The Pittsburgh Pirates have sent reliever Trey Haley outright to Indianapolis. Haley was designated for assignment when the Pirates acquired catcher Erik Kratz last week. He cleared waivers and will return to Indianapolis, where he had a devilishly poor 6.66 ERA in 24.1 innings, with 20 walks and 19 strikeouts. Haley has the ability to hit high-90s with his fastball and has looked good on a few occasions, but the poor outings have outweighed the good to this point.

The Pirates also released outfielder Nick Buckner today. He signed an over-slot deal ($135,000) as a 14th round pick in the 2013 draft. Buckner has great raw power and a strong arm, but his long swing led to a lot of strikeouts. He repeated Bristol last year, still just shy of his 20th birthday at the start of the season. He had a .685 OPS, with 53 strikeouts in 167 at-bats, seeing slightly less playing time than in 2014. That OPS was below the .712 mark he had the previous season.

Finally, former pitcher Matt Benedict has moved into the front office for the Pirates, taking a Baseball Operations position. He played five years in the system, topping out at Indianapolis. Benedict was a 30th round draft pick in 2011. He was released as a player at the end of Spring Training this year.

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68 COMMENTS

  1. Glad to hear the news about Matt Benedict. Good things happen to good people and Matt was a class act while playing here in Bradenton….

  2. John … I have studied Haley’s pitching technique and discovered that he bites his tongue as he lands his left foot. This momentary pain makes him flinch and throws off his mechanics.

    • In the movie the Babe Ruth Story (the original version from 1948), they say that Babe Ruth used to tip his pitches by biting his tongue whenever he threw a curve.

      • Ha! I haven’t seen that film – and I have seen a lot of films.
        Makes you wonder if he could have made something out of his career if he could have fixed that;)

  3. Thanks Neal – for refusing to bring up Glasnow – instead throw another game away by trotting Locke out there again to get hit around by Kelly Johnson and a recent AAA call-up in Matt Reynolds. Wake me up when we have a GM who is willing to trust his own prospects and actually wants to compete with the Cubs.

    • So what do you propose they do with Locke? If guys like you were GM, there would be turnover on the roster everytime they had a bad game.

      Now granted, these last two outings have been less than stellar, but before that, he was arguably their best performing starter. Sometimes you have to allow for some adversity and hope they come out of it.

      For what it’s worth, Kuhl had another bad outing in AAA, should they pluck somebody from AA to take his place?

      • You are wrong Kerry – some guys can have a bad night or two – like Watson – because they have a history of strong performances and you give him the benefit of the doubt. Locke’s ERA is 5.50+!! He was only one of their better performing starters – for maybe 3-4 starts – because everyone else has been awful. I suggested 3-4 weeks ago that they move Locke to the bullpen – maybe he would be more effective in that role….he can’t be worse than Lobstein and Luebke. We’re stuck with Niese – its a shame we’re wasting $8-10m on him, when we have such great needs in the bullpen.
        As far as overcoming adversity…Locke isn’t a rookie – we’ve seen this same performance from him for 3-4 years – its nothing new. He, Nicasio, and Niese have had 2.5 months to overcome adversity – its not happening – they are just not very good.
        Kuhl’s last two starts have been off – but his ERA for the season is still 2.45. I would have brought him up 3-4 weeks ago and put him in the bullpen, to replace one of those other AAAA pitchers they have. He throws strikes and goes after hitters – he competes, which is why I like him – he kind of reminds me of Cumpton (before his arm issues)….

        • Kuhl’s last 4 starts totaled only 18.1 innings, 14 earned runs, and 7 walks. And you can tell Treanor is a bit upset with him

          • Well, maybe he needs a kick in the pants – Treanor is a good coach and manager – he will get him turned around….he’s too good to be struggling like that….

            • Treanor indicated that he thinks he is showing signs of fatigue. Can’t really coach him out of that if that’s true.

        • I’m thinking it’s you who’s wrong. You are constantly looking at the next guy up, assuming because so and so has a 2.45 era at AAA, he must be be better than this guy we already have. It’s such a relief that we don’t have a guy like you running the front office. Of course the first sign of struggle, you bail on them and move on to the next guy.

