The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates designated three players for assignment today: righthanders Virgil Vasquez and Eric Hacker, and catcher Steve Lerud. All three were sent to Double-A Altoona.
Vasquez, 27, had two stints with the Pirates in 2009, pitching to a 5.84 ERA in 44.2 IP. The 26-year-old Hacker was acquired from the Yankees in May, and allowed two runs in three innings this year, his Major League debut. Lerud, 24, hit just .240/.339/.336 in Double-A this season, though Baseball America ranked him the club's 21st best prospect coming into 2009.