Nicolaus Tanner Mears...Is a 2014 graduate of Rocklin (CA) High School, where he was a member of the varsity baseball team for two years...Went 4-1 with six saves and a 2.56 ERA (31.2ip/9er) in 18 appearances (one start) while pitching for Sacramento City College in 2017...Played for the Willmar Stingers of the Northwoods League in both 2017 and 2018.
Began season at the alternate training site in Pittsburgh; was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis to begin the season...Was charged with five earned runs in his first appearance on 5/5 at Iowa (0.1ip)... Was scored upon once in his next three outings (3.1ip/1er) thru 5/21...Was recalled to the Major League roster on 5/26; did not appear in a game before being optioned back to Indy on 5/31...Was recalled a second time on 7/4; did not pitch and was optioned back to Triple-A on 7/5...Earned lone save with Indianapolis on 7/13 vs. Omaha...Was recalled a third time on 7/16...Did not appear in a game before being optioned back to Indy on 7/18...Was recalled a fourth time on 7/20; made season debut with the Pirates that night at Arizona and pitched a scoreless inning... Pitched a career-high 2.0 scoreless innings on 7/27 vs. Milwaukee... Struck out in his first career plate appearance on 8/14 vs. Milwaukee (game 1)... Suffered first of his five blown saves on 8/21 at St. Louis; entered game in the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead and gave up two runs...Gave up a season-high four runs in 1.0ip on 9/14 vs. Cincinnati...Escaped a self-induced, bases-loaded, no-out jam on 9/21 at Cincinnati; entered game with a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning...Was not charged with a run in his last eight appearances (5.1ip)...Won his first Major League game in his final outing on 10/2 vs. Cincinnati...Shared the team lead in appearances (30) with Chris Stratton, beginning with his first outing on 7/20.
Began season at the alternate training camp in Altoona...Was recalled for the first of three times on 8/8...Made his Major League debut on 8/8 vs. Detroit; walked three batters, struck out two and gave up one run in 1.0ip...Was optioned on 8/9...Was recalled a second time on 8/18...Pitched 1.1 scoreless innings on 8/19 vs. Cleveland... Walked three batters and gave up a run in 1.0ip on 8/22 vs. Milwaukee...Was optioned on 8/23...Was recalled a third and final time on 8/27...Made his last appearance on 8/28 at Milwaukee and allowed a solo homer to Jedd Gyorko in a season-high 1.2 innings of work...Was optioned on 8/29... Finished season on the Taxi Squad from 9/23-27.
Went 5-3 with five saves, a 3.28 ERA (46.2ip/17er) and 69 strikeouts in a total of 34 relief appearances between Single-A Greensboro, Single-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona...Averaged 13.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched between the three levels while limiting right-handed batters to a .116 batting average...Began season with Greensboro...Was charged with a loss and blown save (1.2ip/3er) in season debut on 4/6 vs. Hagerstown... Earned first professional win on 4/23 at Lexington...Tossed a season-high 9.0 scoreless innings over five appearances from 4/10-27...Was promoted to Bradenton on 5/4 and earned the win with 2.0 scoreless innings of work in his debut with the Marauders later that day vs. Lakeland...Worked a scoreless ninth inning while picking up his first professional save on 5/18 at Palm Beach...Allowed a season-high tying three runs while being charged with the loss on 5/31 at Tampa... Struck out 13 batters over a combined 7.1 scoreless innings in seven appearances during the month of June...Was on the seven-day injured list from 7/23 until 8/2...Was promoted to Altoona on 8/17...Allowed one run in 1.0 inning of work in Double-A debut on 8/20 vs. Hartford...Allowed two hits over 8.2 scoreless innings in eight relief appearances while pitching for the Peoria Javelinas during the Arizona Fall League (also allowed just two hits in 26 at bats).
Began professional career with the West Virginia Black Bears in 2018 after being signed by the Pirates as a nondrafted free agent on 8/22/18...Struck out two of the three batters he faced while making professional debut on 8/26/18 vs. Auburn...Struck out eight batters over 4.0 scoreless innings in his three appearances during his first professional season with the Black Bears.