The Pittsburgh Pirates have called up six players from Indianapolis today. Jeff Locke, Casey Sadler, John Holdzkom, Bobby LaFromboise, and Gregory Polanco were all recalled. They also purchased the contract of Chase d’Arnaud, while designating Michael Martinez for assignment.

Locke, Polanco, and Holdzkom were on optional assignment in Triple-A, and are eligible to return now that the Indianapolis season is over. Locke will be making the start in tonight’s game. Polanco had been losing playing time to Travis Snider before being sent to the minors, due to Polanco’s struggles at the plate. He should get a few starts, but might share time with Andrew Lambo and Snider, when Snider returns from his injury.

Holdzkom was added to the 40-man roster on August 31st, then optioned to Indianapolis. That’s an interesting move, as it makes him eligible for the playoffs. He was signed as a minor league free agent this year out of indy ball, and has been working in the upper 90s with his fastball, while posting strong numbers in Triple-A. It will be interesting to see if his success carries over to the majors.

LaFromboise was claimed off waivers last month, and will give the Pirates a third lefty reliever in the bullpen, with the ability to be a lefty specialist. He has a .699 OPS against lefties in Triple-A this year, and has posted four shutout innings, with two hits, no walks, and four strikeouts since joining Indianapolis.

Casey Sadler getting recalled isn’t a surprise, since he has made several appearances in the majors out of the bullpen this year. I’ve mentioned over the last few days that Chase d’Arnaud could get called up. He hasn’t had good numbers at the plate this year, but can play a lot of different positions, gives value with his base running, and has done well in his career against lefties. He should definitely be a better option than Michael Martinez, who struggled in his time with the Pirates in the majors.

The Pirates’ active roster is now at 34 players.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Would love to hear what clicked for Holdzcom last winter. He was TERRIBLE in his first five years in minors/indy ball. Then this year he finds control and has killed it with all five teams he’s played for. And he did it well before he was introduced to Searage/Benedict.

  2. Well, the last 2 nights we scored 4 runs in each game – that should have been enough against a team that has been struggling to score. Exasperating.

    Game 1 – Cole continues to be very disappointing this season – does not look like a #1 to me. That was his opportunity to step up and be the ace – and he was just ordinary.

    Game 2 – Walks and letting the opposing pitcher beat you – that was the story last night. Locke is a Jekyl/Hyde kind of pitcher – you never know what you are going to get with him.

    The last 3 games kind of epitomize this season.

    • If I played fantasy baseball, I would’ve made a ton on Sunday. Heisey vs. Liriano is always a good bet. A lot of top pitchers have that “one guy” who kills them. Heisey is one of Liriano’s guys. It doesn’t make sense, since Heisey generally stinks vs LHP, but it is what it is.

      Cole was doing fine and, IMO, has looked more like an ace than not since coming back from DL. But the meatball he threw to Wong was inexplicable and indefensible.

      Regarding last night… there are more arms in the BP, so Hurdle shouldn’t be shy on using them. Pretty much everyone watching the game who was not in the Bucs dugout knew Locke was well past his expiration date by the time Hurdle came out to get him. Cumpton should’ve been in 2 or 3 batters earlier. I put that one on Hurdle. In his post-game even he noted that in Locke’s other 6 walk performance, at least Locke has his change and curve working. Hurdle said Locke had nothing working last night. So why did he keep sending Locke out there when he had Cumpton available?

  3. Well, the last 2 nights we scored 4 runs in each game – that should have been enough against a team that has been struggling to score. Exasperating.

    Game 1 – Cole continues to be very disappointing this season – does not look like a #1 to me. That was his opportunity to step up and be the ace – and he was just ordinary.

    Game 2 – Walks and letting the opposing pitcher beat you – that was the story last night. Locke is a Jekyl/Hyde kind of pitcher – you never know what you are going to get with him.

    The last 3 games kind of epitomize this season.

