The Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten a budding high leverage bullpen arm back from the COVID IL, while also adding a recently acquired reliever to the active roster
As the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to get players back from the injured list they have added two more relievers to their bullpen. One coming off the COVID IL, and the other a reliever they traded for over the weekend.
Following a short stint on the COVID IL, righty Yerry De Los Santos has been activated by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to being placed on the COVID IL the 24-year-old De Los Santos appeared to be locking down a big role in the Pirate bullpen.
In 12.2 MLB innings pitched this season De Los Santos owns a 2.84 ERA, 7.8% walk rate and a 25.5% strikeout rate. De Los Santos was also beginning to pitch in high leverage situations in recent outings, including picking up his first two careers saves at the major league level in his last two outings.
Manny Bañuelos as also been added to the active roster. The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Bañuelos from the New York Yankees for cash considerations over the weekend. Bañuelos has pitched 8.1 innings out of the Yankee bullpen this season, allowing 2 runs on 7 hit, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. Bañuelos is an intriguing arm to add to the bullpen and could provide a nice boost for the Pirates.
To make room for De Los Santos and Bañuelos on the active roster the Pirates have optioned Cam Vieaux to Triple-A, while also designating Austin Brice for assignment. Vieaux, as most know by now, took one of the chin for the team last Friday against the Brewers, throwing 56 pitches in the 8th inning in what was a borderline criminal managerial decision by Derek Shelton. Hopefully, this will not be it for Vieaux in the majors. He pitched well outside of that outing and deserves another opportunity.
As for Brice, the career journeyman had pitched 3.2 innings out of the Pirate bullpen this season. If he goes unclaimed in the waiver process he will rejoin the Indianapolis bullpen. This move also puts the Pirate 40-man roster at 39 players which is notable as Kevin Newman will have to re-join the 40-man roster when he comes off the 60-day IL, which will likely happen this week.