The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a series of roster moves today, with the net result being they swapped out right-hander Wilfredo Boscan for shortstop Pedro Florimon. Since Florimon wasn’t on the 40-man roster, his contract had to be purchased from Indianapolis, and a roster spot had to be cleared. That roster spot was cleared by designating left-handed pitcher Jayson Aquino for assignment.

Florimon will add to the lack of infield depth the Pirates currently have. He’s a strong defender at shortstop, but can also play other positions, including third base, which he has been focusing on recently. The Pirates gave him a long look in Spring Training, but ultimately sent him down, and they were able to retain him after he cleared waivers.

Boscan was called up to provide pitching depth after Vance Worley was used as a starter over the weekend. This was the third time Boscan was called up this year, but he was never used for his Major League debut.

Aquino was acquired in a minor trade for cash considerations earlier this season from Toronto. He’s got decent velocity, working into the low-90s with good sink, and a changeup that he is comfortable with. At times he looked great, showing the upside of a guy who could be a MLB reliever, with the chance to spot start. At other times he would look like a guy who wouldn’t even reach the majors. He let a lot of outside factors throw him off his game, and at times he would abandon the fastball-first approach and rely on his off-speed stuff more often, which didn’t lead to good results.

The Pirates were working with him on the consistency issues, and blocking out the outside factors. In our recent mid-season top 50 prospects update, we didn’t have him listed, although he was in the tier for the final few spots. That means his talent level is equivalent to the 45-70+ prospect range, and it would have been closer to the bottom of that range if we actually rated it out. If the Pirates lose him on waivers, it’s not a big loss. If they retain him, then they’ll be keeping a guy who might have a shot at being a lefty reliever in the majors in the future, but is very much a project.

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52 COMMENTS

  1. Some changes are needed and needed QUICKLY for this team if we want to compete for anything more than a wild card….we are 1-5 after the break and facing a team who embarrassed us earlier this year in a terrible sweep…taking 2 of 3 would be a win there…that would make us 3-6 if we could even accomplish that. Terrible start…awful play…changes are needed.

  2. AND HURDLE DOES IT AGAIN! Holy hell! Another game, another starter left in too long…a 2-1 game is one thing…A 5-1 game? VERY different. Hurdle is terrible at in game decisions…really needs to let someone else manage in-game.

      • I mean it’s getting ridiculous! It’s like he’s completely lost his mind and has no clue what is going on. OH look…and now the Royals change pitches with 2 out in the 8th bc we get two straight hits…that’s how it’s supposed to work Clint!

        Terrible way to come out of the break…playing and managing terribly.

          • It’s like Hurdle doesn’t realize that these games count and he’s just trying to get people work in…it’s beyond stupid. We are looking more like a team who is going to need to struggle to hold the WC lead, not a team challenging for a division title.

            The half of our order looks like a bad AAA team!

    • If Moustakas was a RH batter, I’d give Clint the benefit of the doubt. But Chuck was getting belted by LH hitters… he had to come out in that situation. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    • I tend to agree but is Morton just a mental midget. He chucks up a cookie when eh has a base to work with on a 3-0 count. Morton has concentration level of a two year old. There comes a time in ones career where you have to work your way through adversity.

        • Morel plays good 3rd but can’t hit. Barmes plays good shortstop but can’t hit. If I need to have two players that can’t hit, I want them to at least be able to make consistent contact, neither of them can do that. I don’t want either one of them starting any games for my team in a pennant hunt. If we need to overpay to make sure we don’t lose 35 of our next 55 games, then so be it

      • I agree but we’d have to give up something to get Barmes and to me there just isn’t enough of a potential difference to justify it

        • No…..you really don’t. Barmes has no value, he’s a borderline 1 war player on a 2 month rental.

  3. Seems like this would be a good time to update the 40 man roster on the site. It is one of the features I have always enjoyed. It hasn’t been updated since MAY 10.

  4. Must not be too worried about Cervelli. Or they have a lot of confidence in their emergency catcher. You’d think if he couldn’t go in a pinch they’d do something to get another C up here.

  5. Better than seeing Morel…but why don’t we give prospects like Hanson a chance? Do we really not like him?

    • If this was purposely sarcastic I apologize, but seriously?

      The Pirates literally just moved Hanson in order to get him to the Majors faster. You want him brought straight to Pittsburgh with no experience after he was a trainwreck the last time he played on the left side of the diamond?

      • It was meant as sarcastic, yes.

        I do think we would be better served with Walker at 3B and Hanson at 2B.

      • Hanson played second base today in Indy, Gift was at third….so much for that idea…..

        • That’s the third time Gift has played 3B…maybe Ngoepe is ahead of Hanson on the depth chart. That seems weird to say but the sooner the better if they said Hanson would get some reps. Gift is obviously a way better 3B because he is a SS and also has a better arm. Peculiar things going on…

    • Does anyone else look at Morel’s game and start to think Andy Marte 2.0? Man, they are similar.

        • Is there a side arrow button? I neither like nor dislike that comment…it’s just like choosing between Marte and Morel.

    • Bingo. It’s why I hate all of the “you have prospects, give them up” calls. The upper minors aren’t totally built up yet, IMO. They’re close, but the guys down there are still pretty green. Piscotty for the Cards, for example, had ~215 games at the AAA level before being called up.

      Next year they’ll have Diaz, Ngoepe, Broxton, Garcia, and possibly Hanson as options in AAA who aren’t still new to the level.

      This year? Not sure Hanson or Ngoepe are quite ready to come up and be every day players in the IF, at least not at SS or 3B.

