A.J. Burnett Placed on 15-Day DL, Contreras Released, Morton Activated

Jose Contreras appeared in seven games for the Pirates.

Jose Contreras appeared in seven games for the Pirates.

The Pirates have released Jose Contreras, placed A.J. Burnett on the 15-day disabled list and activated Charlie Morton, all moves on right-handed pitchers to allow Morton to start Thursday night.

Burnett has a right calf strain that he told the team about Wednesday and is on the DL retroactive to June 9. Contreras has been on the disabled list since May 28 with lower back inflammation. His release opens up a 40-man roster spot for Morton, while Burnett’s injury opens a spot for Morton to join the 25-man roster.

Earlier Thursday, the team announced A.J. Burnett would miss his Friday start with a calf injury. Jeff Locke will start Friday night’s game at home against the Dodgers, and Gerrit Cole is scheduled to start Sunday. Saturday’s starter has yet to be announced, but Tim Williams explored the possibilities.

The Pirates now have five of their main starting pitchers from the 2012 season on the disabled list: Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald and Jeff Karstens. The team provided updates on some of those pitchers plus others earlier today. Rodriguez is eligible to return from the disabled list as early as June 21 (when the Pirates are in Anaheim), and Burnett could return as early as June 25 in Seattle. The Pirates’ rotation currently stands as Morton, Locke, Cole and Liriano.

Burnett was seen walking without crutches and without any visible protective gear Thursday.

Contreras, 41, pitched only five innings for the Pirates this season, allowing five earned runs, striking out five and giving up six walks. The Pirates were just his second organization since 2009. He was granted an unconditional release.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

James Santelli

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

Gregory Polanco Promoted to Altoona

Next Story »

Pirates Announce the Signing of Ten Draft Picks

  • kidic56

    Thanks for @Pirates on twitter to let me know Marte is scratched tonight to discomfort in his side, and ” all shook up ” is taking his place. Now i can bench Marte in my fantasy league.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    I think it is encouraging that the Pirates management team is quickly admitting to mistakes and cutting ties quickly – instead of stubbornly holding on to players. It is encouraging that they cut John McDonald, Sanchez, and Contreras fairly quickly once it was obvious that they were all poor signings.

    Now, if they will do the same with James McDonald and Inge.

    As for Morton tonight, not surprisingly another extremely inconsistent and frustrating performance. He has quality “stuff”, but IMHO he lacks mental toughness – much like Kip Wells was. I hope they don’t keep trotting him out there very 4-5 days if this is the type of performance we are going to get from him – which is what I would expect given his past performance.

    • Lee Young

      I feel the same way about Morton, but it looks like we’re gonna need him until Wandy and AJ get back.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    I think it is time to pull the plug on Zagurski as well…he may be the proverbial AAAA player – not MLN caliber. Although he’s not a lefthander, Duke Welker would be an upgrade. Is Vic Black still on the DL??

    • smurph

      I agree, Zagurski should be gone. Last night was a defining moment for him and he blew it. You could recall Oliver to take his place. And yes, I would rather have Harrison or d’Arnaud or Presley on the team than Inge.

  • Monsoon Harvard

    Yes, Brandon Inge has to go. I see no need for him at this time and he just doesn’t hit.
    As for McDonald, they should have moved him when he was pitching well. Now if he still has any value I would try to trade him as soon as possible.

    Also, Surprised they are not attemping to get Eric Young Jr. They’ve had their eyes on him for years. I’d rather have him than Inge at least.

  • Fred Langford

    Attrition, n, adj

    : the act of weakening or exhausting by constant harassment, abuse, or attack

    : a reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death

    Also: See Pirates pitching staff

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    2 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    1 day ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    2 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    3 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    5 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    6 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles