CHICAGO – The Pirates have made a few roster moves prior to tonight’s game against the Cubs. They have called up Jason Rogers, Curtis Partch, and Jorge Rondon. To make room, they’ve designated Cory Luebke for assignment, optioned Rob Scahill, and placed Juan Nicasio on the restricted list.

The moves with the bullpen are pretty self-explanatory. The Pirates have had problems with their middle relievers, and middle relief has been a revolving door this season. It’s worth noting that Partch and Rondon have had the best results this year in Triple-A, although both have dealt with command issues at times. There’s a chance these moves could be permanent if they come up and do well.

As for Nicasio, Clint Hurdle said the placement on the restricted list was personal, and nothing disciplinary. The placement is strange, as there are other lists used for personal reasons, such as a list for family leave and the obvious lists for injuries. Hurdle did say that they were working with Nicasio, so it’s possible that this is a situation that isn’t covered by the normal lists. UPDATE: After reading through the details of each list, the Family Leave list and the Bereavement List are both a maximum of seven days. The restricted list is used if a player needs longer. So this could be the case with Nicasio.

From a personal standpoint, you hope everything is alright with Nicasio. From a performance view, the fact that he will miss some time and his start on Tuesday isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since he has struggled a lot lately and this season. Tyler Glasnow just started last night, so there’s no chance he’s up on Tuesday to replace Nicasio, even if the Pirates didn’t care about his recent control issues. Chad Kuhl starts Monday, but he has struggled recently, giving up 12 earned runs on 24 hits in 13 innings over his last three starts.

Wilfredo Boscan starts that day, and Hurdle said he was a candidate. I’d expect him to make the start. Until then, the Pirates will carry an extra position player in Jason Rogers.

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  1. frankie moves up and glasnow starts on Wendsday, if its boscan instead of glasnow start getting the pitch forks ready.

  2. Thank God Luebke is gone!!! Scahill also!! Both are Triple A at best!! Partch is awful!!!! No confidence in him at all!!! Boscan should be in the rotation for Nicasio!!

  3. I have been thinking about this current ‘mess’ and believe that it is a result of the 2015 team over performing. That team was one of the luckiest teams I have ever watched. I didn’t even like watching the games. The hitting was bad, the bullpen struggled for over half the year, our fielding was atrocious, and our base-running was comical. Yet, the bullpen never (or once) lost a lead, we outpaced everyone in one run victories, and were unbeatable in extra innings.

    I think the FO made the mistake of basing every decision as a comparison to 2015. Jaso will be better than Pedro, Harrison as good as Walker, Niese as good as Morton, Feliz replaces Soria, and while Nicasio/Vogelsong won’t replace Burnett/Happ, they only have to cover until Taillon/Glasnow arrive. When you look at them from that angle (especially with improved bench and extra bullpen depth) – why couldn’t they win 95 games?

    Everything stated above has happened (even Nicasio’s 5-6 record is ok). The issue is that Cutch, Cervelli, Liriano, Locke, Watson, and Hughes have regressed – and the ‘magic’ is gone.

    • I know this. Ownership is going to be saying.
      “Hey, you ask us to spend the money, what
      has it produced?”

      • 100 million dollar pay roll, it will be trimmed by a least 10- 15 % by the trade dead line. jaso out put bell in save 1.5 this year 4 million next year. mark the shark 4 million saving this year. Niese another 4 million this year. freeze and nicasio should save another 2 million, and “wait for it” cutch save 6-8 million this year depending when they trade him, and many million in 2017 and 2018. glasnow would move into the rotation, meadows to left field, and Bell at first base.

  4. BOTTOM LINE is this: We need bullpen help and Nicasio just pitched Thursday so he can’t be used in the bullpen yet. There’s no options for him! DL trip takes 15 days so that’s out! FO puts Juan on this list to protect him and fill another void probably just for the weekend. He comes back to the bullpen in his return. We’ve been running out w 4 pinch hitters for a while and Marte might still be out tonight’s game. Running short here! NH cut some corners.

  5. These moves are a joke….it appears they’ve given up. Can’t wait to have Boscan start again…Rondon and Partch….yeah, those two will fix the bullpen. Pathetic.

    • A joke because they got rid of guys that weren’t helping, or because they didn’t call up who you think should’ve been called up?

      • Because they all stink….and none of them provide any hope to the fans. This FO is a joke…replace 2 AAAA pitchers with two more AAAA pitchers. Plus having Boscan start will really excite the fans.

        • You would’ve called up whom? Neveraskaus? DuRapua? Marte? Dare I say Heredia?

          Before you say – you know who, he pitched last night.

          • Glasnow….I know he pitched last night…but Neal thinks the team has a better chance of turning things around with Locke and Niese getting more starts. Yes, Neverauskas and Lakin would have been better than Rondon and Partch…the fact that we have to choose from among Scahill, Lobstein, Luebke, Partch, Rondon, etc to fix the bullpen is just downright pathetic. They are all career minor leaguers and nothing more.

