The Pittsburgh Pirates removed Chris Bootcheck, Denny Bautista, and Craig Hansen from the 40-man roster today. Bootcheck elected free agency, while there is no word on Bautista and Hansen. The move clears up two spots on the 40-man roster, only because Hansen was on the 60-day DL, and not a member of the 40-man roster.
Hansen was acquired in the Jason Bay trade last year, but didn’t see much time with the Pirates due to injury issues. Hansen was placed on the disabled list with neck spasms in late April this year. It was confirmed in June that his injury was a nerve issue, and in August he was diagnosed with Personage-Turner Syndrome, which basically means that the nerve had deteriorated and shut down muscles in his upper back, shoulder, and upper arm, making it impossible to pitch. The injury could be a career ending one, and will surely keep Hansen out for awhile, possibly the majority of 2010.
Bautista was added to the 40-man roster late in the season to add some depth to the bullpen. Bautista had a 5.27 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched, with a 9.9 K/9 and a 4.6 BB/9 ratio. That’s been the story of his career thus far.
Bootcheck was added as a minor league free agent this past off-season, and spent the majority of the season with Indianapolis. Bootcheck had a 3.38 ERA in 42.2 innings at AAA, with an 11.6 K/9, a 1.5 BB/9, and an 0.2 HR/9 ratio. He failed to bring that success to the majors, with a 11.05 ERA in 14.2 innings, an 8.0 K/9, 5.5 BB/9, and a 0.6 HR/9 ratio.
Bootcheck was a first round pick by the Angels in 2000. Hansen was a first round pick by the Red Sox in 2005.
The 2010 40-man roster page
has been updated with the move. Tyler Yates, Evan Meek, and Jose Ascanio are still on the 60-day DL, and this move only clears two spaces for those players. Yates could be another candidate to be removed from the 40-man roster. Yates had Tommy John surgery in July, and will be out for the majority of 2010. I can’t see the Pirates keeping him on the roster all season, especially when he would be a free agent following the 2010 season.
I also think that we will see Luis Cruz, Virgil Vasquez, Eric Hacker, Anthony Claggett, and Steven Lerud as players who could potentially be removed from the 40-man roster in order to make space for prospects like Gorkys Hernandez and Brad Lincoln.