Pittsburgh Pirates News: Three Relievers Optioned to Triple-A

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 07: Aaron Fletcher #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day at Busch Stadium on April 7, 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 07: Aaron Fletcher #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day at Busch Stadium on April 7, 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /
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With roster set to shrink from 28 players to 26 and Anthony Banda set to return from the IL the Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned three relievers to Triple-A

Due to the lockout causing a delayed and abbreviated spring training, the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as the rest of MLB clubs were permitted to start the season with 28 players on their active roster instead of 26. However, this was only going to last until May 2nd.

On May 2nd teams would be required to drop their active rosters from 28 players back down to 26. While that would, obviously, require just two roster moves, on Monday the Pittsburgh Pirates optioned three players to Triple-A Indianapolis.

According to the team’s transaction page, left-handed relievers Aaron Fletcher and Sam Howard, as well as right-handed reliever Miguel Yajure have all been optioned to Triple-A. The reason for three roster moves instead of two is due to left-handed reliever Anthony Banda being set to return from the injured list on Tuesday.

None of these three players being optioned to Triple-A comes as much of a surprise. Fletcher has posted a 9.35 ERA and 6.78 FIP in 8.2 innings pitched. In 3 outings Howard had pitched 2.0 innings, posting a 9.00 ERA and 16.09 FIP. Yajure had pitched 10.1 innings in 6 relief outings pitching to the tune of an 11.32 ERA and a FIP of 5.89.

On the season the Pirate pitching staff has a 4.99 ERA in 193 innings pitched. The Fletcher, Howard, Yajure trio has surrendered 24 of the 107 earned runs (22.4%) allowed by the pitching staff this season. If you takeaway these three pitchers the team’s ERA drops from 4.99 to 4.34.

Odds are the Pirates will also want Yajure to work out of the starting rotation at Indianapolis. Despite his MLB struggles this season they likely still see him as a stating pitcher long-term after acquiring him in the Jameson Taillon trade.

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Getting Banda back on Tuesday should be a big boost for the Pirate bullpen. Prior to going on the injured list Banda had allowed just 1 run, on a solo home run, 4 hits, he did not walk a batter and struck out 5 in 4.1 innings pitched.

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