          Is Jeff Locke a quality major league starter? Depends where you set the bar. Once the season is in the books, his numbers will be comparable or better, than most fifth starters in baseball. That’s what he is, a fifth starter.

          Now if you’d like to argue we have too many fifth starters, I agree with that.

          With Glasnow and Kuhl, I prefer them to get closer to a finished product right where they are, in AAA. It has nothing to do with delaying free agency or missing a super 2 cutoff. The simple fact is, we have control of them 6 plus whatever partial year and I prefer to get a better more complete pitcher for that amount of time. If a guy is going to struggle, it might as well be the guys we currently have in there.

          • Locke was on a good roll and then Colorado was bad – jumping his era up a run bad.
            But Locke’s outing tonight wasn’t as bad as it seemed. There were plenty of balls hit that were below the strike zone, the hits sounded like they were mishits (or broken bats), and balls were finding some holes. I am

          • The only thing that matters right is: is locke better than Locke? well…no. Is Glasnow better than Locke? well….we aren’t sure right now…. Is Kuhl better than Locke? Well….maybe? So…..you have two options which MIGHT be better and might not. A third option which you already know sucks. Which one do you take? We aren’t in first place, we aren’t 6 games ahead of the wild card race, we HAVE to do something DIFFERENT!

      • I would cut or trade Locke–probably the latter because there always is another “fool GM” who will think his club can turn him–and bring up the best arm in Indy or whatever they have to go for a young pitcher.

        Locke throws decently (6 innings) maybe every third outing that’s not good enough on my team.

        What do the Bucs think they will see in him that they haven’t seen in the years he’s been toiling in Pittsburgh?

        IMO, his departure would be addition by subtraction, if they cut/trade him and bring up one of their kid starters.

        Have we been spoiled by Tim’s publication and Keith Law’s rhetoric ? is the Bucco minor league system capable of producing guys for the bigs or not?

        • I respect that, however, can you be sure that whatever kid you bring up is going to outperform what you just got rid of? There’s no guarantee that will be the case. Glasnow and Kuhl are not currently setting the world on fire in AAA right now as many have pointed out. If they’re struggling in AAA with control, why would it be any better in the bigs?

          • Who ever comes up can only pitch as bad as Locke. It would be impossible to pitch worse. He has a near 6 ERA he was over 5 last year. The kid hasn’t pitched decent since the first half of his Allstar season. I am a firm believer a player can learn in the majors just like they can learn in the minors.

          • If what you have is losing you games……another option that may win you games, or at worst…..also lose games, is by default- a better option until proven otherwise.

          • glasnow is having a good year, if you don’t think glasnow has better stuff than jeff locke than you may not no anything about baseball.

            • Not once did I ever say or imply Locke had better stuff than Glasnow. I also was never a proponent of sogning Vogelsong or any other reclamation project. But jeeze, this is what they do year after year. It was bound to fail sooner or later. These moves could end up costing jobs. This team is in the middle of a very tough stretch and they could be out of it by the time it’s over.

          • the thought is- so what? Putting Locke down in AAA doesn’t mean he’d suddenly go 12-0 with a 1.75 ERA so putting Glasnow up to the majors doesn’t mean hed display any worse control….Yes, 6 innings with 6 walks, he’s probably giving up 3 or 4 runs instead of throwing a no hitter, but those days where he walks 2 and strikes out 10……..noone is hitting him in the majors either. Hell, at least bring some excitement, if this season is lost these kids need to get their feet wet for next year anyways.

        • Walker, McCutchen, Cole, Marte, Polanco, Taillon among others all came through the system so yes they can and do produce major leaguers.

      • I think Locke is now going on two to three bad seasons. If there is anyone willing to take him I trade him in a heartbeat. I really have issues with the idea he can’t or will out work out of the Pen. He appears to me to be a bad version of Kip Wells

      • Kerry- quite honestly- who cares what we do with Locke? If he is hurting the team you remove him. You sound like an abused girlfriend who keeps going back for more. Being single is better than being in a bad relationship. The end.
        -Kuhl would have to have 3 more consecutive bad starts to be as bad as Jeff Locke has been at his best in terms of numbers this year. Perspective?

