Sulser had his contract selected three weeks ago and made his MLB debut in late April. He pitched 9 2/3 innings out of Pittsburgh’s bullpen over four outings. His 3.72 ERA and 21.7% strikeout rate were acceptable, but he also had a concerning walk rate of 13%. The Pirates designated him for assignment a couple of days ago when they claimed Tyler Beede off waivers.
As for Fry, his designation is at least somewhat surprising, given that he was garnering trade interest at the deadline less than a year ago. Despite a penchant for walks, Fry’s ability to rack up strikeouts and ground balls seemed to give him appeal to other clubs around the league. For his career, he’s thrown 176 1/3 innings over this season and the previous four. His 4.80 ERA isn’t terribly enticing, but he has struck out 24.6% of batters he’s faced as well as inducing grounders at a 56.4% clip. His 12.2% walk rate has put a damper on his overall results, though.
This year, through 12 innings, the pattern is largely intact. His 6.00 ERA comes with a 22.2% strikeout rate, 65.6% ground ball rate and 13% walk rate. However, he’s been undone by a 25% HR/FB ratio. That’s a small sample, but it comes at a time when power is down across the league.
Given the interest he’s garnered in the past, it seems likely that he’ll latch on somewhere. He qualified for arbitration for the first time and is making a salary of $850K this year, just a hair above the $700K league minimum. He came into the season with three years and 75 days of service time and still has a pair of option years, meaning he could certainly be of interest to teams lacking in lefty bullpen depth.