Pittsburgh Pirates News: More Bullpen Changes


The Pittsburgh Pirates continue their search for bullpen options.  They have shuffled through arms and bullpen spots the last couple days, and have recalled two additional arms.

The Pittsburgh Pirates recalled right-handed pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas on June 8th, optioning Johnny Barbato to Indianapolis.  Neverauskas pitched against the Miami Marlins on June 9, going two innings, on four hits and one walk, and he also picked up a strikeout.  He threw 31 pitches, essentially eliminating him as an option for the game on June 10.  Left handed reliever Wade LeBlanc got touched up again, allowing three runs and four hits in his two innings of work.

The Pirates bullpen needs fresh arms, as the bullpen had to cover five innings of work.  The team shuffled bullpen roles on the ninth, moving Tony Watson to low leverage situations, and naming Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio closers.  As new arms are needed, they have recalled right-handed reliever Edgar Santana, as well as right-handed reliever A.J. Schugel.  Pirates Bullpen broke the news, and Pirates Prospects confirmed it.

Edgar Santana ranked number 13 in our preseason prospect rankings, and this is what editor Nick Caporoso said of him,

"“Santana has the makeup of the back-end of the bullpen candidate.  He is a true power arm, that not only has a power fastball, but also a power slider.  His fastball this spring has been anywhere from 95 to 98 miles per hour.  On top of that, he has a wipeout slider, that as he continues to throw with more consistency with experience.  It definitely is a pitch that should allow him to pitch in the 7th inning or later in tight games.”"

Getting a hard throwing right hander is always good, especially one that misses bats, striking out 24.4 percent of hitters in Triple A.  Santana also has shown an ability to get groundballs, a rate of 47.1 percent this season.  On the season he has a 1.93 ERA and 2.88 FIP.  He is not on the 40 man roster, so an additional move will be made.

A.J. Schugel features a solid changeup, and earlier in the year I wrote about the Pirates bullpen and this very pitch, and noted that:

"“Schugel finished the season with the sixth-most runs (wCH) on his changeup among relief pitchers with 50 or more innings with 8.0 runs.”"

Schugel will provide the Pirates bullpen with more big league experience, as he posted a 3.63 ERA and 3.19 FIP for the Pirates in 52 innings last season.  In Triple A this year, Schugel has a 4.20 ERA and 4.44 FIP.

Next: Pirates Lose Hanson To White Sox

The Pirates need bullpen help, and they are recalling two guys that can help.  Corresponding moves have not been announced yet, and we will update as soon they are.

*Numbers from fangraphs