Bucco Nation Poll Question

By Jason Shetler

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Enny Romero Officially Joins Pirates; Dovydas Neverauskas Optioned to AAA

By Jason Shetler

Enny Romero is now on the Pirates 25-man roster. Meanwhile, Dovydas Neverauskas has been optioned to Indianapolis as the corresponding move.

The Pirates claimed Romero off waivers from the Washington Nationals over the weekend. The move made sense to obtain another left-handed reliever, this after Josh Smoker had struggled and was sent to Indianapolis. Romero had his best season with Washington last year, as he posted a 3.56 ERA and a 123 ERA+. His average fastball velocity of 98.0 mph in 2017 was third best among southpaw relievers. 

Neverauskas arrived to the Majors last year. The Lithuanian born right-hander had a decent rookie showing for the Pirates in 2017, posting a 3.91 ERA, along with an ERA+ of 112 in 24 appearances. Neverauskas has really scuffled this season, with a 10.80 ERA and a FIP of 8.16 in seven games.

 

 

 

 

Pirates Place Josh Harrison on DL; Max Moroff Recalled

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates have announced that Josh Harrison is headed to the disabled list with a fractured metacarpal in his left hand. Max Moroff has been recalled from AAA Indianapolis. 

Harrison was hit on the hand with a fastball from Miami Marlins starter Jose Urena. The injury is the same that ended his season last year. Harrison had been hitting mostly leadoff in the early going of this season. He posted a .697 OPS in 14 games. 

Moroff entered Spring Training 2018 as a favorite to land a spot on the Pirates bench, but wound up not making it, which came as a surprise to some. The 24-year-old infielder really broke out a year ago with the Indianapolis Indians, as he put up a .390 on base percentage, along with a career best .519 slugging percentage in 51 games. Moroff had an OPS of .846 in seven games for Indianapolis to begin this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Kingham Named International League Pitcher of the Week

By Jason Shetler

p/c: MiLB.com

On Monday, the International League announced that Nick Kingham has been named their Pitcher of the Week.

Kingham made his season debut with the Indianapolis Indians on April 6th against the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians AAA affiliate), pitching five scoreless innings. In that outing, he struck out ten batters, which was his first double-digit strikeout performance since 2013 when he pitched for the Bradenton Marauders. Kingham’s last start was April 11th versus the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers AAA club). He went six innings, allowing one run and striking out six. 

MLB Pipeline rated Kingham as the 13th best Pirates prospect in the organization entering this year. Last season, he posted a 4.13 ERA, a 3.59 FIP and held opponents to a .270 average in 20 games with Indianapolis. Kingham surprisingly was not added to the big league roster in September, but that was probably because of an innings limit. He should arrive to Pittsburgh at some point this season.

 

 

 

Pirates Claim Enny Romero from Nationals

By Jason Shetler

p/c: Hunter Martin – Getty Images

The Pirates have announced that reliever Enny Romero was claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals. He has been put on the 40-man roster and will have 72 hours to report. 

Romero was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 and became a Baseball Prospectus Top 100 prospect entering 2014. He spent parts of three seasons with the Rays, before being dealt to the Nationals prior to last year. 

The 2017 season for Romero was a pretty good one, as he posted a 3.56 ERA, along with a 124 ERA+ and a K/9 of 10.5 in 53 appearances out of the Nats bullpen. During his big league career, the average velocity on his fastball has been tremendous at 97.5 mph. With Josh Smoker getting optioned to AAA Indianapolis on Friday, it makes sense for the Pirates to add a lefty to the bullpen. Dovydas Neverauskas has really struggled, so he will likely be sent to Indianapolis, once Romero arrives. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez Join Pirates; Josh Smoker and Clay Holmes Optioned to AAA

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates announce that Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez are joining the big club, while Josh Smoker and Clay Holmes have been optioned to AAA Indianapolis.

Crick came over to the Pirates from the San Francisco Giants as part of the Andrew McCutchen deal in January. The 25-year-old right-hander had the inside track for a bullpen spot, but did not make it. Crick had a 2.25 ERA in three appearances with Indianapolis. 

Rodriguez signed as a minor league free agent with the Pirates in December. The Dominican born righty began the season for Indianapolis, striking out nine batters in five scoreless innings. He arrived to the Majors last year with the Baltimore Orioles as a September call up. The Pirates have added Rodriguez to the 40-man roster.

Smoker was acquired from the New York Mets in January. He made the Pirates Opening Day roster as a left-handed arm out of the bullpen. Smoker struggled mightily in five games with the Bucs, as he posted an ERA of 9.00, along with a 7.78 FIP. 

Holmes joined the Pirates roster as the 26th man for the doubleheader they had against the Detroit Tigers on Easter. Once Joe Musgrove was placed on the DL, Holmes stayed on the roster. He made his MLB debut with the Pirates on April 6th, where he pitched two innings in a 14-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Holmes will now rejoin the Indianapolis rotation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jameson Taillon Named NL Player of the Week

By Jason Shetler

p/c: Gene J. Puskar – AP

Major League Baseball announced on Monday that Jameson Taillon has been named the National League Player of the Week for the first week of the season. 

Taillon made his first start in the Pirates home opener versus the Minnesota Twins last Monday. The 26-year-old right-hander went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs and striking out nine batters, which tied a career high. He followed that up with the best outing of his big league career, as he threw a complete game, one-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, becoming just the second Pirates starter to toss a one-hit shutout at PNC Park, the other being Todd Ritchie. Taillon is the first Pirates pitcher to be named NL Player of the Week since Francisco Liriano in August of 2013.