By Jason Shetler
The Pirates have announced that Michael Morse has been designated for assignment. In a corresponding move, the Bucs call up A.J. Schugel from AAA Indianapolis, and have placed him on the 40 and 25-man rosters.
Morse was acquired by the Pirates during last year’s trade deadline from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a swap for Jose Tabata. The 34-year-old Morse performed well after coming over to Pittsburgh, as he posted a .782 OPS with an OPS+ of 118 in 45 games. The plan entering 2016 was to platoon Morse and John Jaso at first base, but it looks as if that experiment will be very short lived.
Schugel came to the Pirates as a waiver claim from the Seattle Mariners this past offseason. The 26-year-old right-hander arrived in the big leagues last season where he made five relief appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks. With Ryan Vogelsong making a spot start for Francisco Liriano, as well as Kyle Lobstein being used in long relief in Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, the Pirates will have Schugel as an extra arm in the bullpen for the time being.