The Pirates announced that they have selected the contract of right-hander Cody Bolton and reinstated outfielder Bryan Reynolds from the bereavement list. In corresponding moves, right-hander Wil Crowe was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to April 23, with right shoulder discomfort and outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, catcher Tyler Heineman was designated for assignment. Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic has previously reported that Bolton had the locker in the clubhouse that previously was used by Smith-Njigba (Twitter links). Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported Crowe’s IL placement.
Bolton, 25 in June, is now added to a big league roster for the first time in his career. He was selected by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 2017 draft and has been working his way up to the big leagues since then. He posted some really good results in the lower levels, working as a starter at that time, and got some love from prospect evaluators. Baseball America ranked him the #5 prospect in the Bucs’ system in 2020.
Unfortunately, his progress then hit a few snags. He had already missed time with a forearm injury and groin strain before his 2021 season was wiped out entirely by knee surgery. With the pandemic canceling the minors the prior year, that meant he went two whole years without playing in an official game. He returned last year and made 30 Triple-A appearances, 14 of those being starts, tossing 75 2/3 innings in the process. He registered a 3.09 ERA along with a 25.4% strikeout rate, 12.4% walk rate and 40.6% ground ball rate.
This year, it seems he’s been moved to the bullpen more permanently, as all eight of his appearances for Indianapolis were of the relief variety. He has a 2.38 ERA through 11 1/3 innings so far, with his strikeouts jumping to 31.8% and his walks falling to 4.5%. The Pirates will now give him a chance to see if he can carry those kinds of results over to the major leagues.
As for Heineman, 32 in June, he’s a journeyman catcher who has appeared in 85 major league games dating back to the start of the 2019 season, hitting .210/.276/.269 in that time. He’s suited up for the Marlins, Giants, Blue Jays and Pirates in his career. He got into 52 games for the Bucs last year but was non-tendered after the season and re-signed on a minor league deal. He was selected to the roster a few weeks ago when Austin Hedges went on the concussion-related injured list, getting into three games. He was optioned to the minors when Hedges returned and now loses his 40-man spot. The Bucs will have one week to trade him or pass him through waivers. If he were to pass through waivers unclaimed, he would have the right to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency since he has a previous career outright.
The Pirates are now fairly thin behind the plate on their roster. Hedges and Jason Delay form the catching duo in the big leagues but the only other backstop on the 40-man is prospect Endy Rodríguez, who was recently placed on the minor league injured list with a forearm strain. Given those facts, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them try to retain Heineman or acquire some other depth.
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Angels can use Tyler Heineman about now.
Might have been doing him a solid to catch on with someone.
….and Drew Maggi now can still get that possible first MLB at-bat.
Bolton is a nice arm.
Forever Giant, Tyler Heineman.
Seriously, SF could use him. He can’t hit MLB pitching but he’s a good receiver.
With Bart hurt they need someone with minors options they can send up and down; Heineman has 3 options left.
If the Giants make a play for him they also need to trade for the rights to Sabol so they can also move him up and down too.
How about Ramos? I don’t think many Giant fans will cry if he’s what gets all of it done.
Pirates could go for that or that range of prospect.
The Heineman DFA gives some reassurance that Endy Rod’s forearm injury might not be too serious. I doubt BC would leave the Bucs that exposed at catcher if the top prospect was looking at a long term lay-off.
I REALLY hope that Maggi can get an AB and a hit. I know I can’t be the only guy hoping for that to happen…
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I really hope that they do not lose Heinaman because of Drew Maggi.
They did not learn from last year that catchers get hurt a lot.
Sabot seems to be a real loss as he already has four home runs.
I am surprised that they did not bring up Burrows and place him on the 60 day IL.
There’s always the chance of bringing back Josh Van Meter
If Maggi is going to swing at every pitch he needs to go back to Indy
Free swingers are wasted at bats and rarely get hits
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Two weakest links on the team were demoted.Bolton earned a chance.
Maggi gone within a week.
There’s no way they can keep maggi up here. 3 games he got in a blowout as a PH. Didn’t even let him play the field. He will be here tomorrow with an afternoon game but that should be it.
Thinking that they may bring up Andujar since he is hitting well now after a slow start and they sent down an outfielder.
It seems reasonable to me. Maggi can be DFA of course. A lot of the 40 man bats have struggled or are hurt. They should be able to find playing time for him against lefties for sure. Like the other poster said they can probably bring Mitchell up but he’s been struggling. I would think it’s going to be easier to find ABs for a right handed batter than Mitchell.
Everyone has to be able to start in some situation unless you have a PR specialist or something. It made sense to bring up Maggi when they did but now they really can’t use him.
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Panj-Maybe,But they seem to hung up on getting a left handed batter They could be waiting to see if Mitchell gets his act together.He tore apart AAA last year.
He may have torn apart AAA last year but he’s downright horrible so far this year
30Ks in 21 games and batting .221 isn’t exactly considered tearing up pitching
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I can’t figure that one out.He may not have been that good last year but he shouldn’t be this bad this year.
There can’t be too many teams that would want a 32 yo catcher that couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.