Eickhoff ready for fresh start with Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - It’s now just around one month away until Major League Baseball players are scheduled to report for spring training, unless the ongoing lockout delays the 2022 season from starting on time.
Whenever the lockout does come to an end, Jerad Eickhoff will be donning another new uniform this year.
The Mater Dei graduate signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates back at the end of November. The Pirates are now the fifth MLB franchise that Eickhoff has been with during his pro career.
Eickhoff was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2011, and then traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. In his five seasons with the team, he compiled a record of 21-30 with a 4.15 ERA in 80 games, pitching a total of 440 innings for the Phillies organization.
After battling a series of hand and arm injuries for a couple years, Eickhoff became a free agent. He then had a brief stint with the San Diego Padres and the Rangers again, but never pitched for either.
In 2021, Eickhoff finally made it back to the majors, pitching in five games for the New York Mets. Now heading into this season, the Evansville native says he’s ready for a fresh start with the Pirates.
“The pitching coach with the Pirates, I had a connection with from when I first signed in professional baseball with the Texas Rangers, so he’s known me from my first steps in professional baseball, so that’s an exciting thing going forward,” Eickhoff said. “He knows me at my core. It should be a really good spot for opportunity-wise, and getting back with him and learning from him. I feel great and I felt good last year too. It’s honestly just consistency and getting my body used to doing things it used to do. It’s the new splitter I’m throwing now, and kind of incorporating that. I’m gonna be playing until they don’t give me a jersey anymore or my arm falls off - that’s what I’ve always said.”
On Saturday, Eickhoff was part of the star-studded cast of former and current baseball players at the annual “Night of Memories” fundraising event.
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