CHRIS LEROUX
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
  Born: April 14, 1984
Height: 6′ 6″
Weight: 210
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Drafted: 7th Round, 216th Overall, 2005
College: Winthrop University
How Acquired: Waiver Claim
Agent: Octagon

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates claimed Leroux off waivers late in the 2010 season.  He’s a converted catcher who had Tommy John surgery shortly before the Marlins drafted him in 2005, knowing that he wouldn’t pitch that year.  Leroux’s fastball sits at 93-94 mph and can get up to 96.  His other main pitch is a slider and he occasionally throws a change.  He’s a groundball pitcher.  His platoon split in his limited major league time is .759 OPS by left-handed batters and .735 by left-handed batters.

2006
R:  0-0-0, 4.09 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 11 IP, 0.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
A-:  0-1-0, 7.94 ERA, 2.21 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 9.5 BB/9, 3.2 K/9
A:  0-3-0, 6.10 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Pitched briefly in his Tommy John recovery year.

2007
A:  2-3-0, 4.14 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 71.2 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 9.5 K/0

Pitching in relief, Leroux made progress in low A, sporting a high K rate.

2008
A+:  6-7-1, 3.65 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 74 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.5 K/9

Leroux continued to improve, allowing fewer walks and hits.  After the season, Baseball America ranked him the 16th best prospect in a strong Marlins’ system.

2009
AA:  5-3-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 60 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 8.2 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 10.80 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 5.4 BB/9, 2.7 K/9

Pitched well in AA, allowing no HRs.  The Marlins called Leroux up four separate times for one or two relief appearances each time.  He was scored upon in four of his five major league outings.  BA ranked him as the Marlins’ 18th best prospect after the season.

2010
R (Fla):  1-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 4 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
A+ (Fla): 
0-0-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2.2 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 0.0 K/9
AAA
(Fla):  0-3-0, 6.95 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 22 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.2 K/9
MLB (Fla):
  0-0-0, 7.00 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 18 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
MLB (Pgh): 
0-1-0, 5.79 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.2 IP, 5.8 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Lost time to elbow problems and struggled when he was able to pitch, both in AAA and the majors.  The Marlins cut him loose in mid-September and he got a brief look with the Pirates after they claimed him off waivers.  He didn’t pitch well in six relief appearances with the Pirates, either.

2011
AA:  1-2-0, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 7 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
AAA:  6-3-1, 2.80 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 61 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 8.4 K/9
MLB:  1-1-0, 2.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

Leroux went into spring training in 2011 in the hunt for a bullpen spot, but was optioned to AAA.  He struggled early in the season in AAA and seemed like a leading candidate to be removed from the 40-man roster when he was demoted to AA.  The Pirates, however, were in the process of getting him to change his delivery to the three-quarters angle to which Charlie Morton also converted.  Leroux moved back to AAA after five appearances with Altoona.  He pitched very well after returning and was called up at the beginning of July.  He allowed only one run in half a dozen outings in July, but the Pirates sent him down during some roster shuffling.  He returned in late August.  He continued pitching well until a bad stretch starting in mid-September.  He allowed a dozen baserunners while recording only eight outs in his last six times out.

2012
A+:  0-1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
AAA:  4-0-0, 3.11 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 63.2 IP, 2.0 BB/9, 7.9 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 5.56 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 1.6 BB/9, 9.5 K/9 

Despite the fact that he turned 28 early in the 2012 season, Leroux hasn’t pitched much as a pro.  Nevertheless, he was expected to make the team out of spring training due to his strong showing in late 2011 and in winter ball, in which he pitched as a starter to work on his offspeed stuff.  Of course, most importantly of all, he was out of options.  In the last spring training game, though, he suffered a pectoral strain and went on the 60-day disabled list.  The move was greeted with some skepticism at the time, because it solved a roster crunch for the Pirates, but the injury was real.  Leroux went through a rehab assignment in June and July, but didn’t pitch especially well and the Pirates outrighted him to AAA after he cleared waivers, something that surprised the team.  After he cleared they moved him to the AAA rotation and he pitched very well, posting a 3.00 ERA and allowing opponents to hit only .216 in seven starts.  The Pirates put him back on the roster and called him up in September to pitch in relief.  Despite the ERA he pitched well; the problem was that over 60% of the runners he allowed ended up scoring.  His velocity was actually down, averaging a little over 91, and he threw nearly 60% sliders.

The Pirates have made no secret of the fact that they like Leroux a lot.  They don’t appear to consider him a starter at the major league level, so he went into camp to compete for a bullpen spot, which to no one’s surprise, given his lack of options, he won.  After he pitched badly in his first two outings, though, the Pirates designated him for assignment and called up Bryan Morris.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2013: League minimum
2012:
League minimum
2011:
$486,000
2010: $400,000
2009: $400,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $152,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 5/26/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible:
2017
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man:
11/20/2008
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2009, 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 2.001
TRANSACTIONS
June 5, 2002: Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 9th round, 254th overall pick.
June 8, 2005: Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 7th round, 216th overall pick; s
igned on July 13.
November 20, 2008: Contract purchased by the Florida Marlins.
September 13, 2010: Claimed off of waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 6, 2012: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
September 1, 2012: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
April 12, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.