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Pirates minor leaguer Tyler Eppler heads to Japan

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Robert Murray of The Athletic reports that the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League have purchased the contract of right-hander Tyler Eppler from the Pirates.

Eppler, 26, was a sixth round draft pick of the Pirates back in 2014. He just completed his second season of Triple-A ball, going 13-6 with a 3.59 ERA but with a relatively low strikeout rate that, in this day and age, is the difference between being a big leaguer and becoming the mayor of Indianapolis (or whatever Triple-A town is applicable). He was left off the Pirates’ 40-man roster and went unselected in the Rule 5 draft, so it would seem that no other big league team considers him big league material either.

That’s not great for Eppler, but having the chance to go to play in Japan, where pitchers with his stuff are a bit more valued, is not a bad fallback. He’ll likely make more money there than he would even if he somehow got a callup here. And, hey, it’s always better to be appreciated, right?

Robert Gsellman diagnosed with partial lat tear

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman has been diagnosed with a partial lat tear. There is no timetable yet for his recovery, but it would seem likely he doesn’t pitch again this season.

Gsellman, 26, went on the injured list on Saturday (retroactive to August 14) with what was initially called right triceps tightness. Across 63 2/3 innings of relief for the Mets this season, the right-hander posted a 4.66 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 23 walks.

Losing Gsellman is a big deal for the Wild Card-hopeful Mets. While his ERA wasn’t anything incredible, he was a workhorse, accruing the most innings of anyone in the bullpen. With Gsellman out of the mix, the Mets will lean even more on Seth Lugo and Jeurys Familia behind struggling closer Edwin Díaz.