The Pittsburgh Pirates have recalled right-handed pitcher Rob Scahill and have designated Stolmy Pimentel and Pedro Florimon for assignment. They also made the following disabled list moves official to set the 25-man roster.

Jaff Decker – Placed on the 15 day DL (retroactive to March 30) with a left calf strain.

Brandon Cumpton – Placed on the 15 day DL (retroactive to March 27), recovering from right elbow surgery.

Chris Stewart – Placed on the 15 day DL (retroactive to March 27) with a right hamstring strain.

Justin Sellers – Placed on the 15 day DL (retroactive to March 27) with left heel pain.

Charlie Morton – Placed on the 15 day DL, recovering from right hip surgery.

Of that group, Cumpton will be out for the year and can eventually go on the 60-day disabled list to create a 40-man roster spot. However, that’s not needed at the moment, since Pimentel and Florimon being DFAed will open up two spots.

The entire situation surrounding those two was interesting. It seems like another shoe is waiting to drop here. The Pirates sent Scahill down last week, showing he wasn’t in the mix for the final bullpen spot. The battle for that final spot got a bit more complicated yesterday when Charlie Morton was sent to the disabled list and Vance Worley made the rotation.

Prior to that move, it looked like Jared Hughes and Stolmy Pimentel were battling for one spot, with Arquimedes Caminero getting another spot. When Worley moved to the rotation, it meant there were two bullpen spots, making the decision easier. But the Pirates announced their bullpen, minus Pimentel, with one spot remaining.

If the Pirates were looking for a normal long-term option for that spot, then John Holdzkom would have likely been the guy they would have gone with, rather than Scahill. The fact that they went with Scahill suggests that he might only up for a limited amount of time. This could be wrong, and they could just favor Scahill over Holdzkom, but that hasn’t been the impression I’ve had.

It’s possible Pimentel and Florimon could clear waivers. Pimentel has struggled this Spring, and didn’t show much in his limited time in the majors last year. Florimon cleared waivers in the AL at the end of the season last year, and went through almost all of the NL teams before the Pirates claimed him. Unless another team’s situation changed, he could fall through waivers again. Pimentel has some upside, but would need to go to a team that has no shot at contending this year, and can work with him throughout the season. Florimon’s main value is his defense at shortstop.

It would be great if the Pirates could slip both through waivers. That would give Pimentel an opportunity to work in the Indianapolis rotation, and would give the Pirates good infield depth with Florimon still in the organization.

As for the final bullpen spot, the Pirates now have two 40-man spots open, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have another move coming up, with Scahill serving as the short-term option until that happens. Then again, this could just be as simple as Scahill being next in line on the depth charts, and actually being ahead of Holdzkom.

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52 COMMENTS

  1. I think Scahill is just the next man up for the multi-inning relief role after Stolmy. I don’t think they want to expose Holdzkom to that just yet, and Hughes has not looked comfortable yet.

  2. Is there a reason why Pirates can’t put Cumpton on the 60-day DL right now instead of waiting till later? I know it does not matter, but I’m just curious.

    • The 40-man roster has to be full in order for a player to be placed on the 60-day DL. Since Pimentel and Florimon were DFAed, the Pirates only have 38 players on their 40-man roster which means they couldn’t put Cumpton on the 60-day DL. There is no reason for the Pirates to desire to put Cumpton on the 60-day-DL unless they have 40 guys on their 40-man and need to free up a spot. Also, once a player goes on the 60-day, he can’t be moved to the 15-day however even though Cumpton is on the 15-day, he can still be moved to the 60-day at any time, should the pirates need to add 3 more players to the 40-man roster.

  3. This question is for Mr. Tim Williams, do you anticipate that guys like you who clearly deserve it will ever get a Baseball writers association vote?

  4. The roster is what it is. Let’s hope we can get back one or both of Pedro and Stolmy. But, more important, I am leaving work early to yell Cueto at my TV, and raise the Jolly Roger!

    • It would be nice to shell quito early and often, one can only hope. In addition it would be very nice for the pirates to get off to a fast start this year and not have to play catch -up baseball well into august.

  5. Just look at what the Pirates got out of Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro in recent years and give them the benefit of the doubt on bullpen decisions.

