Pittsburgh Pirates – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-05-25T23:47:17Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Pirates Select Rookie Davis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=159665 2019-05-25T21:54:31Z 2019-05-25T21:54:31Z Per a team release, the Pirates have selected the contract of right-hander Rookie Davis from AAA-Indianapolis.

Davis, 26, signed a minor league deal with Pittsburgh in February after three seasons in the Reds organization. In seven starts for Indy, Davis had posted a 5.35 ERA with mediocre peripherals – a 6.57 K/9 over 3.16 BB/9 with a meager 32.6% grounder rate. Rookie did make six starts for the Reds in ’17, where he didn’t acquit himself particularly well, and he’s struggled consistently since a breakout 2015 season with High-A Tampa in the Yankee farm.

The Pirates, though, are desperate for starters: each of Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams, and now Chris Stratton have hit the IL, and the club ostensibly doesn’t have much trust remaining in either Steven Brault or Nick Kingham. Mitch Keller, a near-consensus top 20 prospect, has struggled a bit with command in his first AAA attempt, and the club’s apparently deemed him in need of further seasoning.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Corey Dickerson To Begin Rehab Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=159528 2019-05-24T16:34:02Z 2019-05-24T16:34:02Z The Pirates have been without Corey Dickerson since April 4 due to a shoulder strain, but the outfielder is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate this evening, per a team announcement.

It’s certainly welcome news for the Pirates, although the Pittsburgh outfield has been surprisingly productive even without Dickerson’s bat in the middle of the lineup. Melky Cabrera, signed to a minor league contract in the offseason, has given the Bucs a surprisingly strong .333/.370/.464 slash with three homers and nine doubles in 147 trips to the plate. In the other outfield corner, Gregory Polanco has turned in a similarly strong .278/.343/.522 slash and belted five long balls in 99 plate appearances since his own return from the injured list. Even rookie Bryan Reynolds has been brilliant since debuting earlier this season. In 89 plate appearances, the switch-hitter has a .321/.382/.568 slash with four homers and eight walks against 19 strikeouts.

If there’s been any weak spot in the outfield, it’s been in center, where Starling Marte has hit just .244/.275/.415 in 172 plate appearances. Marte is still hitting for power, playing solid defense and providing value on the basepaths, but he’s drawn only three walks all year. The decline in on-base skills hasn’t been accompanied by an uptick in strikeouts, but Marte’s apparent impatience at the dish, paired with some poor luck on balls in play, has weighed down his overall output.

It’s not clear how long Dickerson will need on his rehab assignment, but the strong production the Pirates have received in the corners suggests they won’t feel an urgency to rush him back. How he’ll fit into the lineup is a greater question. Dickerson, 30, slashed .300/.330/.474 in 533 plate appearances last season and will presumably be a prominent figure in the outfield once he’s at full strength. Cabrera seems likeliest for a reduced role, given that he’s playing on a minor league deal and his offense has slipped a bit over the past couple of weeks anyhow. Regardless of how the playing time shakes out, the Pirates will file it under the “good problem to have” category. Dickerson’s return will only deepen the outfield/bench mix for a Pirates club that, at 25-22, sits 3.5 games back in the NL Central and just one game back in the Wild Card race.

For Dickerson himself, a productive return will be of particular importance. He entered the season with five-plus years of Major League service time and is slated to become a free agent for the first time in his career this coming offseason.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[JB Shuck Trying To Become Two-Way Player]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158936 2019-05-20T19:13:13Z 2019-05-18T23:44:44Z The Pirates will attempt to convert veteran outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player, director of player development Larry Broadway told Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic. Shuck will begin honing his pitching skills at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he has been playing since the Pirates outrighted him May 8.

The journeyman Shuck, 31, cracked Pittsburgh’s injury-plagued outfield entering the season after signing a minor league pact during the winter. However, as has been the case throughout his career, he didn’t provide much at the plate. The lefty-swinging Shuck, a lifetime .243/.296/.314 hitter in 1,289 major league plate appearances, batted .213/.339/.255 in 57 PA before the Pirates removed him from their 40-man roster.

