The Pirates have designated lefty Cory Luebke for assignment, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes (links to Twitter: 1 2 3 4). They’ve also placed righty Juan Nicasio on the restricted list, due to what manager Clint Hurdle describes as personal reasons, and optioned righty Rob Scahill to Triple-A Indianapolis. The moves clear space for corner infielder Jason Rogers and relievers Curtis Partch and Jorge Rondon, who have all been promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis and are all with the team today.
The moves are intended to address the Bucs’ increasingly beleaguered pitching staff. Luebke’s departure comes as little surprise. After missing the last three seasons while having two Tommy John surgeries, the 31-year-old Luebke signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates and briefly attracted positive attention in Spring Training, with some writers concluding his good stuff and pedigree (he was once a solid youngstarter for the Padres) might make him a candidate to revive his career under the tutelage of Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. That hasn’t come to pass, however, as Luebke has allowed nine runs and 11 walks in just 8 2/3 big-league innings, including an appearance yesterday in which he faced four batters and didn’t record an out.