  4. Ok, question about Lambo.
    He has started several games in a row and certainly more than I would have expected.
    Which of the following are true:

    a) He is the best athlete available to put on the field and win.
    b) The Pirates are giving him exposure to increase he trade value.
    c) A message to Polonco and Tabada that they better play and produce or sit.
    d) Other?

    • Snider cooled off, Lambo was red hot in AAA and Polanco just came back today and could easily start going forward. Lambo isnt the best athlete with Polanco around and i think the message they sent to Polanco was with the demotion not the Lambo playing. Lambo has been productive but Polanco offers a better all around game.

  5. I don’t get the Pirates with some of these choices of call-ups – can someone enlighten me?

    Why would you not bring up Mazzaro and Oliver?

    LaFromboise and Holzkum? Really?

    • Oliver walks waaaaay too many people. Mazzaro was somewhat surprising, though they may like what they see from Holz and want the lefty in LaFrom. From the 1 showing so far out of Holz, i can understand their interest in seeing him against ML players.

  6. Isn’t someone missing?

    Where is Mazarro? (sp)

    Is he some type of problem that we do not know about?

    • I’ve heard that the Pirates ran out of the letter “z” to put on the back of the uniforms when they called up Holdzkom, so Nutting said no more call-ups with the letter “Z” until the new shipment comes in next year.

      They already have Jeanmar Gomez, Edison Volquez, Tony Sanchez, Gaby Sanchez, Pedro Alvarez, along with Holdzkom. Z’s aren’t cheap!!

    • This is actually quite surprising and, unless he has some sort of injury, it seems downright stupid. You know what you are getting with him, unlike a few of these kids we are calling up and including sadler. The way sadler has pitched when he has been given the ball, i’d feel way more comfortable with Vin in the game. I feel confident up or down 1-2 runs in the 6th or 7th inning that he has at least a 60/40 shot of not giving up a run, and rarely implodes in big innings. At least they didn’t call up Frieri, but with Sadler and Pimental as your two long guys, i’d be really worried in a high scoring game or an early injury situation where you need them to pitch 3 or more innings. I guess with the extra depth you really dont need to, but i’ve always felt comfortable with Vin in there as a swing guy in a close game in the 6th, 7th innings. I feel like he has really gotten a rod deal, he has not pitched badly at either level this year, and pitched well last year.

      • I can’t rememeber if it was here or bucs dugout that I read recently that Vin hasn’t been all that sharp this year in Ind. He isn’t pitching like he did last year. FWIW

      • The problem with “you know what you are getting” is that you know you are getting a very league average arm at best, and he hasnt wowed in AAA this year. Mazzaro has been really loved since he got sent down even though he was vastly middling while on the big league club. The stuff that Holdzkom has is way better which makes the move understandable.

        • Exactly the much loved Mazzaro has a career 4.41 FIP 4.51 xFIP as a reliever and last year was the only season he was an effective pitcher. in addition he was 6th in average leverage when entering games in 2013, the Pirates favored five pitchers before him, and the entire league passed on acquiring him twice this season.

  7. Terrible headline for this article, Tim. Should have read “Michael Martinez RELEASED!! (and the Pirates make some other moves)”

    • It should have happened in March, but thank God Michael Martinez will never darken a Pirate lineup card again. There’s just one Morel to that story, and he should be next!

  8. I had wondered why La F— as the 3rd Lefty option, because I favored Andy Oliver for his body of work all season. But, in the last game and the Pirates up a run, Oliver was called upon to record the Save. Instead he went in the opposite direction, walking 3 batters before being replaced. Had he gone out and pitched a decent inning and gotten the Save, who knows? When a kid gets a shot, he has to take full advantage because it may be a long time before getting another look. Sad to see him get so close, and then implode in the last month of the season.

    I would like to see the Pirates insert Polanco into the lineup and keep him there. Is Holdzkom the 2014 edition of Duke Welker?

    • I doubt 1 outing was the difference maker. He has well documented control problems that have shown up all year. Pirates dont tend to promote/demote off of such a small sample.

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