Pirates Release Kontos

Righty reliever DFAed for Joe Musgrove

Jeff Hathhorn
May 25, 2018 - 4:34 pm
George Kontos

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

With starter Joe Musgrove coming off the disabled list and making his Pirates debut Friday night, the Bucs dropped a veteran off the 25-man roster.

Reliever George Kontos was designated for assignment.

The 32-year-old Kontos was acquired by the Pirates after the Giants released him last August.  The righty was 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA this year.  In 19.2 innings, Kontos had given up 23 hits (4 home runs), 12 earned runs, five walks and nine strikeouts.

While Kontos started strong and was placed in the crucial 8th inning role, the veteran had struggled lately and was removed from that spot.  Kontos’ ERA has climbed nearly two runs since May 4th giving up runs in five of his last six appearances.

“Just inconsistency,” Kontos said of his issues.  “I really haven’t been able to get my delivery where it needed to be.  I would have a good outing and then another outing I wouldn’t be finishing.  I was leaving pitches up, just some things that weren’t characteristic of myself and what I am capable of doing.”

“George has not been able to replicate the level of performance we saw from him last year,” said manager Clint Hurdle.  “He was a stabilizer for us last year when we were in an unstable position.”

Kontos said he understands that the young Pirates relievers are performing, making himself expendable. 

"We got guys that are pitching well," Hurdle said.  "I wish George well moving out because he did nothing but add value to everything he touched while he was here.  Its a hard conversation to have with a guy that has brought a lot and done some good things for us."

“I haven’t forgotten how to play baseball,” Kontos said.  “I’m still a competitor and still have a lot left in this game.  Hopefully someone takes a shot on a guy who’s been around a bit and knows how to pitch, and in my opinion, had a lot of success in the big leagues.”

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