The Pittsburgh Pirates have added right-handed pitcher Brandon Cumpton to the 40-man roster for his start tonight. To make room, they have designated left-handed Mike Zagurski for assignment. The DFA of Zagurski also clears a spot for Cumpton on the 25-man roster.
The DFA of Zagurski doesn’t come as a surprise. In six innings he gave up ten earned runs and had a 5:8 K/BB ratio. The Pirates have two strong left-handers in the majors in Tony Watson and Justin Wilson. They also have some left-handed depth in the minors with Kris Johnson and Andy Oliver. It was good to take a chance on Zagurski due to his Triple-A numbers (2.14 ERA, 15.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 in 21 innings), but the Pirates aren’t in a position where they can give an extended look to a guy like Zagurski if he doesn’t initially perform.
I’m not convinced that Cumpton is only up for one start. The injury to A.J. Burnett leaves the pitching staff short. Jeanmar Gomez made his first rehab start the other night in Indianapolis. James McDonald has at least one more rehab start remaining. That would give Cumpton at least two starts in the majors. For more on Cumpton, check out my article from yesterday breaking down his pitches and development in the minor league system.