(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Brandon Cumpton to be the 26th Man, Nevin Ashley Could Come Up

Dan Zangrilli of 93.7 The Fan has a few updates tonight on who could be called up for tomorrow’s double-header. First, Zangrilli says that Brandon Cumpton will be the 26th man.

The scheduled starters are Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole, so Cumpton would probably just serve as an extra arm out of the bullpen. He was originally scheduled to be the starter in tomorrow’s game with Indianapolis.

Zangrilli also says that Nevin Ashley is coming up, and that he could be replacing Tony Sanchez, who is presumed injured.

The Pirates can bring up Ashley as a precaution without adding him to the roster. If Sanchez was injured, they’d have Ashley in town, and could add him before the game. If Sanchez is fine, then they don’t need to do anything with Ashley.

Ashley isn’t on the 40-man roster, but the Pirates wouldn’t have a problem clearing a spot for him. Brent Morel hasn’t been hitting, and would be an easy choice to be designated for assignment to clear a roster spot.

Russell Martin expects to be back on Wednesday, and will have a one game suspension to serve. So no matter what happens with Sanchez and Ashley, the starting catcher by Friday should once again be Martin. Ashley does have options remaining, so if he is called up, the Pirates could option him back to Triple-A when he’s no longer needed.

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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, 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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  • R Edwards

    Please cut Volquez and Morton – now. They are both worthless. Except for his uncharacteristically good 1/2 season last year, Morton has always been a nibbler, refuses to pitch inside, and lacks the tough mental fortitude that a successful SP must possess. I cannot stand watching that guy pitch. I do not understand why this team has such high regard for his stuff and ability.

    • bucsws2014

      I’m not sure how one can say Morton refuses to pitch inside when he hits at least one batter per game, usually more. I wouldn’t disagree on his mental state. Something is wrong when you have his abilities yet can’t win a game or avoid one big inning each time out.

      • R Edwards

        Watch Cole and Crumpton pitch – then watch Morton. Morton may hit an occasional batter due to control issues, whereas Cole and Crumpton are not afraid to knock a guy down if they crowd the plate too much. Morton is a more of a nibbler and a passive pitcher – I don’t see him attacking hitters. Although he made me eat crow last year, I was never very impressed with Morton and always thought the Pirates grossly overstated his ability. To me, he’s a decent #4 or #5 in a rotation – he just does not exude confidence.

        • stickyweb

          So you want to cut the SP with the best ERA on the team, better than Cole and Cumpton? What’s next, cut J-Hay since he’s only 2nd on the team in OPS? Then you say Morton is a decent #4 or #5 in a rotation. You do realize a team needs 5 starters right? Plus several more for depth. And since they’re going to pay him $24 million over the next 3 years, I guess Nutting’s just too cheap to cut him and sign another SP for $10 mil a year that will probably not be as good. They’ll just keep running him out there and have him lead the team in ERA. What fools they are.

          • leowalter

            +++++ sticky.

  • NSA

    R, I don’t consider cutting Morton at this stage but Volquez has no short or longterm value. Offer him around, there are teams that need a 5th starter as bad as we do who don’t have our options so someone might take on his $$ Wandy on the other hand is probably untradeable, so if I’m GM I cut Wandy today and keep Cumpton in his stead. Shop Volq for one more start, then bring up Locke. It’s not like we’re giving up on the season since Locke and Cumpton are both MLB commodities at this point. Keeping the two “proven vets” would be throwing in the towel in this context.

    • emjayinTN

      NSA: I like the basic approach, but I think Wandy had a decent 5 inning outing last time out. If that keeps up, he could become tradeable before the deadline if we eat all or most of the money and possibly a middling prospect in return. Morton was lights out last year when his job was on the line, but he has not been the same guy this year. We need more consistency from him, because going into 2015, he and Gerrit Cole are going to be our leaders of the Rotation. Cumpton and Locke will join them. From there, we are waiting to see how Jameson Taillon is coming along, and possibly Nick Kingham. If not them, Worley? Justin Wilson? But, I do not see Liriano, Volquez, Rodriguez, or Grilli pitching for the Pirates in 2015, and that is about $25 mil off the payroll.

      • stickyweb

        Actually Morton’s been almost the same pitcher as last year, when you say he was lights out. ERA 2013/2014: 3.26/3.45 and FIP 3.60/3.88. Basically he’s one good start from having the same numbers as last year. He’s getting no run support and of course the defense has been horrendous, as it has been behind all of the starters. I know you were making the case for sticking with him to set up next year, but I think a little perspective is needed when the whole team is struggling so badly, we often overstate how bad certain players have been. Charlie’s been more snake bit than anything (8IP, 0ER, no decision?)
        Volquez is a different story, but has also shown enough to justify keeping him in the rotation.
        I just had a strange thought about Wandy. If he pitches better the rest of the way, getting his overall numbers somewhere around 4 ERA, do the Pirates resign him? There will be almost no market for him since he’s been hurt so much and will be 36 years old next year. They could give him a 2 year incentive laden contract (based on # of starts) and he could be the veteran bridge until Taillon and Kingham are really ready to contribute. And we all know it never hurts to be a LHP in PNC. If it happens, you read it here first. If it doesn’t, I’m as dumb as most of you think I am.

        • emjayinTN

          The whole team is struggling badly, and I agree. But the game was gone in the first 2 innings, mostly in the first where he walked the first batter and hit the 3rd batter to load the bases. Then some real hits followed to give them a 3-0 lead. I did not see the bunt by DJ, but crap happens when you set the table for them. At the beginning of the year it was the one inning in the middle of the game, and in the last two starts it is the first inning. I would like to think we could bail a guy out, but that is not the case these days. And, no I do not think you are any dumber than any of the rest of us

          • leowalter

            emjay : not to defend Morton,but if your offense can’t beat the Yankee’s starters ( excepting Tanaka ! ) for more than 3 to 5 runs,there is the problem,not the starter. Pedro Alvarez needs to start hitting something,and soon. I could complain about Snider,but we already know what is going to happen in right field,so why beat a dead horse ?

            • bucsws2014

              Before yesterday’s game, Morton was 9th in all of MLB among qualified starters for least run support at 2.78 RPS. So that outburst of 3 runs (4?) might’ve bounced him from top 10.

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