The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a series of roster moves following the trade deadline action. They have placed A.J. Burnett on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation and recalled left-hander Bobby LaFromboise. They also designated Deolis Guerra for assignment to make room on the active roster for Joakim Soria.

It’s now clear why the Pirates acquired J.A. Happ. Burnett has been struggling lately, and his velocity has been down. No word at the moment how long he will be out, but Happ provides an immediate replacement. As I wrote in that article, I like the long-term upside of Adrian Sampson, but in the short-term he was struggling with his command, and wasn’t an immediate option. Happ provides a better option, especially if he pitches closer to his xFIP.

LaFromboise looks to be a short-term move until Happ arrives. Ryan Palencer wrote about the lefty last weekend. Guerra was expected to be sent out after the addition of Joakim Soria. That opens a spot on the 40-man roster, although that spot will be filled when the Pirates announce the Michael Morse addition, which hasn’t happened yet for some reason.

The big news here is that Burnett is hurt. The Pirates could be fine down the stretch without Burnett in the rotation, and they’ll most likely still make the playoffs. But they had better hope he can return to his pre-injured self by the time the post-season rolls around, as their rotation looks a lot better with him added to Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. That’s especially the case when you consider Cole will most likely be needed for the Wild Card game, meaning the Pirates would need a guy like Burnett if they advance to the division series.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Very disappointing that they knew Burnett was hurt, and their 4 and 5 are not very strong, yet we acquire JA Happ to be a starter? Has anyone read any of his stats for the past 4-5 years? He’s terrible. We now have Cole and Liriano and hope for 3 days of rain! The Mariners have to be very happy with that trade.

    Remember when we thought we had what seemed like an absurd amount of pitching depth? Now, starting August, we have JA Happ, Joe Blanton, and Bobby LaFromboise on the staff. Really?

    The Pirates need to make an un-Pirates like bold move – and that is give Glasnow 2-3 starts in Indy – if he proves to be as effective there as in AA, bring him up September 1 and use him down the stretch. He is already better than Morton and Locke, and definitely better than Happ. We have gotten ZERO from our farm system this year so far, because the team doesn’t trust any of its own prospects and is way to slow to call them up. Bring up Liz or Holzdzkum and dump Bastardo.

    DFA Ishikawa and bring up Broxton – he at least has speed, plays the OF well, and can be a dynamic base stealer – he could impact a couple of games in a positive manner.

    • If things get ugly the pirates can still go get another starter in a trade. That door isn’t closed. And in total desperation the Glasnow option. Is still there too.

    • Agreed among their top 10 moves that they’ve made in the last 10 years and their best move this year by far….

  2. I’m sure Happ was a last minute Burnett decision and I expect him to take AJs next turn but isn’t this exactly why we signed Liz? Hopefully Happ is one start then goes to bullpen lefty.

    Frankly before today I was hoping they would insert Liz and use a 6 man rotation to avoid our annual July starters meltdown. Stats are clear that 5 days rest improves performance.

  3. they thought, All-star surprise or not, that a 38 yr old coming off softball numbers was going to measure up as a third starter for a World Series team? that the belief currently, in this 3+ year window (Cutch and Cole and, yes, Kang), with Kingham/Taillon sidetracks, is that Burnett and Chucky and Locke is enough to march through September?…TGlasnow needs to be on this Aug 31 roster (start or relief)…RLiz?…August waiver trade?…time to give up prospects for the C/C/K window…Green Weenie ‘n’ ‘at

    • Brian, That is exactly what I was thinking all day today. When more teams are toast he likes to make moves.

  4. All I know is when 3/5ths of your rotation has the Names Morton,Locke and Happ,your in trouble. I do give NH props for the moves he made, but I do see what the price was for some of these certain upgrades that were dealt over the past week and I can’t understand how we couldn’t land one of them considering that it was not that steep of a price and would not have hurt our very deep farm much at all. Especially guys like Kazmir,and Leake. If we wanted those guys we could have gotten either of them w/o touching our top 5 prospects.

  5. It’s just so terrible that you all act like this is a last place club. Give the GM some props, he may just know a little more than all of us…

        • I hope to see AJ back on the mound in two weeks. I remember a quote that he did no throwing at all during the All-Star break and then had the long lay-off before his start. He did really cut it loose last night and hit 94 after starting out looking and throwing weak. I hope this doesn’t have a disciplinary aspect to it because there was a lot of screaming last night.

    • I have to admit I’m good for snap judgements. Then once I think about for awhile and realize the moves made are to improve and compliment the team I usually come around.

    • I want to win the division, not be another one and done wild card team…personnel moves cost us the division last year.

  6. One more question… Remember, I am just learning about these things.

    Who would you rather see temporarily replacing Burnett as a
    starting pitcher for a couple of weeks?
    (No you cannot use the option “none of the above.”

    Happ
    Sampson
    Worley
    Volstad
    Liz
    Glasnow (ready or not)

  7. lafromboise might be guy who can throw innings, bastardo threw a lot of pitches last night and they don’t need a starter for aj until tuesday. need to make moves for happ and morse.

  8. Ok,
    I am asking the question….
    Next Monday, when everything is settled,
    will we be a better team than we were 10 days ago?

    The only real significant positive I see in this is the
    relief pitcher from Detroit.

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