Pirates call up Ledezma and Jackson

The Pittsburgh Pirates have called up relief pitcher Steven Jackson, and have purchased the contract of 29 year old left handed reliever Wilfredo Ledezma, filling their two open spots on the 25-man roster.  Ledezma takes the open spot on the 40-man roster which was opened when the Pirates designated Brendan Donnelly for assignment.

Jackson will only be up for a few days, and will likely be sent back down after Friday’s game, so that the Pirates can call up a starter for Saturday.  That starter has been rumored to be Daniel McCutchen, but no official announcement has been made.  Ledezma had a 0.94 ERA in 38.1 innings in relief at Indianapolis, with a 11.7 K/9 and a 4.5 BB/9, and a .156 BAA.  Ledezma hasn’t allowed a run since the month of May, with 21 scoreless innings in June and July, and a 32:9 K/BB ratio in that time span.  Ledezma doesn’t have any options remaining, but does have two years of control remaining.  Unlike Donnelly, if Ledezma has success the rest of the season, the Pirates can retain him, rather than deal with him leaving via free agency.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://twitter.com/RandyLinville Randy Linville

    Why do you think they went so heavy on pitching in the early rounds in 2008 and 2009? Do you think the FO figured they could pick up the bats they needed via FA or via the trades that were made those years? Or something else?

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      I think part of that was the fact that there was no pitching in the system at all during that time. If you remember, after the 2009 draft we were hoping that the prep pitchers would produce a number one starter, and ideally would add a few future rotation members. They were the future of the pitching staff. Now, if all of them become busts it would be a horrible draft, but I don’t think it would cripple the franchise, as they’ve had success with other pitchers since then, and aren’t relying solely on the 2009 guys.

      I think another part was that the last few drafts were very heavy with pitching talent. They took some over-slot hitters, but the pitchers seemed to be the best available on the board, as most of the guys they took were highly regarded by Baseball America and Keith Law.

      As for the plan for the bats, I mentioned that they tried to get bats, and those definitely didn’t work out. In 2010 it looked like the future of the offense would be McCutchen, Alvarez, Tabata, and Walker. Only McCutchen has established himself in the majors two years later. So their focus for offensive help didn’t work nearly as well as the focus for pitching. But I also think that they drafted pitching knowing that it always has value, and knowing that they could deal pitching for hitting if needed.

  • http://twitter.com/jlease717 John Lease

    I agree that overall system rankings are pretty useless. But drafting as high as they always are, the Pirates just by random chance should have more hitting prospects than they do. And considering who they’ve brought in over the NH time as GM, I’d be leery of flipping pitching for who they think would be a good hitter. Neil continues to be unimpressive, and this is 4 years into the job. It’s time to move on to someone who has a track record of success.

  • szielinski

    The 2009 and 2010 draft classes should have provided pitching depth to the system but failed to do so. The 2009 class has floundered; the 2010 class was compromised by an organizational failure to sign some of its top-ten round picks. These classes diminish the depth of the system and indicate the organization will lack the resources needed to acquire hitters.

    One point we should always keep in mind: The developmental system Littlefield and Creech left behind remains a problem the organization must overcome.

    That said, the 2012 productivity of Alvarez, Tabata and Walker is worrisome. Alvarez must become an impact player if the Pirates will accomplish anything of note in the near future. Tabata and Walker must become above average players if the Pirates will accomplish
    anything of note in the near future. Besides Huntington and Coonley, who would now bet their jobs on Alvarez, Tabata and Walker?

    Finally, it does not help matters much that Sanchez, Grossman and Marte have struggled this season, especially Marte and Sanchez. These are players the Pirates need.

  • leadoff

    I do know that the Pirates tried to trade one of their top prospects last winter with the Reds for Alonso, but they had no 1 or 2 pitching in the system to give the Reds, they went to San Diego to get what they want, so thinking they can trade their prospects for the top hitter they want is not going to happen, they don’t have any established talent that would bring that type of player.

  • sstauffer5

    Yes, the pitching depth to get bats makes sense. They have to pull the trigger when the time is right to make a trade. My concern – and I’m not trying to be funny here – is that NH and team will be doing the dealing. The RESULTS of their decision on offense both at the ML and monir league level have been pretty dismal.

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