While you never want to go to an emergency option, it’s better to have them in the organization and never call them up than to scramble at the last minute to find a suitable short-term replacement until a more permanent option arises.
Aaron Shortridge was a 4th round pick in 2018, and his first impressions against pros was pretty good. However, since getting to Double-A in 2022, it’s been a struggle for Shortridge. On the plus side, he has provided volume, both for Altoona and in the early part of his career, so the Pirates at least know they have a guy they could call on in a pinch.
Cam Alldred isn’t the only depth player who has appeared in the big leagues we will be looking at. Alldred pitched just a single inning in 2022. Alldred mostly pitched out of the bullpen in 2022, but the Pirates have used him in more of a swing-man role this season.
Omar Cruz is your soft-tossing lefty with good command and a good change-up. Acquired in the Joe Musgrove deal, Cruz followed up a very solid 2021 season as a member of the Pirates with two poor seasons thus far. Cruz is currently at Double-A Altoona where he has bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation.
Beau Sulser made his MLB debut with the Pirates in 2022 as an emergency call-up. After bouncing between the Baltimore Orioles and Korea in 2022 and 2023, Sulser is back in the United States and at Double-A. The 29-year-old and 10th round pick has a 3.86 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 4.07 FIP through 14 innings.