Alen Hanson Off the DL, Holdzkom Goes Back On

The Indianapolis Indians announced four roster moves on Wednesday afternoon. The big moves are Alen Hanson coming off the disabled list and John Holdzkom going on the DL with a right shoulder strain.

Holdzkom missed three weeks earlier in the year with right shoulder fatigue, so this is his second shoulder-related injury. He was struggling prior to the first injury, but had looked like the 2014 Holdzkom since returning. In June, he allowed one run over ten innings, with two walks and 13 strikeouts. He had 13 walks in 11.1 innings prior to his first DL stint.

Hanson has been out since June 15th, after injuring the pinky finger on his left hand during a slide into third base. On the year, he is hitting .285/.329/.426 in 62 games, with eight doubles, eight triples, four homers and 17 steals.

Those weren’t the only moves. We announced last night that Jose Tabata has been sent outright to Indianapolis and he was placed back on the roster today, while first baseman Hunter Morris has been placed on the DL with a left ankle sprain.

One other transaction of note in the organization. Catcher Paul Brands was assigned to the GCL Pirates from the DSL. He went to the DSL first because he was having visa troubles, so the Pirates wanted him to get some work in at their academy. Brands was signed out of the Netherlands right after his 18th birthday back in May. He played three games in the DSL and went 1-for-7 with three walks. Brands got hurt in his first game behind the plate and missed a few days, so he didn’t get the amount of catching in as they hoped when they sent him there.

  • Good news! Hanson went 3-4 with a homer and 2 runs scored today

    • And stole two bases. Welcome back. And Liz had himself a nice game too while we’re at it according to the box score.

    • He now has more HRs than Neil Walker does…19 steals too…man he’d look good at the top of our order.

      • How’s his plate discipline? Does it matter if when he gets on he’s a serious threat to steal? Not that he shouldn’t become more selective. I’ve heard mixed reactions on this site – from “it stinks” to “good enough to lead off”.

      • Way to say something, Walker hit 2 homers today just to show up Hanson.

  • John, not speaking specifically about Hanson or Holdzkom, but how much of the DL maneuvering at Indy is just simple roster management? It seems every time the a Pirates are facing a roster crunch at Indy, someone conveniently winds up on the DL. Specifically, I wonder about the Hunter Morris, Brad Lincoln, Josh Wall and Kelson Brown moves.

    Any shenanigans?

  • Just a day or two ago, Holdzkom stated that he felt good again, and that is why he was pitching better. Now, he is on the DL, just when you thought some move would be made again to help out the BP after a 14 inning game last night. Taillon is still unknown as he seems to have a hard time making doctor appointments. Tabata being sent down even though his stats were not that out of line to bring up Lombardozzi still has me puzzled when Decker seemed the best move if one even needed to be made. So, I guess the next thing we will see is that Decker is going on the DL for some “muscular” injury (sarcasm here).

    • Liz had a nice outing the other day – can they yo-yo him back and forth as often as possible this year or will he have to clear waivers each time? Jared Hughes could not keep the ball down earlier in the year, but looks good lately. With Vmart hitting terribly from the left side this year, why did they not leave Hughes in to pitch to him and the 2 RH hitters after that in the 8th?

      Pirates finished June with the 3rd best record in June 17 – 9, with St Louis and Toronto one game ahead of them. Three straight months of .500+, and our hitting is still inconsistent. Walker has started picking it up.

      • Its interesting that Liz is starting. I was talking to my son, a die hard Pirate fan/stat geek, and I suggested to him that based on the past of Liz, he seemed to be a better fit as a starter then a reliever. Liz himself said he didn’t feel comfortable as a reliever, and he jump started his career by pitching well as a starter. So I am interested to see how this plays out. I believe that if he is called up, then tried to be sent down again, he would have to clear waivers again, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it (if I had a farm that is). πŸ™‚

        • I think this is very odd handling of Liz. They’re essentially waving the white flag, IMO.

          Liz may or may not be a better fit as a starter, but the Pirates only control him for a few more months and he sure as hell won’t be doing that for them in the meantime.

          The only way to get any benefit from him is going to be out of the pen, which means it would make all the sense in the world to get him comfortable in that role.

          • He sure as hell wasn’t going to relieve for them either πŸ™‚

            Maybe by show casing him as a starter, and he succeeds, then they have a trade chip to use.

            • What I believe John came up with is they thought they could work out his control issues or any other issues he had through multiple innings rather than one inning a night in AAA. Thus making him a starter to get him more innings. Or they want to try him as a starter in 2016 and are getting him stretched out. These are my guesses. If he comes up this year I would guess it would have to be a reliever. Which begs the question – how uncomfortable is it for a pitcher to go from 5-6 innings a night to 1 in the middle of a season. Not only that, is it even harder for Liz to go from 1 inning to 5 innings and then back to 1?

            • I’ll disagree with you there.

              Relievers are so fungible that nobody should be surprised if he’s able to tune in his command and turn that 99mph fastball and breaking ball that already is proven to get swings and misses into a decent middle reliever.

              • There is another side to that fungible trait. Mike Zagerski, Kyle Farnsworth, and Frieri all threw hard.

                • And not one of those guys were starting pitchers, which was my point about Liz and the bullpen.

      • emjay, you know better.

        Tony Watson pitches the 8th; Mark Melancon the 9th. It’s the law.

        • On Saturday I saw Caminero record and out and then Bastardo came in to face a lefty in the same inning. I thought to myself – is this even legal? Can someone look that up? That being said I swear I saw Hughes start the 8th and Watson finish it. One time. Pretty sure. I’ll have to look it up.

  • We can’t seem to catch a break with our depth options, huh? Wow…and just when Holdzkom was pitching like he did last year and giving us some hope.