  6. Like I said the other day if something is obvious this front o will go the other way more often than not, ya can’t argue with the results it just leaves you wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. (Hopefully never)

  7. So Pimentel is gone, and yet Holdzkom still goes to Indianapolis. Rob Scahill (projected by ZIPS to be worth negative 0.3 WAR in 2015 after posting a negative 0.4 WAR in 2014 and a negative 0.3 WAR in 2013 for the Rockies) gets the bullpen job that has theoretically been up for grabs among Pimentel, Hughes and Holdzkom for the past month.

    Weird things happen. This is one of them.

    • And they also have Holdzkom at only a 0.2 WAR, and giving up over 5 walks per inning. Basically in terms of projections, its kind of a toss up. Especially since relievers can suddenly turn things around or fall off the map so quickly. Holdzkom will be up eventually, I’m sure they have a good reasoning behind this and really liked what they saw in Scahill

    • It’s not that weird. Slightly surprising maybe for Holdzkom fans. A few posters on this thread have pointed out good reasons why the Pirates might want Scahill up right now instead of Holdzkom. The thing about projections though is that no major league team actually uses projections to set their roster. They are in the front seat and get to see every little detail about these players that we as fans or the projection makers don’t see.
      .
      Weird would be if they cut Melancon and called up Scahill to replace him as the closer.

      • “The thing about projections though is that no major league team actually uses projections to set their roster.”

        LOL.

        • Not really sure what is funny. Do you think major league teams rely entirely on projections to set their team roster (as that was my point, that they don’t)? Clearly the Pirates don’t, otherwise Holdzkom would be on the roster.

          • Except the thing you said in your response to me doesn’t mean the same as the thing you said to Kauai.

            Teams don’t rely *entirely* on projections to make roster decisions, but it’s laughable to believe they don’t rely on them at all. They most certainly do.

            • Except when taken in context of the discussion, projections don’t make roster decisions alone as that was the only thing that Kauai mentions in his post. If you want to take what I say out of context to laugh at in order to start an argument, that is your business. Perhaps I’ll try to be more careful about what I say to benefit those with limited comprehension and reasoning skills.

  8. Me thinks there is another move coming – two open roster spots? First I think the Bucs see if anyone claims either guy DFAd – if so they can try and pull the same trick on the claimer that the Rays pulled on them – get a solid prospect for junk. Not sure why S-Rod is still taking up a spot – but that could change in the next few days. Folks are whining about Lambo’s spring should look at the stats for that mistake. I suspect Holdzkom is being left at Indy for now to get some regular work – we are early in the season and unless the starter are awful he would not get a lot of work in until late April or early May. Scahill had a very nice camp and they could be trying to get him an audition for a trade – or should he do well it could free up somebody else for a trade – and he should be able to work multiple innings.

    • I can’t agree more about Rodriguez… Shoulda just kept the really good RHP prospect and hung on to Gaby… At least he looks good in the uniform. I will get attacked for this, as always, by the Saber Nerds, because I am clearly not sophisticated enough to comprehend the subtle nuances that create S-Rod’s deeper value, even tho he clearly sucks.I am starting to think never having actually played an inning of baseball is required to discern advanced metrics, but whatever.

      • well I played for 17 years and am not a fan of advanted metrics for anything other than providing the roots as to WHY a player performed well or if it is projectable in the future, NEVER to state that he actually DID perform well or not. That being said Gaby sucks, sorry…. i watched every game the last two years and he sucks. Rodriguez, I guess if you watched the tampa games then you could say he sucks as well, but he still provides more flexibility as a utility man and that is why we got him. He won’t hurt you defensively anywhere, and he has some pop. We aren’t expecting an .800 OPS with him, not why we picked him up.

      • Gaby was one of those guys who was great at the intangibles – but just didn’t do much with his bat last year. Glad for him that he will get a nice pay check in Japan – and probably do well. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy from all I have heard. I would have loved to see the Bucs sign him as a coach – but he will make more money playing.

      • Advanced metrics like him mostly due to him playing every position. He plays adequate defense at every infield and outfield position. And in 100 games, he can give you 10 homeruns, 10 steals and hit .230, which is plenty good for a utility guy.

      • If there is no such think a pitching prospect where does that leave Buddy Borden, who couldn’t make anyone’s top 20?

        Gaby Sanchez is playing in Japan, he provided some value for the Pirates but seemed struggle against velocity of late, not a great sign in today’s game.