Although Shuck’s hasn’t established himself as an offensive asset since debuting in the majors with the Astros in 2011, the Pirates aren’t abandoning hope that he’ll be able to help them down the line. Broadway explained to Biertempfel that the Pirates’ goal is for Shuck to emerge as a two-way contributor in the majors, not just the minors. Shuck’s on board with Pittsburgh’s outside-the-box thinking, telling Biertempfel he’s “all for trying it” if it’s for the betterment of his career. He also thinks “more two-way guys” could become “a new trend,” thanks in part to a rule that will enable teams to designate “two-way players” effective next year. But Shuck will first have to total 20 appearances with at least three PA as a position player (he’s at 10 right now) and 20 innings as a pitcher to become eligible for the two-way designation in 2020.

Contributing as a pitcher isn’t foreign to Shuck, who was a two-way player in high school and college. As an Ohio State Buckeye, Shuck amassed 223 innings of 3.87 ERA ball. The southpaw has since totaled a pair of mop-up appearances in the majors, including a scoreless, one-hit, one-walk frame in a blowout loss to the Diamondbacks earlier this season.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Tyler Lyons Accepts Outright Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158806 2019-05-18T17:23:19Z 2019-05-18T17:17:26Z
  • Left-hander Tyler Lyons accepted his outright assignment after clearing waivers this week, per an announcement from the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. Lyons, 31, was dominant out of the Cardinals’ bullpen as recently as 2017 — 2.83 ERA, 11.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9 in 54 innings — but has struggled since that excellent showing. The southpaw yielded 16 runs in 16 2/3 innings last season with St. Louis and was rocked for five runs in four innings with the Pirates earlier this season. He had the option of rejecting his assignment in favor of free agency but will remain in the Pittsburgh organization as he works toward another opportunity later in the year.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pirates Place Trevor Williams On IL, Outright Jacob Stallings]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158855 2019-05-18T00:16:07Z 2019-05-17T22:47:09Z The Pirates announced a series of roster moves this evening. Starter Trevor Williams is going on the 10-day injured list with a right side strain, creating a need for pitching reinforcements.

    Righty Clay Holmes was recalled. He’ll join Geoff Hartlieb in ascending to the active roster. With a need for one additional active roster spot and one additional 40-man spot, the Bucs optioned righty Richard Rodriguez and outrighted catcher Jacob Stallings (who had been on the IL with a neck injury).

    There’s no clear indication yet as to the timeline for Williams. It’s unfortunate timing for both player and team; he was off to a strong start after an excellent 2018 campaign. Through 54 innings this year, Williams carries a 3.33 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pirates To Select Geoff Hartlieb]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158846 2019-05-17T22:52:33Z 2019-05-17T21:37:49Z The Pirates will select the contract of righty Geoff Hartlieb, according to Stephen Nesbitt of The Athletic (via Twitter). Corresponding roster moves aren’t yet known.

    Hartlieb, 25, has turned in a dozen solid appearances this year at Triple-A. Through 19 innings, he carries a 3.32 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9.

    The numbers don’t jump off the page for Hartlieb, but he’s capable of reaching triple digits with his fastball. He has worked exclusively as a reliever in the minors but does have quite a lot of multi-inning appearances throughout his four seasons as a professional.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pirates Activate Chris Archer From Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158335 2019-05-15T18:17:10Z 2019-05-15T18:17:33Z TODAY: Archer has been officially activated, as per a team announcement.  Right-hander Clay Holmes was optioned to Triple-A to create room on the 25-man roster.

    SUNDAY: Pirates right-hander Chris Archer is slated to come off the injured list Wednesday for a start against the Diamondbacks, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was among those to tweet.

    Archer has been been on the IL with right thumb inflammation since April 27, the day after he turned in his lone horrid start of the season in a loss to the Dodgers. In all, the 30-year-old has notched 27 innings of 4.33 ERA/4.80 FIP ball with four walks per nine, a 32.4 percent groundball rate and a 15.2 percent home run-to-fly ball rate.

    Nearly all of Archer’s 2019 numbers rank as personal worsts, and despite an impressive ability to fan hitters (9.67 K/9 this season, 9.73 career), he has fallen somewhat short in the run prevention department in recent years. Archer hasn’t managed a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015, the last season of an excellent three-year stretch, though he was still worth between 2.6 and 5.1 fWAR in each of the previous five campaigns.

