Banda felt like he’d found a home when Pirates teammates asked him to dinner.
Banda thought it was the start of a friendship when pitching coach Oscar Marin and bullpen coach Justin Meccage broke down his mechanical problems and suggested a simple solution.
The Pirates got Banda off waivers from the New York Mets on Aug. 2, desperate for a left-handed reliever with Sam Howard on the disabled list and Austin Davis sold to the Boston Red Sox.
In his first start, he won their faith by retiring the side with eight of his eleven pitches for strikes, including a strikeout of Cincinnati Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto.
Banda finished 1-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 25 appearances with the Pirates, averaging 8.5 strikeouts and 4.1 walks per nine innings.
Banda transformed himself into a pitcher, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story.
For the first time since 2017, the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder lowered his changeup use from 51.8 percent in 2020 to 37.2 percent last season, relying more on his four-seam fastball and incorporating a curveball more significantly into his arsenal.
Banda credits Marin and Meccage for streamlining his delivery, concluding his experimental phase by focusing on his mound motions to improve consistency.
How Much Does Anthony Banda Make?
Anthony Banda makes an annual base salary of $725,000.