The Pittsburgh Pirates will make their first call-ups when rosters expand in September, and according to a Pirates Prospects source, they will call on six players during the first wave. Those six players are outfielders Travis Snider and Jaff Decker, infielder Pedro Florimon, left-hander Bobby LaFromboise, right-hander Radhames Liz, and catcher Elias Diaz. The Pirates haven’t made any official announcements yet, and all we’ve been told from a source with knowledge of the organization is that the players have been notified.

Snider, Florimon, and Liz are currently off the 40-man roster, and the Pirates only have one spot open, so two spots will have to be created. Those three guys were expected. One guy who was also expected, but not on this list, is Vance Worley. It’s possible he could still come up in the future, as he is currently scheduled to start tomorrow for Indianapolis.

Decker and LaFromboise were both on the 40-man roster, and both provide depth at their positions. Decker gives the Pirates an additional outfielder and left-handed hitter. LaFromboise gives them a third left-hander out of the bullpen.

For the third catcher role, the Pirates are going with Elias Diaz over Tony Sanchez. I’ve been mentioning all week that Diaz seems to have moved ahead of Sanchez on the depth charts. It will be interesting to see if Sanchez eventually gets the call to the majors in September. He’s on the 40-man, but he’s out of options next year. If he doesn’t get called up, it would be telling for his future with the club.

No word on when these guys will come up. The guys who aren’t on the 40-man roster would need to be added by tomorrow to be eligible for the playoff roster. That said, they could be added no matter what, since the Pirates have guys on the 60-day disabled list who could be replaced with anyone who was in the organization on August 31st. So there’s no rush to get anyone on the roster, but the Pirates could make moves tomorrow anyway. If they don’t, then expect these six to arrive by Tuesday.

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67 COMMENTS

  1. surprised we’re still talking about viability of Tony Sanchez. Diaz seems to be a good prospect, while Sanchez can’t catch, throw or hit. I would hope that Diaz has surpassed him, for it’s a low bar.

  2. This is one case when I will just sigh and assume that the organization knows best.

    But it woul have been cool to see Glasnow in St. Louis in a 5 th or 6th inning high leverage situation.

    Think he could help,down the stretch – would have him warming up at the start of every 4th inning Charlie pitches

  3. Just my thoughts: I probably would’ve called up Broxton instead of Decker (although Decker did give us some professional ABs while up) and then remove Decker from the 40 man.

    I also don’t know if Diaz will get enough playing time now to make his promotion worth it.

  4. La framboise might be the most useful guy they called up. I’m sure he’s gonna get plenty of use getting one guy out.

  5. Sorry if this has already been brought up: I was surprised to see Diaz brought up before the aaa playoffs. You’d think he’d stay down for the experience and to catch Glasnow. My thinking is they really plan for him to play a fair amount because if they just want an emer catcher Sanchez would be fine for 10 days and buy time for the 40 man.

    • Seems pretty far reaching to think the rookie is gonna play a fair amount. They are gonna lean on Cervelli as we get deeper toward the playoffs, and i cant imagne a scenario where Hurdle prefers Diaz to Stewart for one day plug and plays.

      Diaz is likely just better emergency depth that they dont mind starting some service clock time on. If you gotta use someone in a pinch, Sanchez really offers no help while Diaz at least has playable defense.

      • Plus, on the Stewart days, Clint can be more liberal with Cervelli as a pinch hitter, with the 3rd catcher.

        I like getting Diaz a taste of meaningful MLB pennant chase baseball. Maybe he can shotgun two beers.

      • Fair amount for a third catcher. I don’t think he is just gonna sit for a month or they wouldn’t start his clock.

        • Thats fair, though im not sure what type of playing time a 3rd catcher gets lol. I think he’s a PH (and likely not first man off the bench in that role) and “Cervelli went down, cries, you are the backup, wipes face”.

          I dont think they are as worried over service time for Diaz. He’ll be around until his early 30s, only get super expensive if he hits his ceiling, and unless things go terribly a suitable replacement should arrive by the time he is 29-31.

          • With the Cards going the way they are and the Cubs leveling off the Pirates may be able to rest up Cervelli the last 5-6 days and get him fresh for the playoff and hopefully playoffs. I think Diaz is gonna be making a lot of trips from Indy to Pittsburgh and back next season. Cervelli and Stew have been pretty healthy this year but that is tough to expect again…especially with their track records.

    • I think they want to see his DEFENSE at this time – it could make for an interesting winter – next summer trade deadline option if they think he could be a good number 2 to Cervelli next year. But it make an extra bat available – Cervelli/Stewart can now be used to pinch hit when appropriate.

  6. We really don’t have any interesting young pitchers to add to pen this year which is sort of a bummer. Yes Liz has promising “stuff” but was not brought up through the system. The pen has obviously been elite with the addition of Blanton/Soria recently but it would be nice to be able to add some system guys next September.

