The Pirates have outrighted left-hander Nik Turley off the 40-man roster, per John Dreker of PiratesProspects.com. He’ll presumably become a minor league free agent.
The 29-year-old Turley was claimed off waivers from the Twins last November. He enjoyed an outstanding year with Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate, pitching to a 2.66 ERA (2.84 FIP) with 10.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.53 HR/9 and a 33.7 percent ground-ball rate in 67 2/3 innings. Turley was clobbered in his big league debut with the Twins, though that came in a small sample of 17 2/3 innings. Turley, though, has a history of stymieing left-handed opponents in the upper minors, and the Bucs likely viewed him as a potentially affordable bullpen option.
However, the organization never got much of a chance to see whether Turley could contribute. The left-hander was slapped with an 80-game PED suspension in late January after testing positive for Ipamorelin. Upon being reinstated from the restricted list, Turley was immediately placed on the 60-day disabled list due to an elbow strain. It’s not clear at this point whether he’s expected to be healthy enough to take the mound come Spring Training, but it’s certainly not surprising to see the Pirates jettison him from the 40-man roster after that lost season.
In further Pirates news, the team announced this afternoon that right-hander Edgar Santana underwent successful Tommy John surgery today. The organization announced late last month that Santana would require the procedure after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
That really stinks about Santana, but at least it looks like he’s on target for a normal TJ recovery. He turned out to be a really solid bullpen piece this year, especially when you consider that he didn’t have a lot of minors experience or even sign with the Bucs until age 22, which is a lot later than most Latino players usually turn pro. Hopefully he’s a keeper.