The Pirates have activated Cory Luebke from the disabled list, and have optioned A.J. Schugel to Triple-A. The move gives the Pirates a second left-hander in the bullpen, after sending Kyle Lobstein down on Friday and going a few games with just one left-hander. Luebke was down with a hamstring injury, after struggling with his control early in the season.
You hope that the hamstring injury was the reason for the control issues. Luebke had the same issue in Spring Training, then returned and looked very promising, with a fastball that was hitting 94 MPH on a consistent basis, and a sharp slider reaching 87. The Pirates said he might have been rushed back from the initial hamstring injury, which led to the trip to the DL. If the control issues were due to the hamstring, then Luebke could show some promise in middle relief with his stuff, and that would be good for a bullpen that needs a boost.
Schugel had some good moments in his time in the majors, but was mostly a good depth option, rather than a guy you’d want in the bullpen long-term. His numbers played up due to the struggles the rest of the relievers had. He’s a guy you hope to improve upon, and it’s possible that Luebke could be that improvement.