The Pirates announced a handful of roster moves today, placing right-handed pitchers JT Brubaker and Duane Underwood Jr. on the injured list, both with right shoulder inflammation. A couple of fellow righties, Kyle Keller and Shea Spitzbarth, are taking their place.
Brubaker has been one of the more reliable members of a Pirates club that is enduring a dismal season. His 124 1/3 innings lead the club by a significant margin, with Tyler Anderson and Wil Crowe being the only other Pirates with more than 80. Anderson, of course, isn’t even with the club anymore after being dealt to the Mariners before the trade deadline. Brubaker’s ERA isn’t great at 5.36, though his 24% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate are both slightly better than league average. He had just been activated off the injured list yesterday, after missing some time with a thumb contusion, but left his start after three innings.
Similarly, Underwood has been a solid-yet-unspectacular contributor out of the bullpen, throwing 72 2/3 innings with an ERA of 4.33. His 20.3% strikeout rate is a bit below average, though his 8.4% walk rate is slightly better than the league-wide rate of 8.7%.
With the club well out of contention, they can prioritize long-term health over short-term competitiveness at this stage of the season. Both Brubaker and Underwood are 27 years old and won’t yet be arbitration eligible by season’s end.