By Jason Shetler
The Pirates have announced that left-handed pitchers Cory Luebke and Eric O’Flaherty have been signed to minor league deals. Both have been given Spring Training invites, and will compete for a spot as a lefty arm in the bullpen.
Luebke was a former first round pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2007 MLB Draft. He made his big league debut for the Padres as a September call up in 2010. Luebke underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, and missed all of 2013 with setbacks. The Padres were looking to use him as a reliever in 2014, but he had another elbow procedure, missing all of that season. Luebke pitched in just seven games last year in the minors. During his three seasons with the Padres big club, he posted a 3.25 ERA with a 111 ERA+ and a 9.3 K/9.
O’Flaherty began last season with the Oakland A’s before then being dealt to the New York Mets a few days after the trade deadline. In 41 appearances combined with both teams, he had an ERA of 8.10, but he wasn’t really that awful, if you look at his 4.60 Fielding Independent Pitching. Even with the poor numbers in 2015, O’Flaherty has still been a very good reliever for his career with a 3.24 ERA along with an ERA+ of 125.