      • I really can’t blame the Pirates for trying to find a super utility guy to fill the role that Harrison filled the last few years. With Harrison now the starter at 3B, the Pirates went out and got S-Rod and Kang with the hopes that one of them or both combined can replicate at least half the performance that Harrison had last year. If the Pirates can get a combined 2.5 WAR from S-Rod and Kang, that is a win. Why is it that someone always complains no matter what the Pirates do? I wonder, in the off chance that the Pirates happen to win a world series this year or over the next few years, will someone still complain?

    • SRod hammer LHP. He cannot hit RHP. Pedro Alvarez is his mirror image. As a platoon, Pedro and SRod should be solid at 1B. Other than playing the short side of a 1B platoon, SRod has little value outside of pinch hitting against LOOGYs.

        • Yeah, i’d say S Rod is more likely for other spots as a LHH alternative. You can throw him in at 2B if needed, along with the OF. Hurdle has a ton of options with him and Kang and Harrisons ability to play multiple spots. More options for a manager is always key.

    • PIT values the flexibility. He isnt a useless hitter (though at times light) but can play adequate defense at many spots. Gives a manager a lot to work with in a game where you are forced to make a ton of moves and shift guys around. Rather than a Gaby that can really only be used one way, if its late innings you can move S Rod around and avoid burning the bench down as quickly.

  9. A question or two for anyone.
    Who wants to wager a guess of what percent
    chance you think this 25 man roster will be the
    same next week for the Pirates first home game?

    The way this all seems to be progressing, what
    percent chance do you think there is that the
    Pirates have a trade or move that will happen
    by the home opener?

  10. how can holdzcom go from back end of the bull pen in sept. to not making the club the next year?

  11. Could Scahill over Holdzkom just be a middle relief and multiple innings issue? Holdzkom seems like a one-inning close game guy, whereas Scahill could eat innings in a blowout or extra innings or due to rain delay. With Worley in the rotation, they needed that guy.

      • Liz is shifting into Worley’s role…first up for middle and long relief, especially in winnable games. What if there are back to back games where middle and long relief are needed? The other 5 RPs are one-inning guys…you don’t want to start stressing them out early in the season. The only other approach would be to call someone up every time you use Liz (e..g, Richards).

  12. Didn’t realize this but Scahill had an average fastball velocity of over 94 mph last year. The Pirates are going to have a hard throwing bullpen

    • 94 mph is pretty standard for a reliever these days. Relief pitcher fastball velocities have spiked over the past 5 years. Strikeout rates are through the roof. It seems every team has several relievers throwing in the mid to upper 90s these days.

      • He topped out at 96 last year, and hit 97 the previous year. 94 was just the average. Mid 90’s is pretty good velocity, not elite but he can get it by people

      • While I don’t disagree with your analysis I would add that strikeout rates are also up because hitters no longer care if they strikeout. can you name me 10 guys who do well with a two strike count?(superstars like cutch not withstanding) Defensive swings and protecting the plate are a lost art. The good news is now that peds are out of the game we will start seeing more 10-12 pitch battles than we have seen since the mid80’s.

        • “The PEDs are out of the game” HAHAHA sure. Players have been taking substances to gain an edge pretty much the entire history of baseball, so i dont really think we can assume now suddenly players wont try to gain the edge. Good on baseball for trying, but its part of the history of the game.

          Also, it feels more like the “things were better back in the day” situation to assume these young whipper snapper players arent good at situational hitting. Neither was a good deal of the guys back in the day, as many were extreme pull hitters that never had to deal with shifts. I’d be surprised if its a huge difference in ability to hit situationally.

        • Not quite sure how it works… maybe they could have callled him up because the season hadn’t started yet. They just called Scahill up and he was sent don the same day as Holdzkom. i just think they think he needs a little time in AAA

  13. I like the Scahill move. They liked him this spring from what I’ve read. Pimentel didn’t do enough to stick around and it’s a shame because I like his upside. Is there any chance he clears waivers? How about Florimon. i was actually hoping they would put Florimon on the team. A switch hitting / good defending SS . I really don’t have much faith in Kang or Rodriguez at SS right yet. Kang only because I haven’t seen enough of him. Hope Lambo has a good April

    • I saw Kang in spring training and he looks legit. He may struggle with the lack of at bats to get into a rhythm. He hits the ball hard, and looks surprisingly good at SS.

    • I thought he looked a bit heavy in the face and upper body, but Chris Volstad, who played in Korea last year, told me that is a similar body type for nationals in that league. He thought Kang was a good player.

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