Five things we learned from the Phillies-Pirates series

May 20, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Michael Saunders (5) has a foul ball fall from his glove against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 20, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Michael Saunders (5) has a foul ball fall from his glove against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 28, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. (59) pitches in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

Mark Leiter, Jr. just doesn’t seem to cut it as a reliever

Mark Leiter, Jr. has thrown just 11 major-league innings so far in his career so it’s hard to write him off this early. However, from everything he has done so far, it’s easy to jump to that conclusion.

Through seven appearances this season, Leiter has given up seven runs – six earned – along with five hits and nine walks compared to six strikeouts. Out of his seven appearances, he has given up a run in four of them.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Saturday Leiter had to come on to try and stop the damage created by Vince Velasquez and a throwing error from Cameron Rupp. He inherited a runner on second with one out in the sixth inning. After a walk and a groundout, Leiter needed just one out to end the inning and strand two runners in scoring position. Instead, he allowed a two-run single that gave the Pirates a 6-1 lead.

After Saturday’s outing, Leiter’s ERA and FIP stand at 4.91 and 5.59, respectively. His ERA- of 115 is poor and FIP- of 128 is awful according to Fangraphs.

I know there aren’t many other options in the bullpen barring some 40-man roster adjustments, but so far Leiter just hasn’t looked the part of a major-league reliever. It shouldn’t be a surprise considering he wasn’t on any prospect radars coming into this year and was a 22nd round pick, but he isn’t performing up to par right now.