11:17 am: Pittsburgh isn’t ruling out the possibility Keller could make his next scheduled start Thursday against the Dodgers, GM Ben Cherington said (via Mike Persak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
9:31 am: The Pirates announced they’ve activated first baseman Colin Moran and reliever Austin Davis from the injured list. Starter Mitch Keller has been placed on the COVID-19 IL, while utilityman Cole Tucker was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Moran has been out of action for just under a month as a result of a left groin injury. Before going down, the 28-year-old had gotten off to a fantastic start at the plate. Moran has hit .297/.352/.468 with four home runs over his first 122 plate appearances. If he continues to produce at that level, he figures to draw some interest from contenders in advance of the July 30 trade deadline. Moran is controllable through 2023 via arbitration, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rebuilding Bucs were willing to discuss him in trade as they continue to bolster the farm system.
Keller was removed from his start on Friday with what the team termed a “heat illness.” It’s not clear if that issue is related to his current IL placement. The 25-year-old has made eleven starts this season, tossing 44 2/3 innings of 6.65 ERA/6.94 SIERA ball. The team didn’t provide a timetable for Keller’s return.
With Keller going on the COVID injured list, the Pirates created the 40-man roster spot necessary to reinstate Davis. The southpaw hasn’t pitched this year on account of an elbow sprain, spending the entire season to date on the 60-day IL. Davis has a 5.66 ERA/4.04 SIERA in parts of three seasons with the Phillies and Pirates.