The Pittsburgh Pirates have called up Wilfredo Boscan to make tonight’s start against the San Francisco Giants, per a team press release. They have optioned Curtis Partch down to Indianapolis to make room on the active roster.

The Pirates needed a starter for today, after Juan Nicasio went on the restricted list over the weekend. Boscan was the only option, as Tyler Glasnow was on four days rest, and Chad Kuhl pitched last night. Both pitchers have also struggled lately, with Kuhl leaving pitches up in the zone and getting hit a lot more than normal, and Glasnow having some serious control issues lately.

Boscan is coming off a recent start where he threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits, no walks, and one strikeout. He has done well in Indianapolis this year, working mostly as a starter, and getting a 3.33 ERA in 48.2 innings, with a 33:4 K/BB ratio.

Boscan has pitched 12.1 innings in the majors this year, posting a 2.92 ERA. However, his 5.24 xFIP doesn’t suggest he will have the same success. The key reason for the difference? He’s giving up a lot more walks in the majors (3.65 BB/9), but hasn’t been hurt by that due to a .231 BABIP. Tonight he will need to cut down the walks and pitch more like he has been doing in Triple-A. He’s a ground ball pitcher, and he can’t expect that same luck on BABIP going forward.

Alan Saunders will have more coverage tonight from PNC Park.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. What in the name of Bryan Bullington are Boscan and Rondon doing on a MLB mound? And why wasn’t Kuhl held back last night and given the start tonight? He’s had some rough outings the last 2 starts but at least he will help the Pirates soon. This team is in real trouble.

  2. Can we pull the plug on Jorge Rondon now? The Caminero experiment can end anytime soon as well – he has completely lost it this year – he’s been over used and over exposed.
    This is likely the worst Pirates pitching staff, and definitely the worst bullpen, that I can remember. Even when the Pirates were awful during the 20 years of losing, I don’t recall a pitching staff this bad.

    • Pish posh. The Pirates don’t need a plan B. They have the best front office in all of baseball. Just ask them. In a few short months the kids will be ready to take over and the Pirates will have a dream starting rotation. They won 98 games last year you know.

  3. Tim … First, I agree with your philosophy on not bringing up AAA players who aren’t ready. Based on the team’s current play, there is a reasonable chance that rotation spots 1-4 (a healthy Cole, an uneven Taillon, and improving Neise/Liriano) are good enough to keep the Pirates in the Wild Card race.

    Assuming Nicasio moves to the pen, and the 5th spot fails (Locke/Boscan/Vogelsong fail)…
    Would you ever consider promoting either Glasnow or Kuhl ‘as they are’ for the hope that they could put together one of those rookie streaks? Or would you just not risk the investment?

      • None of them are “ready”. Tonight was Boscans night to pitch so he got the call. I think if it had lined up for either of the other 2 they would’ve got the call. Tonight started out alright but that 4th inning was just painful to watch.

        • The team could have held back Glasnow and Kuhl and timed this, when they knew this start was open…they deliberately didn’t even make an effort – it was Boscan all along…I’m glad I didn’t pay full ticket prices for that performance tonight.

      • BuccosFan … To have a more meaningful debate about this, I am curious if you at least agree that Kuhl and Glasnow still have things that they need to learn?

        If you do agree, then my question is do you think they will learn better in AAA or in MLB?

          • Ha! One of the things I have read from the Pirates both here and elsewhere is that they would ideally like to have a AAA prospect hit a point where they struggle and then learn to overcome it.

            We get these guys for 6+ years and I personally don’t enjoy watching Polanco struggle for 1+ years making running and fielding mistakes and trying to figure out how to get out of a slump.

            I don’t enjoy watching pitchers with 5.00 ERAs but I think of that as a separate issue from is a player ready to be promoted. Now if it was September and one of our pitchers went down, I would gladly grab the best available guy to get to and/or win the playoffs. I just don’t see the point now.

        • Has any pitcher been promoted to MLB who did NOT have more things to learn and improve on? Do you think Kuhl or Glasnow would have fared better than Boscan did tonight?
          The FO is just throwing in the towel and throwing this season away.
          There are 3-4 kids they could bring up to at least try to plug some holes in this pitching staff – I’d start with Glasnow and Kuhl, now and possibly add Neverauskas and Lakind in another 2-3 weeks.

      • Can contend absolutely – and they are. Baseball is a long season. This team could go in either direction.

        Contend If:
        Cole comes back healthy soon
        Liriano turns things around close to what he did in 2014
        Niese continues his sub 4.00 run
        Taillon doesn’t get overwhelmed
        Either Glasnow (location or changeup) or Kuhl (second wind) or Brault (health) step up
        Bullpen shores up with Nicasio
        Two of Cervelli/Stewart/Diaz return
        Hitting turns around after this pitching induced slump

  4. Don’t know if Cueto has pitched at PNC Park since the ’13 WC game but shouldn’t fans chant his name after every hit he gives up just in case? Or just for fun?

  5. Can lightning strike twice in one series? First, last night, Jeff Locke pitches like Clayton Kershaw and beats Bumgartner. Tonight, can Boscan do a Matt Harvey impersonation?

  6. Pirates offense is due big time to break out. Hopefully that will be tonight and give Boscan an early lead to work with. Bucs 7 Giants 5

  7. You notice that hardly a mention is given about Ray Searage and his magic dust. The guy has been plagued by injury and a shaken confidence level.

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