The Pittsburgh Pirates promoted outfielder Mel Rojas to Indianapolis following tonight’s Altoona Curve game, Cory Giger reports.
#AltoonaCurve's best player, OF Mel Rojas Jr., promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis after game. Makes sense with Lambo hurt, & Mel deserves it.
— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) May 31, 2014
Indianapolis is going to need outfield help. They just lost Chris Dickerson to the disabled list today. It was also announced that Andrew Lambo had surgery on his right thumb. And soon they will see Gregory Polanco promoted to the majors, leaving plenty of opportunities for another outfielder to step up.
Rojas deserves the promotion, even if there wasn’t the above circumstances. Entering tonight’s game, he had a .295/.370/.440 line in 193 at-bats for Altoona. This has easily been his best season in pro ball, after showing some improvements last year in his jump to Altoona. Because Rojas already spent a year in Altoona, his success this year comes with the disclaimer of repeating a level. Indianapolis will give him a better test, and will give the Pirates a better evaluation of his skills.
Ultimately, Rojas profiles as a strong fourth outfielder, capable of playing all three outfield positions. He will have to be added to the 40-man roster this off-season, as he’s eligible for the Rule 5 draft. That’s all assuming he does well with Indianapolis. With Dickerson and Lambo out, plus Polanco soon to be gone, Rojas will have a ton of opportunities to show what he can do at the new level.