The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a handful of minor league moves today involving West Virginia and Bradenton.
Clay Holmes was activated off the disabled list and will start tonight. He had a minor ankle injury. He last pitched eight days ago.
To make room for Holmes, West Virginia assigned reliever Josh Smith to the Jamestown roster.
Chase d’Arnaud will make his 2013 debut today for Bradenton. He is on a rehab assignment, as he works he way back from a Spring Training thumb injury that required surgery. He had a minor setback a few days ago when he was hit on the wrist by a pitch while playing in Extended Spring Training.
Pitcher Cesar Lopez has been sent back to Extended Spring Training. The high bonus pitcher from Cuba made two appearances out of the bullpen and got hammered in three total innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and three walks. He spent most of last year in the Gulf Coast League, so this was a big jump for him and only a temporary move brought on by injuries and promotions.
Taking Lopez’s spot on the roster in pitcher Kurt Yacko. The 25-year-old righty was signed recently after being let go by the Colorado Rockies. This will be his debut in the Pirates system. He has been in Extended Spring Training working on a knuckleball, which he has recently started throwing. More on that new pitch in tomorrow’s Prospect Notebook.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.