  6. Didn’t Juan Cruz do this several years ago? Thought he stated something about personal reasons and we never saw him again. At least, I think that’s what happened.

    • I just have a feeling that there is something here to follow.
      I just have a feeling that there is some type of trade in the works.

            • I have thought the same thing.
              All three have made some nice
              contributions and seem to be
              very professional on and off
              the field.

              I just cannot figure out this team.
              Quality in the field. Seem to be
              top quality hitters. Talented
              pitchers. At times the entire roster
              do not seem to be producing to
              potential. Do others feel the
              same way?

              I come to two possible things.
              1) Problems in the lockeroom.
              2) Problems with management.

              Anyone else have any ideas?

              Ownership HAS to be saying,
              “hey you ask us to spend the money
              what are we getting.”

              • Burnett and Walker were described as leaders. Gone. Happ, Bastardo, Soria were veterans. Gone. But I believe it comes down to very poor pitching with the exception of Melancon. Even Cole has been a disappointment…worse than his statistics.

                  • Cole will make his money. If he is unhappy, he is not very mature or intelligent. I’m pretty sure he gets it.

                  • I get your point, but he got an $8 million signing bonus. The CBA determines his salary until he’s eligible for arbitration. May seem unfair to him, but that’still the way it goes.

              • You think Pirates management has “spent money?” I don’t. I think you’re getting exactly what they’re paying for.

                They have the 20th highest payroll in MLB and are they are spending 20 million less than the average team. Their highest paid pitcher is Liriano and he makes $13 million a year which, by MLB standards, is a below average salary for a below average pitcher. In the off-season, the only starters they brought in for were Neise, the Mets number five starter and Vogelsong who has no business on a major league baseball team Nicasso was supposed to be a middle reliever and wouldn’t be a starter on any other team.

                It’s no wonder their pitching staff sucks. For what their pain, the pitching staff should suck. Pay for steak you get steak. Pay for chicken you get chicken. Payfor chipped ham you get chipped ham.

                Enjoy your baloney Pirates fanS!

                • This is what happens when Doing unconventional things and being economical dont work out…also I think there was a little arrogance there that they think they can fix any pitcher but I may be overstating that. I can see Niese and liriano both getting dealt in a month. Melancon too. I hope that they can get back in the race but they sure are looking like sellers right now. With so much talent at AAA & AA, it’s not the end of the world, but a team that won 98 games the year before definitely could have gotten some better pitching options. They refused to spend and refused to give away prospects, and that is fine but as a fan you hate to see a team that is that close punt or kick the can down the road. They took some calculated risks that havent worked out, and cutch, Watson and liriano have let them down so far. Those three guys playing great makes them a very different team but I doubt it would be enough to make a “wild card”.

                • Second most wins in MLB over the past three years. Only team, besides StL, to make playoffs the past three years as well.

                  Money don’t equate winning; see LA (both teams) and Yanks and TX

            • Is anyone a frustrated as me?

              I really thought we had a complete 25 player roster
              at the beginning of the season with strength in every
              area including the best bench that I remember in
              decades. It seems we have under-produced in
              almost every area.

              I come to two possible situations (there may be others)
              1) There are problem in the locker room.
              2) There are problems with management.

              I know this, ownership will be saying,
              “hey, we spent the money, what did we get?”

              • I think it was always assumed, if the team faltered, it would be due to the weakness of the pitching staff.

                Niese has under-perforrmed. Locke has imploded. Liriano is doing his bet Locke impression. Vogelsong was passable in his role, but is gone. Nicasio was horrific and also appears to be gone. Luebke was a mess. Lobstein was bad. Scahill? Cammy is a mess. Watson is carrying a FIP over 4.5 and Hughes’ is excess of 5.5.

                This team has already used 17 pitchers and two more were just called up. For all of last season, the Pirates only used 20 (plus Dacker for an inning)…and that included the mid-season pickups of Soria and Blanton.

                It’s a locker room problem in that there are nowhere near enough talented pitchers in said locker room.

                It’s a management problem, because upper management assembled this staff.

              • The bullpen is way worse, they did not replace Burnett with anyone near as good, liriano is terrible, Cole had not pitched that well despite the low era, and cutch has a .730 OPS. A happy locker room ca t fix that.

              • IMO, it was obvious from the beginning that the FO hoped Nicasio, Locke,, could be somewhat respectable until the Young Guns were ready. I was not as optimistic about the No. 4 and 5 slots in the rotation.

              • True, this team has under-achieved, but the Cubs are just insane right now. Still 94 games to go. I don’the know though. Looks like ChI, SF and Washington are shoe-ins. Play-in game is our best hope right now. Ugh. I’m actually just hoping for another season over .500 at this point. Oh, well. The last 3 seasons were a lot of fun!!!