  7. Scahill experiment is over, we gave up,an interesting prospect for him! A little surprise about Decker, and I have to admit I was way off on Sanchez v diaz

  8. When asked Huntington said he would call up anyone who he thought would help the team win. Why not Glasnow then? Or at the least be honest about it and tell us it’s about the money and service time. Glasnow is a better pitcher right now than 3/5 of the Bucs rotation.

  9. Why is Florimon such a surprise to everyone. He will be a defensive replacement.
    That allows Hurdle to use Mercer/Kang/JHay etc in a pinch hitting capacity against LHP late in games without sacrificing defense.

  10. According to a 3rd party and relayed by Bill West, three Indy players did not make the road to trip to the next Indians game. Liz, Diaz and Florimon. If so, Florimon is a real puzzler to me.

  11. I’m pretty interested to see who the two guys are they will let go from the 40-man. This might be the end for Tony Sanchez (but then if anyone claimed him they wouldn’t have a catcher at Indy). Other guys I would think possible are Sadler or Holdzkom, and hope no one claims them.

    Can they move a guy on the 15-day off the 40-man? If so maybe Scahill or Ishikawa. Ishikawa seems to have value as a guy who can PH and then stay in to play good 1B, but as a LHB we now have Snider and Decker.

    If I had to guess two: Sanchez and Scahill.

  12. While Liz throws hard and did good as a starter he was very poor as a reliever earlier in year. I hope he looks like a different guys if he’s going to pitch in meaningful situations.

    • True about his earlier performance…but the same could be said about Bastardo and Caminero…

      …and I don’t think there’s anyone who’d claim another reliever in the organization should be taking their spots on the post-season roster.

  13. Can’t believe they would call up Decker over Broxton, or even Garcia for that matter. Broxton and Garcia both offer speed, more pop with the bat, and can play better defensively in the outfield.

    I am happy they called up Diaz – I hope he starts getting Stewart’s ABs – Stewart cannot throw and his defense has been subpar – 7 or 8 errors already in pretty limited playing time. Florimon will be another middle infield glove – not sure why we need another one.

    I am also thrilled that Liz is getting another shot – I hope they actually use him – maybe give him a start or two over Morton or Locke, to see what he has to offer.

    LaFramBroise – other than he’s left-handed, I don’t get that promotion. He’s a AAAA pitcher at best.

    • I’m with you with Liz…he won’t get any starts, those will go to AJ/Worley, but happy to see him back.

      I would not be upset to see him work himself into the rotation mix behind Liriano/Cole next season.

    • Florimon, I don’t get that one at all. Don’t even understand why he has not been released. No place for him here.

    • Garcia has 4 SB’s this year, Decker has 18. Garcia has 5 errors this year, Decker has 1. How does Garcia offer more speed and better defense??

    • Stewart has one passed ball. Six of his seven errors have been throws. Even so, he’s thrown out 22% of basestealers to Cervelli’s 21%. And the guy is batting .289 with some well timed clutch hits and is one of the better situational hitters on the club, albeit with no power.

      I do not see how Diaz would do better during his one month introduction to MLB.

      • And if you’re looking just for a bonus catcher then shouldn’t Diaz be getting the playing time in AAA instead of bench-warming.

    • I think Diaz is up over Sanchez because they have 6 more games v Billy Hamilton. And Diaz may help them control the running game.

  14. Hart and Hunter Morris should have both been let go a long time ago. In fact, signing Hart to begin with was a curious move at best – given his obvious physical limitations.

    • They have to justify the trade for Decker, so they will give him every opportunity to contribute, even when better options are available.

      • Neal Huntington, after the Jung Ho Kang, AJ Burnett, JA Happ, Joe Blanton, Joakim Soria acquisitions have worked out as well as if not better than expected, and Gregory Polanco has blossomed into a legitimate weapon on offense, on the base paths and in the field, and you’ve seen the Travis Snider trade work out heavily in the Pirates’ favor, you have to be feeling pretty good, right?

        “Honestly, one thing still keeps me up at night: Jaff Decker really hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to. I mean, Alex Dickerson is batting .500. In 2 AB, but still. I gotta figure out how to make that trade look better, even if it hurts the Pirates chances for success. My legacy is at stake.”

        Something like that, right?

        • Good points. Truly. Huntington hits more than misses, but, it appears, the Decker trade was a miss. Even with a 2014 lost to injury, it appears Dickerson might be a legitimate starting option…or, at least, a definite bench player. More, it appears, than Decker will be.

          Oh well, you win some, you lose some. In the end, it’s about winning more than you lose.

    • IMO, I think Hurdle wants 2-LHB available off the bench and Ishikawa is back Sept 5th. I think Decker will be called up and DFA’d Sept. 5th for Worley. 5 days of MLB pay might help the sting a little.

    • He is starting tomorrow for Indy. Since they won’t need him right away, it’s better to let him get his start and then call him up when he is ready to pitch. Be surprised if he isn’t up on September 5th, but it makes sense now to leave him down.

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