    Although Archer has looked more like a mid-rotation starter than an ace of late, the Pirates still surrendered a boatload to acquire him and his team-friendly contract from the Rays last July. Pittsburgh gave up a young tandem consisting of righty Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Austin Meadows, both of whom failed to live up to their high-end prospect billing with the team but now look like blossoming stars in Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the gamble didn’t pay off in the form of a playoff berth for the Pirates last year, and though the Bucs are off to a 19-17 start this season, they’ll have trouble overtaking the Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals in the National League Central.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 5/13/19]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158483 2019-05-14T03:07:45Z 2019-05-14T03:07:45Z Here are the day’s minor moves from around the game:

    • The Pirates outrighted southpaw Tyler Lyons after he cleared waivers, per a club announcement. The 31-year-old reliever will have the option of electing free agency, if he has not already decided to accept the assignment. Through seven seasons in the majors, Lyons carries a 4.20 ERA with 9.2 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9. He gave up five earned in his four frames this year with Pittsburgh, though he had shown better at Triple-A to open the season.
    • Righty Michael Blazek is back in the affiliated ranks after signing on with the Nationals, Triple-A communications director Paul Braverman tweeted. Blazek is headed to Fresno after initially signing with the indy ball Lincoln Saltdogs. The 30-year-old reliever has thrown 123 innings in the bigs, mostly with the Brewers, working to a 4.39 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. Blazek had not actually appeared yet for the Saltdogs, whose season hasn’t yet begun.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pirates Place Jung Ho Kang On IL, Select Jake Elmore]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158471 2019-05-13T22:57:48Z 2019-05-13T22:47:21Z The Pirates have announced that infielder Jung Ho Kang has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left side strain. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by Jake Elmore, whose contract was selected.

    In order to open a 40-man roster spot, the Bucs shifted righty Jameson Taillon to the 60-day injured list. Taillon, who is sidelined with a flexor strain, won’t be eligible to return to the active roster until early July.

    Kang is struggling in his first full season since 2016 — a layoff that occurred because of his troubling history of drinking and driving. He’s hitting just .133/.204/.300 in 98 trips to the plate this year. Kang is swinging and missing far more often than he used to. He’ll be shut down for three days and then reevaluated, per club director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk (via MLB.com’s Adam Berry, on Twitter).

    It’s the first MLB action since 2016 for Elmore. The 33-year-old has a .215/.297/.280 slash in 478 career plate appearances at the game’s highest level. He has been off to rather a strong start to the year at Triple-A, though, with a .380/.444/.546 slash in 124 plate appearances.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pirates Outright Tyler Lyons To Triple-A]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158262 2019-05-13T01:10:39Z 2019-05-13T01:09:30Z
  • The Pirates outrighted left-hander Tyler Lyons to Triple-A Indianapolis, as per MLB.com’s official transactions page.  Lyons cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier this week.  This is the second time in as many seasons that Lyons has been outrighted, as he was also removed from the Cardinals’ 40-man roster last August in the midst of an injury-plagued year that saw Lyons post an 8.64 ERA over 16 2/3 frames for St. Louis.  After signing a minors deal with Pittsburgh over the winter, Lyons didn’t turn things around in a brief stint for the Bucs, with an 11.25 ERA over four Major League innings.  The southpaw did perform better in Triple-A, however, and will head back to the farm to try and recapture the form that made him a solid-to-very good bullpen piece for the Cardinals from 2013-17.
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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Pirates Acquire Chris Stratton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158241 2019-05-11T21:18:17Z 2019-05-11T21:05:40Z The Pirates have acquired righty Chris Stratton from the Angels for cash considerations, per a team release. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment by Los Angeles earlier this week.

    Stratton, 28, was acquired earlier in the season from San Francisco for lefty Williams Jerez. The former first-rounder fought through five and a half difficult minor league seasons before cracking the Giant rotation in mid-2017, where he opened eyes with a super-high spin rate on his hammer curve. The fastball, though, has always been a bit light, and the righty’s long struggled to miss bats and command the zone. In five starts with LA this season, Stratton posted a dreadful 142 FIP-/127 xFIP- with six homers allowed in 29 1/3 IP.

    Still, he’ll likely get a crack at a decimated Pittsburgh rotation, which’s already lost righties Chris Archer and Jameson Taillon to the IL. Nick Kingham and Steven Brault had attempted to fill the temporary void, to middling-to-disastrous results thus far. Top prospect Mitch Keller, it seems, is not quite ready to make the jump.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays Acquire Patrick Kivlehan]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158172 2019-05-11T02:40:59Z 2019-05-11T02:40:59Z The Blue Jays have acquired outfielder Patrick Kivlehan from the Pirates, per a club announcement. The trade return isn’t known but it’s likely a typical cash payment.

