The Pittsburgh Pirates had one of their best starting pitching options in Triple-A over the last month or so. Apparently, he is being recalled.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates hope to take a step forward as a team next season, their pitching staff will need to take a step forward as well. One of the major pieces that could help the starting rotation improve is Roansy Contreras. Contreras has been up and down with the Bucs this year and has pitched well no matter the circumstance.
Contreras was up for all of June and looked to be solidifying himself as a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation. Instead, the Front Office decided it would be better served to send Contreras back to Triple-A. They gave their reasons, to rest his arm for some time during the breaks, then to build him back up as a full-time starter.
The fact of the matter is the Front Office was not being 100% honest. I am sure the team wanted to rest his arm, which is fine. The real reason Contreras was sent back down was to avoid Super-2 status, which would grant him a fourth year of arbitration. If you follow the Pittsburgh Pirates you should be well versed in the Super-2 rule.
He was projected to be clear of Super-2 around the 2nd week of August. It is about that time and according to Jason Mackey, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, Contreras will be rejoining the team:
Conteras will likely be recalled the day that he will be starting. It will be interesting to see what the corresponding move will be to make a spot on the 40-man roster for him. Also, who is going to fall out of the rotation for Contreras?
My guess is that we see one of the relievers go. Yohan Ramirez will likely be sent down to make room. As for the rotation, the team should move Zach Thompson out of the rotation and into the bullpen. Thompson has struggled as of late with an ERA over 6 over the last two months. Contreras returns with a 3.78 across 50 innings.