          • No…I think we all know that. The thing is: what we have now sucks, so until we know what is in AAA sucks too, we owe it to try something different. If you are the kind of person that keeps doing the thing that doesn’t work because you have fear of change, then so be it. I’m not that type of person, the only reason to hold kids back is so that they can continue to develop, not because you fear that they can’t be better than the garbage we have.

            • I have no doubt Glasnow, Kuhl, and probably others are better than Locke, Niese, Nicasio, and the list goes on. However, I also know they aren’t going to discard usable assets when THEY feel the kids have more to work on before they bring them up. The way this season is currently playing out, there will be time for them after the deadline. I just hope they pitch just well enough to get something useful out of them. And not think they are more than what they are. Not one of the three is more than a fifth starter, and you could argue that they aren’t even that.

              • The way this season is playing out- we are just about out of time if we want to make the playoffs…….so either we make the change now, or we give up on the season. That’s pretty much it. “something useful out of them” as in, pitching innings that lead to losses and no postseason? I’m really not sure what else you expect to get at this point.

        • The problem with fans like you, is you jump off a players bandwagon so to speak and you’re ready to dump an asset at the first sign of trouble for whatever you can get or nothing at all. That’s not the best way to manage a baseball organization or anything else in life really. I don’t care for the results either and this team needs a lot of upgrades, but this is the hand they dealt themselves and we’re stuck with it. At some point they will make the move to the kids, but once they do it will be as sellers at the deadline.

    • I’m curious if you’re just being funny at this point. What is your theory as to how well Glasnow would perform in the majors right now?
      (And ‘better than Locke’ is not really an answer…)

      • If you note Tim’s tweet on the right, Glasnow walked 5 and didn’t make it out of the 5th in his last outing against AAA batters. Think of a lineup like ours with hitters like Florimon, Ngoepe, Ortiz, Hanson, Moroff, Garcia, and Stallings offsetting Frazier and Bell.

        • when he pitches bad, they still don’t hit him, its walks that do him in. It won’t be any different in the majors. So what if he only pitches 4.3 innings occasionally, if we are down 2-0 when he comes out? Better than Locke going 5 innings giving up 6 runs and the game being over before Cutch K’s for the second time in the game

      • But, that is the answer….we need better starting pitching performances – they are killing our bullpen, which isn’t very good when they aren’t being overused. So, if Glasnow is an upgrade over Locke, why wouldn’t you call him up? Yeah, he walked 4-5 guys his last outing – he also didn’t give up any runs. In other words, he has good enough stuff that he can pitch himself out of jams when he needs to. Is he a finished product? No, but as I have asked before and no one seems to have a good answer – when it comes to young pitchers, what is a finished product? Development doesn’t end when a pitcher gets to the majors…..
        BTW, no I am not being funny – I am VERY disgusted with our FO – they have wrecked this season. Its all on them.
        As for what I would expect from Glasnow if called up? I would expect some ups and downs, but overall an upward trajectory in development, maturity, and control. I think he would rise to the challenge and perform at a similar level as young guys like Synnegard last year (I can’t spell his name) – and Joe Ross and Aaron Nola this year – all of whom are far superior than 3/5 of our rotation.

        • I liked leaving the kids down up through super 2 but now, just when I’d want to bring them up, Kuhl is definitely struggling and Glasnow seems to be struggling also. With both, there seems to be a definite risk that they’ll only last 3-4 innings with wildness and MLB hitters playing up their weaknesses.

        • But if he walks that many and can’t get outs with contact, wouldn’t that tax our bullpen even more???

          He can’t go more than 5 innings in the minors right now. Even if he could he doesn’t have a third pitch. So he will struggle apass the 5th anyway.

          I know, I Know, Taillon only used basically two pitches and almost throw a no hitter….

          Not an argument…Starters that get away with two pitches are called relievers.

          He’s not ready for the role he would be taken on in the Majors. If you are bringing him up, then you are wasting a bullpen spot with Jeff Locke to come in and pitch 2 to 4 innings behind Glasnow EVERY TIME.

          Lets see him go 3 or 4 starts working into the 7 inning and beyond. Lets see him get beyond 20 outs. Lets see him figure out how to get a batter out for a third time.

          We haven’t seen any of this and there is nothing to indicate he has the physical or mental make up to do that right now.

