Pittsburgh Pirates Option Jack Suwinski, Recall Cal Mitchell

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a pair of roster moves prior to Friday night’s game, including optioning the leader among NL rookies in home runs to the minors

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a pair of roster moves ahead of Friday night’s series opener in Denver.

Following Thursday’s gut punch loss in extra innings to the Marlins, the second in as many days, news broke that the Pittsburgh Pirates intended to option outfielder Jack Suwinski to the minors. Friday afternoon that move became official as Suwinski was optioned and fellow outfielder Cal Mitchell was recalled.

While Suwinski is currently stuck in a 0-for-32 funk, he has had an overall strong season. Suwinski has posted a 101 wRC+ and an OPS+ of 100. He has an isolated slugging (ISO) of .230 and has hit 14 home runs, which leads all National League rookies and is second among all MLB rookies.

Hopefully Suwinski’s stay in the minors will not be long. As Ethan Hullihen of Pirates Prospects pointed out on Twitter, Suwinski needed to spend at least one more day in the minors in order to avoid accruing a full year of service time this season. This is undoubtedly the reason the Pirates optioned him to the minors, service time manipulation.

While Suwinski should not have been optioned, hopefully this will lead to Mitchell playing every day. The Pirates need to be getting young players the bulk of the playing time as they continue to play for the future, and this should now include Mitchell playing every day. To be honest, with Bryan Reynolds on the injured list the starting outfield every day should be Ben Gamel, Suwinski, and one of Mitchell, Travis Swaggerty, and Bligh Madris, but I digress.

In the other roster move that was made Tyler Heineman returned from the Family Medical Emergency List and optioned Mike Perez to the minors. It was a bit of a surprise, and in a pleasant one, that the Pirates optioned Perez and kept Jason Delay on the major league roster.

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Moving forward the Pirates should continue to give Delay an extended look. He has impressed in his short time in the majors. Delay has a 106 wRC+ and a 107 OPS+ in 25 plate appearances across 10 games played to go with plus defense and good pitch framing. While Delay may prove to be nothing more than a career back up, he is the only catcher that has seized the position since Roberto Pérez’s injury and deserves to be rewarded for that with extended playing time.