The Pirates announced they’ve designated reliever Cam Alldred for assignment. Pittsburgh also placed first baseman Daniel Vogelbach on the 10-day injured list and put reliever Heath Hembree on the 15-day IL. The moves clear roster space for the previously-reported promotions of right-hander Roansy Contreras and outfielder Calvin Mitchell.
Alldred just earned his first major league call a couple weeks ago. The 25-year-old made one appearance, tossing a scoreless inning against the Reds before being optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis. He’s spent the rest of the season there, working 20 1/3 innings across ten appearances. Alldred has a sterling 1.33 ERA, inducing grounders on three-fifths of the batted balls he’s allowed.
The University of Cincinnati product hasn’t missed many bats in the minors. He has a below-average 21.3% strikeout rate in Triple-A, unsurprising for a pitcher who averaged 86.7 MPH on his sinker during his lone big league outing. Alldred has performed throughout his time in the minors, however, and he’s seen marked improvements in both his walk and ground-ball numbers thus far in 2022.
Vogelbach hits the IL due to a left hamstring strain. The team hasn’t provided a timetable for a return for the 29-year-old, who has been the club’s primary designated hitter this season. The lefty-swinging Vogelbach signed a $1MM deal over the offseason and had been off to a nice start to his Pittsburgh tenure. He’s hitting .241/.321/.457 while popping six home runs through his first 131 plate appearances.
Hembree also signed a one-year deal with the Bucs as a free agent, though he’s gotten off to a more inauspicious start. The right-hander has an 8.10 ERA through 17 appearances, walking 14.5% of batters faced. Hembree profiled as an interesting buy-low flier after striking out 34.2% of opponents between the Reds and Mets last season. He hasn’t come close to replicating that thus far, owning just a 16.1% strikeout rate in the early going.
In other Bucs’ injury news, the club transferred shortstop Kevin Newman to the 60-day IL yesterday. (The move was necessary to accommodate the promotion of Yerry de los Santos). General manager Ben Cherington announced over the weekend that Newman had suffered a hamstring injury while on a minor league rehab assignment (link via Jerry Dipaola of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). That’s a separate issue than the left groin strain that originally landed him on the IL last month.
Cherington indicated Newman’s new injury isn’t likely to be serious, though it has halted his rehab stint. He won’t be eligible to return to the majors for sixty days from the time of his initial IL placement on April 27. A late-June return is now the best possible outcome for the 28-year-old, who hit .250/.308/.375 in 14 games before suffering the groin injury.