    Kivlehan has seen time in each of the past three MLB campaigns but hasn’t received a call yet in 2019. He’s a .208/.302/.401 hitter in 242 plate appearances at the game’s highest level.

    The move helps the Jays fill out their upper farm ranks. Kivlehan takes the opening just created by the promotion of Jonathan Davis. The Bucs had the opposite scenario, with JB Shuck being outrighted back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Pirates Designate Tyler Lyons For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158035 2019-05-09T16:20:23Z 2019-05-09T16:02:36Z The Pirates announced that they’ve designated left-hander Tyler Lyons for assignment. His roster spot will go to right-handed reliever Montana DuRapau, whose previously reported promotion from Triple-A is now official. The Bucs have also recalled righty Clay Holmes, who’ll step into the vacancy created by the placement of Keone Kela on the 10-day injured list (right shoulder inflammation).

    Lyons, 31, appeared in just three games for the Pirates, during which time he surrendered five runs on six hits and three walks with five punchouts in four innings of relief. His results dating back to the 2018 campaign are ugly, though they only span a total of 20 2/3 frames.

    Prior to that stretch, Lyons enjoyed a three-year stint as a quality bullpen piece with the Cardinals, pitching to a combined 3.33 ERA with 9.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 1.3 HR/9 over the life of 162 innings of bullpen duty. Lyons’ 2017 season was particularly impressive, featuring a career-best 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched as well as a 2.83 ERA and 2.86 FIP to match. The Pirates had hoped he’d be able to round back into that form but apparently didn’t see enough promise in Lyons’ stuff to look past the ugly, small-sample results.

    As noted yesterday at the time DuRapau’s promotion was reported, the 27-year-old righty is a former 32nd-round pick who has been lights out in Triple-A to open the season. Through his first 14 1/3 innings, he’s allowed one run on five hits and five walks with 18 strikeouts and a 46.2 percent ground-ball rate that marks a dramatic improvement over his previous ground-ball tendencies.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Pirates To Select Contract Of Montana DuRapau]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=158017 2019-05-09T01:41:13Z 2019-05-09T01:41:13Z The Pirates are set to select the contract of right-handed reliever Montana DuRapau, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports (via Twitter). It’ll be the MLB debut for the former 32nd-round pick when he first takes the mound for the Buccos.

    DuRapau, 27, will add a fresh arm to the Pirates’ bullpen for their upcoming series against the division-rival Cardinals (and will also continue the storied lineage of Bucco relievers with 80-grade names, following in the footsteps of Arquimedes Caminero and Dovydas Neverauskas). The righty enjoyed a terrific 2017 season between Double-A and Triple-A in the Pirates organization before stumbling between those same two levels last season when posted a combined ERA north of 5.00.

    This year, he’s off to a fantastic start in Triple-A, having yielded just one earned run on five hits and five walks (one intentional) with 18 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings of work. DuRapau has been a pronounced fly-ball pitcher in each of his first two seasons in the upper minors but has worked to an above-average 46.4 percent ground-ball rate thus far in the 2019 campaign as well. Missing bats has never been much of an issue for DuRapau, as evidenced by his career 9.9 K/9 mark in Double-A and an even more impressive 11.4 K/9 in Triple-A.

    The Pirates will need to open a spot on the 40-man roster for DuRapau. Depending on when they feel Lonnie Chisenhall will be ready to go out on a minor league rehab assignment, they could just transfer him to the 60-day injured list, as he’s already been on the 10-day IL for a span of 44 days (and a move to the 60-day would not require resetting him back at one). He’s still not quite ready to run the bases, per MLB.com’s Adam Berry, so he’s a logical candidate for that type of move.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pirates Outright JB Shuck]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=157970 2019-05-08T23:20:56Z 2019-05-08T23:19:11Z
  • The Pirates announced that outfielder JB Shuck cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Indianapolis. He’d been designated for assignment over the weekend. Shuck, 32 next month, cracked Pittsburgh’s Opening Day roster due to a series of injuries elsewhere in the lineup but was cut loose once the Bucco outfield mix largely returned to health. He hit .213/.339/.255 in 57 plate appearances and will remain on-hand as a depth option with some MLB experience. In parts of seven MLB seasons, Shuck is a .243/.296/.314 hitter through 1289 PAs.
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