The Pittsburgh Pirates have designated Jonathan Sanchez for assignment and have recalled Bryan Morris. The move is likely to be a temporary one for Morris, for reasons I listed in last night’s First Pitch. The club will have Jose Contreras, Francisco Liriano, and Charlie Morton returning in the next few weeks.
Contreras just threw an inning in Indianapolis today, after throwing back to back days over the weekend. I’d expect him to be added to the club later in the week.
Liriano made a rehab start today, throwing six shutout innings. I wrote today that he looks like he could be added to the rotation no later than May 11th.
Morton is probably 2-3 starts away from returning.
The players who are most likely to leave the roster now are Vin Mazzaro, Jeanmar Gomez, and Morris. One of those three could stick around if Jared Hughes continues to struggle, as Hughes has an option and can be sent to Triple-A.
As for Sanchez, he will have to clear waivers, which is almost certain to happen. If another team were to claim him for some reason, they would assume the rest of his salary. If he clears waivers, he can decline an outright assignment to Triple-A, so there’s no guarantee he sticks around in the system.
The move opens a spot on the 40-man roster, although that spot will probably go to Jose Contreras later in the week.