Pittsburgh Pirates Make a Series of Minor Roster Moves

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a few minor league roster moves.  One of the moves was with an interesting arm.

A little over a month ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired a right-handed relief prospect from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The pitching prospect is Jesus Liranzo.  The 23-year-old righty was originally signed out of the Domincan Republic by the Atlanta Braves, and at one point was ranked as a top 30 prospect in their organization.

However, he struggled in his first season and a half and was released.  The Baltimore Orioles quickly scooped him up and he pitched in their organization up until this past offseason. He was the victim of a roster crunch and was placed on waivers by the Orioles.  He was picked up by the Dodgers, who also had to cut him due to roster constraints.  The Pittsburgh Pirates had multiple open spots on the 40 man roster entering the season, so they were able to add him and keep him in the organization.  So far, Liranzo has impressed.

Liranzo started this season at Double-A Altoona. He made nine relief appearances for the Curve and threw a total of 12 innings.  The 6’2” righty did not yield a run at all in his time at Altoona.  Furthermore, he showed really impressive command striking out 18 batters while only walking three.  The fact that he was flat-out dominant earned him a very quick promotion, which was announced yesterday.  Here is a scouting report from MLB Pipeline on Liranzo:

"“Liranzo generates easy plus velocity with his lightning-quick arm, sitting at 93-95 mph and touching higher at times. His above-average slider complements his fastball nicely, and the pairing enabled him to rack up 66 strikeouts in 53 total innings last season, during which he held hitters to a .116 average. Liranzo also throws a splitter, giving him a chance against left-handed hitters.”"

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The Pittsburgh Pirates decided that Liranzo was more than ready to move up to Triple-A Indianapolis. He did not make an appearance in last night’s game, however.  To make room for Liranzo at Triple-A the Pittsburgh Pirates had to release a player.  They released another relief pitcher in Tyler Jones.  Jones is a minor league veteran who is 28-year-old righty. Jones pitched in 12 games this year and had a high ERA of 5.40. With not being all that young, not showing any promise or reason to believe he can be serviceable depth, it made sense for Jones to be released.

*Roster Moves were First Reported by Jon Dreker of Pirates Prospects