              • Wow…you want the entire team gone! 🙂

                Locke/Niese? I don’t see either of those guys having any value. Though, I think, if the reset button is pushed, the Pirates would take whatever they could get for them…I just don’t think any contender is going to want these guys.

                Melancon? Could be, but…if the Pirates trade him…you might be looking at a team hovering around 90 losses. He and Feliz are pretty much in the bullpen.

                Cutch? If he could raise his OPS back into the .800s by the deadline…it’s possible. The fan backlash would be monstrous and there really isn’t anyone to play the OF regularly in his absence other that Joyce, S-Rod, and Rogers. Considering Joyce and S-Rod could be dealt, that means starting Rogers. Kinda scary…

                Mercer? Nah, again…the Pirates have no replacement. Ngoepe? Figs? Florimon? (Hell, is Florimon even in the system anymore?) S-Rod? Kang isn’t going back to SS so, if it’s not one of those four, the only other shot is to slide Harrison over and bring up either Hanson of Frazier. I don’t see that happening. Mercer’s pretty much a lock to stay because he has more value to the Pirates than they are going to receive in a trade.

                So, yeah, I’ll grant Melancon and Cutch as possibilities. The other three I think are pretty much locks to stay.

          • Jaso is a .275 singles hitter batting leadoff with little speed for a leadoff player. He lacks power and RBI potential. and is out of place at the leadoff spot as a leadoff hitter. Jaso and Freese should have platooned at 1st base and never had Jaso and he has little value as trade bait. Freese still could have given Kang a break at 3rd.

      • Is there any move Huntington can make that would upgrade the Buc’s enough that we can compete with the Cubs for 1st place?

    • It doesn’t open any spots.
      – Nicasio and Scahill are still on the 40-man roster
      – Luebke’s spot was taken by Rondon

    • Yeah heaven forbid they call up Garcia, Frazier, or Gamache…no, we get Rogers…again

        • Frazier definitely deserves to be up…and he is hot. They will call him up once he cools off and is in a slump. Personally, I think Joyce’s value is about at its peak and I would trade him and use bell in his role and as the 1B vs lefties and pinch hitting. Bell could get 10 ab or so a week that way. He has nothing to prove in AAA. Fielding is pointless to talk about since the starting 1B the last 2 years has been guys who never played there and aren’t that good there.

  7. Might as well try a couple of new relievers out with the way things have been going. Sounds like Nicaso balked at being told he was being demoted to bullpen? Boscan to be called up to take his place in rotation?

    • I guess Boscan is the most likely to fill the spot and hopefully it’s the ONLY time as long as Cole comes back next Sunday. Who knows w Nicasio but why have a follow-up to that performance?

      • I’d be surprised if that were the case…he had a decent run as a reliever last season and signed to be one again this year.

        With an ERA over 5 as a starter…I can’t believe he’d be overly shocked that he was going to the pen. I’m guessing he’d probably welcome it.

        • I want him as the reliever. He knew his role and he should be happy he got as far as he did. He had to know before the Cole injury.

    • Tuesday, against the Giants and Cueto. I note that Boscan is scheduled to start for Indy on Tuesday. Something has gone seriously wrong for Nicasio to have been placed on the Restricted List. I was hoping that he would be able to help in the bullpen but that now appears unlikely. If it wasn’t for bad luck these days the Pirates would have no luck at all. Not going to miss seeing Scahill or Luebke.

  8. “The Restricted list is a compendium of players who are out of organized baseball but are not free agents. A team can request that a player be placed on the restricted list if that player has left the team without a valid reason, or has announced his intention to retire but is still of an age or level of skill that could allow him to return to professional baseball in the future. In effect, the team states that it retains rights to the player if and when he becomes active again. The list is also used to place a player who is unavailable to play for non-baseball reasons, such as personal issues or trouble with the law.

    A player on the restricted list cannot be signed by another team unless compensation is paid to the team who placed him on the list. The list is honored throughout organized baseball and in leagues that have working agreements to respect the contracts of organized baseball, such as Nippon Pro Baseball. The list is most often used today when a player retires at a young age without receiving his unconditional release. If he decides to return to playing, he must do so with his last team, unless a trade or other deal can be worked out. Salomon Torres is a recent case of a player who spent a number of years on the restricted list before returning to organized baseball.

    In the past, the list was used for players who jumped from their contract to sign with an outlaw or independent league. The move signaled to other teams in organized baseball that this player was not free to return to another team and that the provisions of the reserve clause were still in effect in his case. The restricted list is also used on International free agents pending standard MLB investigation.

    The restricted list is sometimes confused with the disqualified list, which is used as a form of disciplinary action.”

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