    • That is because the Cardinals trust and actually use their farm system and prospects…look how many holes they filled this year with guys from their own system. They don’t bring in a bunch of AAAA players and other team’s castoffs.

      Why bring up Morel and then Florimon, when your best defensive SS in the entire organization is sitting in Indy and ready to play? Gift is 25 and has been in the system for several years, and have improved drastically since becoming the rare player from Africa in professional baseball. I would rather have Gamache and Gift in Pittsburgh, over Morel and Florimon. For the sake of guys like Gift, Broxton, Garcia, Sampson, Sadler, Rojas, and Sanchez, I hope they all get included in trades to other teams, so they at least have a fair shot at the majors. It has to very discouraging for these guys….and not rot in AA and AAA until they are past 25 years old.

      • You just listed two guys who’ve actually been promoted to the Majors – by the Pirates – along with two guys who just hit AAA this year, and three guys that suck.

        Congrats.

        • Sanchez has been jerked up and down for the past 3-4 years by the Pirates. Sadler has had a cup of coffee in the majors – 1-2 spot starts – congrats, you just missed the point. Getting 1-2 spot starts is hardly what I was referring to.

          If guys like Gift, Broxton, and Sampson all suck, what is your opinion of the illustrious Morel, Florimon, and Ishikawa? Yes, Ishikawa had one great game the other night…that is one. I won’t hold my breath waiting for a repeat of that.

          What home grown players, brought up from the Pirates system this year, have made a significant contribution? That answer would be zero. Instead, we bring in guys like Hart, Morel, Bastardo, Worley, Florimon, Ishikawa, etc.

          The point is we supposedly have a great farm system, but we don’t use it to fill holes when needed – the team always seems to go for the older retreads.

          Teams all over baseball have been aggressively promoting young players, and many of them have made big contributions to their teams – and not all were top 50 prospects at the time.

          Gamache and Gift would be better than Morel and Florimon…at least there would be an investment and a reward to guys who may figure into the team’s future. Young guys also sometimes bring a spark when needed.

          But, we’re better than the Cardinals, so we will do it the Pirates way…

            • Rushing Polanco has been fantastic for his development, I’m sure 17 games of moderate production at the AAA level is more than enough for Gift to come up here and make a difference. ~50 games of poor production from Broxton and Garcia should have them pretty ready as well, I’d imagine.

              In all seriousness, whether people like it or not, most of these guys have not been particularly successful their first go-round in AAA. Hanson’s obviously been good, but Hanson also isn’t a 3B or SS at this point, and Walker’s arm is pretty weak even for a 2B.

              • Polanco was destroying AAA so I think at least half the blame goes to Polanco not making the adjustments it takes to be a solid MLB player yet…in the field and at the plate. Polanco has shown some signs of struggling to slow the game down and relax like Pedro has had issues with.

                • I think he cooled off substantially after a scorching April and was never forced to make adjustments against advanced pitching in the minors.

                  I would agree he hasn’t made adjustments quickly, I just don’t think he ever was forced to make adjustments prior to coming to the majors. He went straight through AA, which is fine, but he didn’t necessarily prove he was ready in AAA either, IMO. He cooled off at the plate after a hot first month, never had to adjust back, and then was up in the bigs.

                  • I do like what he’s done lately, though. Seems to be seeing the ball well and getting back to the BB and K numbers he posted in the minors.

                  • All your points are excellent but when you think a guy is a stud sometimes you call them up and see what they do. There have been 100’s of prospects that have been called up in Polanco’s situation and they have made the adjustment.

                • The league caught up to Polanco and he has not made any adjustments. I am still in the camp that he should of stayed in AS A until he could a f2f least play RF.

                  • I worry that Polanco is never going to be an elite fielder like many talked about…so many publications saying he could move Cutch out of CF. Polanco has some great tools and the arm but he’s got a ways to go before he grades as even average. Polanco hasn’t found his power stroke either. If 4-5 of those 19 doubles were homers I’d feel a lot better about his season. He has walked more times than he has struck out in July so if he keeps going the way he’s going he might break the .700 OPS barrier by the end of the month.

            • I was about to argue that Florimon was a more proven hitter than gift but looking at his MLB & AAA stats I don’t really know. I think it’s a coin flip with Gift at least having upside.

              • I like Gift, but just looking at his peripherals through a measly 57 plate appearances, I think he’s due for a bit of regression at the AAA level.

                I don’t doubt he’ll be ready at some point next year, just highly doubt he’s ready this year.

                • Agreed, Gift has been hurt a lot and came from Africa at age 19 so he should not looked at developmentally like your average player. He’s been close to 2 years behind experience-wise for a long time so I could see him as a guy who keeps showing good improvement at 26,27 years old. 2300+ AB is not a lot of AB for a 25 year old.

          • Sadler is hurt, so he is not an option for anything. Gift and Broxton both received mid season promotions to AAA and have hardly showed they’re ready for the next jump. Rojas is going the wrong way if he would like to call Pittsburgh home. I know Altoona is closer geographically, but just the same. I would have rather seen Sampson, then giving the spot start to Worley, but that was last second. Not much could have been done there. Gamache is a marginal prospect currently putting up marginal results in AA and as much as I love me some Tony Sanchez, he’s not better than the two catchers they currently have. If they can get Hanson comfortable at 3rd, I would like to see him replace Morel. But outside of that or a trade, this is what you’re looking at. We are thin on infield prospects at AAA and corners organization wide. It is what it is.

      • I love Gamache in the batters box, but I think he dips his hands in concrete before getting on the field. I can see him as a corner outfield, first baseman. I would like to see him in the majors though.

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