The Pittsburgh Pirates promoted Gorkys Hernandez to the majors today, while also making a few other moves that brought up Steve Lombardozzi and sent out Jose Tabata and Chris Volstad. In today’s meeting with the media, Neal Huntington discussed why the Pirates brought up Hernandez.
“Quite honestly we wanted to take a look and see what he would bring in comparison to Jose,” Huntington said. “We know there’s a gamble we could lose Volstad, we know there’s a gamble we could lose Jose but we wanted to re-balance the position player pitcher group to 12 and 13, take look at Gorkys Hernandez and his versatility to the club.”
There might be a chance of losing Volstad, although that wouldn’t be a big short- or long-term loss for the team. It’s doubtful that Tabata would be lost with his contract. It does make sense to look and see what Hernandez can do. He has always been strong defensively, but is doing a good job this year of hitting for average, getting on base, and providing some power. He has a .275/.359/.415 line with Indianapolis.
At the end of Spring Training, Huntington talked about how they liked some of the changes that Hernandez made with his swing. Ryan Palencer has since written about what is going well with the center fielder.
The interesting thing here is that the Pirates didn’t call up Jaff Decker, despite strong hitting from the outfielder. Decker would make a lot of sense, as he’s on the 40-man roster, and a left-handed hitter, which the team lacks. Huntington said that Decker was in the discussion.
“As a GM you try to provide your manager with different options to help win a game,” Huntington said. “The left and right option Lombardozzi provided, the fact he got here a little bit earlier and did a nice job for us in a short look gave him the inside edge…Decker’s done some things in the batter’s box that put him right in the middle of that conversation but this time we decided to go with Steve.”
Decker is currently hitting for a .306/.385/.448 line in 134 at-bats in Triple-A this season. Huntington said that there was no opt out clause with Hernandez, so they genuinely wanted to see what he could do over Decker. Meanwhile, Lombardozzi had a .316/.375/.368 line in 228 at-bats, while playing infield and outfield.
**Huntington also gave an update on Jameson Taillon, saying that he will be getting a second opinion on his lower ab strain this week.
“Working through the details of when that will be. I should have a better update for you when he sees a doctor,” Huntington said. “He’s got discomfort in the lower abdomen which is kind of inhibiting his ability to do baseball activities at this point in time.”
INJURY UPDATE, by Nate Barnes
Huntington gave more detail on Rob Scahill’s injury as well as Andrew Lambo’s continued rehab.
Scahill was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right forearm discomfort.
“He wanted to battle through it which you tip your cap to him but he felt it grab on him again,” Huntington said. “We felt it was in his best interests to give him a little bit of down time.
Huntington says the club hopes Scahill will return sooner rather than later and he will be monitored daily.
Andrew Lambo was moved to the 60-day disabled list this week as well, to clear room on the 40-man roster for Deolis Guerra.
Huntington said Lambo is doing “some” running but still not feeling 100 percent and his foot is not cooperating.
“He’s frustrated,” Huntington said. “I actually talked with him the other day when we put him on the 60-day disabled list just to tell him know it was a paperwork move. In our minds he wasn’t going to be ready by the end of the 60 days and wanted to just reassure him we’re with him to try to help him get healthy.”