LeBlanc limited the Reds to one run on one hit in 5.1 relief innings Monday. LeBlanc saved the bullpen after replacing starter Tyler Glasnow in the second inning. He neither recorded a strikeout nor issued a walk, but gave his pitching staff a needed break. The lefty will continue to toil in a multi-inning role out of the pen.
LeBlanc struck out two of the three batters he faced Friday, throwing a scoreless inning against Toronto. He's set to come out of the bullpen as a multi-innings reliever, as he did last September. The 32-year-old doesn't throw hard (86.9 mph average in 2016) but he manufactures weak contact rates. LeBlanc isn't in line for late-inning work or counting stats, however, limiting his value.
LeBlanc agreed to a one-year deal with the Pirates on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. There were talks that the big left-hander would be non-tendered by the Pirates, but the sides came to an agreement likely due to LeBlanc taking less money than he was projected to make in an arbitration case. LeBlanc was a solid bullpen arm for Pittsburgh last season after coming to the National League in September, although his numbers could see a downturn if his home run woes he had during his tenure with the Mariners (2.5 HR/9) follow him into the 2017 campaign.
LeBlanc earned his first save with three scoreless innings in Saturday's 10-4 victory over the Reds. He gave up a hit and struck out two. The veteran southpaw has taken to Pittsburgh well after being dealt from the Mariners on Sept. 13, now having hurled five scoreless frames of three-hit ball over two outings. LeBlanc has five whiffs over that span as well and looks poised to serve as a valuable innings-eating lefty arm out of the bullpen for the balance of the campaign.
LeBlanc was traded to the Pirates on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named later, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. LeBlanc was DFA'd last month before clearing waivers and landing at Triple-A Tacoma. The 32-year-old made 11 appearances (eight starts) for Seattle, amassing a 4.50 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 50 innings. Rather than making a move to add Leblanc to the 40-man roster, Seattle will send him to Pittsburgh, where he figures to add depth to the bullpen over the final few weeks of the season.
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