Pittsburgh Pirates News: Team Makes Flurry of Roster Moves
By Noah Wright
After a rough collison with outfielder Gregory Polanco yesterday, utility man Phillip Evans will now miss the rest of the 2020 season. In his place, the Pittsburgh Pirates will recall Jose Osuna and pitcher Brandon Waddell.
So far, this season hasn’t much worse than many would have thought. While no one really thought the Pittsburgh Pirates would be in the thick of competition, very few probably would have predicted a 3-12 start to the season. This is mostly due to injuries completley ravaging the pitching staff. Currently, the Pirates have 5 pitchers on the injured list, and list just got bigger.
Yesterday, Gregory Polanco collided with first baseman Phillip Evans. It was an extremely hard collison as it looked like Evans might have even been knocked out for a few seconds. Evans had to be carried out on a stretcher with a brace around his head. It came out earlier this morning that Evans suffered a broken jaw and will probably miss the rest of the season now that he’s on the 45-day disabled list according to Jason Mackey.
This is a huge blow for an already struggling and injured raveged Pirates team as Evans was one of the team’s hottest hitters. Through his first 45 plate appearaces of the season, the super utility man had a .359/.444/.487 line, along with a home run, two doubles, and a 167 OPS+. Plus he was providing solid defense at multiple different positions.
In his place, the Pittsburgh Pirates will recall another utility man in Jose Osuna. Osuna got off to a slow start to the year, only having three hits with one home run through his first 21 plate appearances. He also struggled in both 2017 and 2018, only hitting .231/.263/.417 with a 79 OPS+/76 wRC+. However, Osuna didn’t do all that bad in 2019 batting .264/.310/.456, which was overalll around league average production with a 99 OPS+ and 97 wRC+. With his slow start to the year, and Evans, Colin Moran, and Erik Gonzalez having extremely hot starts, Osuna was the odd man out. Especially with the amount of injuries to pitching the Pirates have.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will also promote left handed pitching prospect Brandon Waddell, and option relief prospect Nick Mears. Last year, the Pirates saw two different Waddell’s. The one in Double-A who had a 2.23 ERA, 1.68 FIP and 1.04 WHIP with a 28.6% strikeout rate, 6.1% walk rate, and no home runs given up through 36.1 innings. And the other Waddell at Triple-A who had a 8.70 ERA, 5.67 FIP, 1.93 WHIP, surrendering 40 free passes and 11 long balls in 61 innings of work.
However, this was the first time Waddell ever struggled imenesly like he did in 2019. Plus this gives the Pirates another left handed option out of the bullpen along side Sam Howard.