Yesterday I wondered why the Pirates didn’t seem to trust their prospects. Rather than giving a start to one of Kyle McPherson or Justin Wilson, the Pirates went with Kevin Correia, who had pitched the day before.
Today the Pirates sent down McPherson and Wilson in order to activate Chad Qualls and bring up Daniel McCutchen. Those weren’t bad moves to make. McPherson might have been a better option than Correia on zero days of rest, but he could also use more time in Triple-A. And by sending Wilson down now, the Pirates can move him to the bullpen and call him up before September 1st, allowing him to qualify for the post-season roster.
The questionable move was actually a non-move. The Pirates kept Bryan Morris in Triple-A. Morris threw 2.2 innings on Monday, so he wouldn’t have been available on Tuesday. But the Pirates could have planned ahead and saved him, knowing they’d need another reliever.
It doesn’t make sense to keep Morris down. He’s got the stuff to be a future closer in the majors. He has a mid-90s fastball, and an upper 80s cutter, which is a great strikeout pitch this year. And unlike Wilson, he is already working in the role he will fill in the majors, so there’s no need keeping him down.
Adding Chad Qualls at the trade deadline gave the Pirates a project with the potential to be a strong eighth inning guy. But it’s questionable to keep turning to Qualls. There might be a chance that he could bounce back and be a good set up man. But there’s also a chance Morris could come up and fill the same role, providing the same numbers as a good version of Qualls. And unlike Qualls, if Morris has success, the Pirates have him under control beyond the 2012 season.
It seems like every pitcher in Triple-A has come up when the Pirates needed an arm this year. Yet one of the best arms in Indianapolis remains in Indianapolis, even though it wouldn’t be difficult to find a roster spot for Morris.
Links and Notes
**The Pirates lost to the Padres 7-5.