. If his velocity returns that would be a huge feather in his cap. The Pirates lucked out and were able to DFA him once without losing him. I think that is pretty unlikely to happen again so this is probably make or break with Leroux for the Pirates.
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