The Pirates have recently released five players from the VSL/DSL rosters and added five new players in their place. Earlier this year they needed help filling out innings while they awaited approval on contracts that were on hold due to age verification issues. They signed veterans of the DSL in the interim period to get them through the season.
The following players were released and all of them had previously played in the DSL (three with other organizations) and had been released prior to 2011. Pitchers Joaquin Santamaria, Antonio Jimenez and Jose Garcia as well as catcher Yeffrey Jaquez. Garcia had actually pitched for West Virginia, the Pirates low-A affiliate, back in 2008 while they were still a Brewers farm club. Santamaria had two outings and retired just one batter posting a 21.00 WHIP. Jaquez was previously with the DSL Pirates in 2010 but had been released prior to this season. He was resigned while they awaited the approval of the contracts of two other catchers.
In the VSL outfielder Alexis Salazar was released. The 20 year old had two prior years experience in the league with the Phillies affiliate and had hit just .176 in 15 games with the Pirates.
The following players were signed and have begun playing:
Tomas Morales(VSL) – A 20 year old catcher out of Venezuela, made his pro debut Tuesday going 2-4
Jose Regalado(DSL) – A 19 year old 6′ 3″ RHP, he threw a shutout inning in his pro debut on Tuesday
Cecilio Pimental(DSL) – An 18 year old 6′ 2″ LHP was added in July. He threw 4 innings on Tuesday allowing one unearned run and he struck out six. He has thrown 12.1 total innings without allowing an earned run.
Patrick Reyes(DSL) – An 18 year old catcher, he was added on July 30th and has gone 1-7 in four games.
Deybi Garcia(DSL) – A 19 year old catcher added in July when Jaquez was released. Garcia has hit .278 in 8 games. He is one of six catchers currently active on the DSL roster
Other transactions include VSL veteran pitchers Jovany Lopez and Francisco Vilchez returned to the VSL team after brief stints with the DSL club to help fill out innings. Lopez has been in the organization for three seasons while Vilchez is in his 4th and final season with the VSL club. He will either have to make the jump to the U.S. next year or be released as the foreign leagues don’t allow players with more than 4 years of experience in the league to participate for a 5th year.
Finally, Arquiemedes Lorenzo ended his 50 game suspension and returned to action yesterday allowing one run in 1.2 innings. He was signed in November 2009 for a $90k bonus and was said to have the highest potential out of all pitchers signed that year. He had a fastball that reached 92 and a change up that was called an out pitch. He was suspended in mid-December due to violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. Missing this much time obviously set him back but the Pirates liked him enough to keep him around.