After weeks of carrying an extra reliever in the bullpen with a shortened bench, the Pirates have evened out their roster. Today, they recalled infielder Cole Figueroa from Indianapolis, and optioned left-handed reliever Kyle Lobstein to Triple-A. The move now gives them the normal amount of relievers and bench bats.
Lobstein was actually the second left-hander in the bullpen, so the Pirates will only go with Tony Watson for now. That will probably change eventually when Cory Luebke finishes his rehab assignment in Triple-A. Luebke started his rehab on April 21st, and can go 30 days before being activated. He has to be up by May 21st, which means the Pirates would only be carrying one left-hander for a maximum of a week.
Figueroa adds some additional versatility to the bench, with the ability to play second, third, shortstop, and left field. The move to even out the bench was expected eventually, and the anticipated options were going to be either Figueroa or Jason Rogers. The versatility from Figueroa gives him more of a chance to be used, as Rogers would have been the backup right-hander at first base, the number three option at third base, and an option you don’t really want to see in the outfield.