Pittsburgh Pirates Option Kyle Lobstein And Cole Figueroa To AAA

Apr 24, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kyle Lobstein against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kyle Lobstein against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

In an effort to bolster an overworked bullpen, the Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned left-handed reliever Kyle Lobstein and infielder Cole Figueroa back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Two days after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kyle Lobstein has been optioned back to the Minor Leagues. It was not due to anything Kyle Lobstein had done, but simply because the Pittsburgh Pirates overused bullpen needs help. This latest stint for Lobstein was actually his best in the Major Leagues this season, as he pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings combined over the past two days.

Overall on the season Lobstein has done decent work as a swing man out of the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen. In 24 innings pitched Lobstein had a 4.13 ERA, he has allowed just two home runs, and he has a 49.3 percent ground ball rate. However, Lobstein’s 4.13 BB/9 is troublesome and helped contribute to a 4.58 FIP.

Kyle Lobstein was victimized by two things. A bullpen in desperate need of help, and having options. The fact Kyle Lobstein has options remaining is a big reason why he was optioned to Triple-A today. Plus, the fact he would be unavailable to pitch the next two days after his workload the previous two factored into the decision as well.

Cole Figueroa was also optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis this afternoon. On the season, Figueroa has just a .154/.185/.154/.339 slash line and a -8 wRC+. With Figueroa being optioned to Triple-A, I look for the Pittsburgh Pirates to ride an eight man bullpen and a four man bench for a little while.

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Replacing Lobstein and Figueroa on the Pittsburgh Pirates roster are right-handed relief pitchers Rob Scahill and Arquimedes Caminero. Getting Scahill back should be a nice shot in the arm for the struggling Pirate bullpen. In 11 1/3 Major League innings pitched this season Scahill has a 3.18 ERA, 3.12 FIP, 3.84 xFIP, a 62.5 percent ground ball rate, and a 1.24 WHIP.

Rob Scahill was optioned to Triple-A last Saturday, after throwing 50+ pitches the night before, in an effort to bolster a shortened bullpen. This, unfortunately, has become a reoccurring theme. However, it was known Scahill would not be at Triple-A long. An argument can be made that Scahill has been the Pittsburgh Pirates third best reliever this season behind Neftali Feliz and Mark Melancon.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have also reinstated Arquimedes Caminero from the disabled list. Prior to going on the disabled list Caminero had been awful for the Pirates. Caminero pitched 17 1/3 innings and was averaging 6.75 BB/9, 1.56 HR/9, and just 7.27 K/9. This resulted in Caminero having a 5.19 ERA, 6.53 FIP, and a xFIP of 6.07.

Caminero’s control was abysmal prior to going on the disabled list, and he did not look any better on his rehab stint at Triple-A. Caminero pitched just four innings at Triple-A, but allowed four earned runs on four hits, three walks, and a home run allowed. Caminero did strike out six batters during his rehab stint though, so, hopefully, his swing and miss stuff is returning. However, I am not optimistic at all.

This was the Pittsburgh Pirates second slew of roster moves on the day. Earlier in the day, the team announced that starting catcher Francisco Cervelli would be going on the 15-day disabled list with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Furthermore, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired veteran backstop Erik Kratz in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to serve as Chris Stewart‘s back up while Cervelli is out.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates Place Francisco Cervelli On The Disabled List, Acquire Erik Kratz

Odds are, more roster moves are coming for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the next 48-72 hours. I still expect Gerrit Cole‘s arm injury to land him on the disabled list. As a result, I would look for Jameson Taillon to be recalled and to start for the Pirates on Tuesday night in New York.

The month of June features a brutal schedule, and is off to just a 3-7 start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This 3-7 start also includes some gut wrenching losses in games the Pirates appeared to have in the bag. Now, there are these injuries on top of things. June may prove to make or break the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates.