After some time off, the Pittsburgh Pirates Rumor Mill is back for your weekly news on the latest Pirates trade rumors, signings, demotions, promotions, and all the fun stuff the armchair GM in us loves. As we move closer to the trade deadline, more trade rumors will start to surface. For now, there were a few minor, yet important moves that kept two Pirates players with the team, and other news that may have gone unnoticed.
Radhames Liz clears waivers
As Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported recently, Radhames Liz, who was designated for assignment by the Pirates back on May 25th, cleared waivers on June 3rd. Liz was out of options so he had to be put on waivers. If he was not claimed by another team within a ten-day window, he would return to the Pirates. You can read our breakdown of the Liz news here.
Jeff Locke will make his next start
This probably came as frustrating news to many Pirates’ fans. Locke has not been good for a majority of the season, to say the least. This was seen in his most recent start against the Padres, as Locke gave up seven runs and lasted only four innings. His ERA on the season currently sits at 5.34, but manager Clint Hurdle elected to make a point of saying that Jeff Locke will make his next start. The Pirates don’t have as many options to replace Locke should he need to be replaced as they did at the beginning of the season, with both Brandon Cumpton and Nick Kingham requiring Tommy John surgery. Vance Worley, Casey Sadler, Clayton Richard, Jameson Taillon, and Adrian Sampson are the most ready options to replace Locke at some point this season. You can read our breakdown of the Locke news here.
Jordy Mercer will be the shortstop for Charlie Morton
In minor news that didn’t grab much attention, Hurdle stated recently that he prefers Jordy Mercer at shortstop for Charlie Morton. This makes sense, considering Mercer is seen as providing better defense than Jung Ho Kang at the position, and Morton is a groundball-heavy pitcher. Moving forward, Kang and Mercer will most likely split time at short depending on who’s hot. But it’s safe to say that Mercer has one pitcher for whom he will be in the field.
Keon Broxton is promoted to Triple-A
25-year-old outfielder Keon Broxton was recently promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona. Broxton could be a future fourth outfielder for the Pirates and has a career .248/.327/.401 line in his minor league career. Unfortunately for Broxton, the Pirates’ outfield is set for the foreseeable future.
Jameson Taillon making progress
Jameson Taillon continues to pitch in extended spring training as he gets closer to a full recovery from Tommy John surgery. He’s been doing well by all accounts, and the possibility still exists that he could pitch in Pittsburgh at some point this season. He has the potential to be the most impactful prospect the Pirates could see graduate to the majors in 2015.
The season is still young, and there will be plenty of exciting trade rumors soon to come. Make sure to check Rum Bunter weekly with the Pittsburgh Pirates Rumor Mill for all of your transaction news and notes.