The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 29-year-old right-handed pitcher Roberto Gomez to a minor league deal on Tuesday. Gomez has played parts of the last two seasons in the majors with the San Francisco Giants.
Gomez made his big league debut with the Giants last September after originally signing back in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was released after topping out at Double-A during the 2014 season and didn’t pitch again until the 2016-17 off-season in the Dominican winter league.
Since then, he has made nine appearances in the majors over 2017-18, posting a 7.98 ERA in 14.2 innings, with a 2.11 WHIP and 14 strikeouts. Gomez had a 5.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in 18 innings in the Pacific Coast League last year. He was limited due to two trips to the disabled list.
He was one a starting pitching prospect, who sat 92-93 MPH, with solid command and a sharp slider. Gomez made 13 starts during the 2017 season, but his role will likely be as bullpen depth in Indianapolis, with a chance to make the majors during the season.
The Pirates had success finding Richard Rodriguez with their early minor league bullpen signing last off-season. Similar to Rodriguez, Gomez appears to be a late bloomer, who also had a rough intro to the big leagues. Those players work out occasionally, so they are worth the small price associated with a minor league signing.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.