        • You think Glasnow would pitch the way Syndergaard did for the Mets last year? The fucking kid can’t make it through 5 innings pitching to AAA hitters! You spew the same shit day in and day out, it must be exhausting.

          • HE would pitch longer but management takes him out to save his arm. It has nothing to do with his walks. Countless times he has been held back like every other starter down their that has a future to make sure they do not abuse him. So lets not worry about whether he can make it through 5. Locke can’t make it though 5 and he gives up a 1/2 dozen runs in the process.

      • well I watch every start that is on minor league tv, he has 2 plus pitches that can get major league hitters out.

    • Glasnow has walked 14 batters in his last 21 IP’s. That’s six walks per 9 innings, against minor leaguers who often don’t have much plate patience or judgement. A pitcher is not going to win in MLB at that rate. Sure he might pitch as well as Locke. But there’s not much point in bringing him up to get hammered in the majors instead of working on his command in the minors. They will bring him up when he’s ready to give them a good chance to win. And that isn’t now.

    • also if some of your current players on the 25 man roster , feel that the gm is not doing enough to improve the club . you could lose the club.

  4. I assume something happened in regards to Buckner, that goes beyond his performance on the field – for them to just release him outright at the age of 20 and having paid him $135k in a signing bonus. Yes, he was raw and had strikeouts issues, but he also had upside and was certainly young enough to learn and improve. The timing just seems rather odd, for it to be just a baseball decision…

    • Probably no spot for him and if he didn’t show any improvements, then no reason to keep sticking with him. There are a lot of outfielders in Pirate City now, some at Morgantown already and more on the way with the draft.

      By my count they have 11 outfielders down there without any draft picks. That covers all nine starting spots for the three teams and there are also other players who can play OF. Then throw in the draft picks who will sign. You already have 4-5 outfielders for each team without any utility type players filling in

      • I get that John, but I bet Buckner had/has a lot more upside than a lot of them….it just seems odd due to the fact that they just drafted him 2-3 years ago, gave him a big bonus, and he’s still only 20….seems like a rash decision to make….

        • Well, if he isn’t playing well and you have no spot for him, what do you do with him? He isn’t going to get better sitting on the Bristol bench. Anytime I asked about players doing well down there during the last couple months, his name never came up.

          They had a player with more raw power and better tools than him in Luis Urena and he eventually moved to the mound and that went nowhere. Urena had the same long swing, low contact issues. At some point if they’re around for four seasons, you just have to let it go if they show nothing.

          • Wow, given their young ages, I guess I would have been more patient with them – but, I’m not there to see their work ethic, attitude, and teachability….I guess I am disappointed, as I saw him as a real sleeper in that 2013 draft – that he could grow into a power hitting corner outfielder or first baseman. It will be interesting to see if anyone scoops him up right away….

            • I thought he was too, especially given his age at the time he was drafted. When I see guys repeat Bristol and not improve, that’s basically career death

              • Unless their name is Heredia! 🙂 He seemed like he was in Low A for 5 years! 😉
                On a serious note, it looks like Heredia finally has found a role where he can be successful. Maybe he can develop into a closer – with his size and arm, he could probably run it up to near 100 for an inning or two….

                • He is doing well, but the lack of use worries me a little as far as his future. He is pitching every four days and getting one inning, then today he comes in for one out after not pitching since then 10th? That’s not how you handle prospects. That’s last man out of the bullpen work.

                  • why do you think they are using him so sparingly? Dies he have a fragile psyche and they are trying to protect him?

                    • I don’t know honestly. If the usage remains the same, it’s something we will look into when Tim gets demoted from Major League coverage down to High-A.

                    • I wonder if the team isn’t trying to build his confidence while still keeping him somewhat on a SP schedule/routine. As time goes by, increase his innings per game.

          • Your reply is timely to me as I was thinking about several players who might be released when the short season teams suit up.

            Would I be more right or wrong to think that not only players at EST are facing a similar fate as far as being released?

            • They have been releasing players here and there. I mentioned three the other day from EST, plus Buckner today, and there were a few earlier in spring. You can’t get rid of too many players between April-June because they are playing games regularly and you have to plan in case of injuries. The amount they release after today will depend on the amount of draft picks signed

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