The Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned Jameson Taillon to Indianapolis and have recalled Kyle Lobstein, per a team press release. There were indications that Taillon’s start last night would be a spot start, although he did look like he belonged in the majors. The move makes sense though, as the Pirates were already short a reliever, and have used their bullpen a lot the last two nights.

I’d expect Taillon to be back soon. He has to spend ten days on optional assignment, which means the earliest he can return is next Sunday against the Cubs. He could return sooner if the Pirates place someone on the disabled list before that time. His next start with the Pirates wouldn’t have been until Tuesday, so if he does return on Sunday, he would essentially just be pushed back a few days. If the Pirates did bring him back next week, it could give them the opportunity to skip a start and limit his innings further.

The Pirates have an off-day on Monday, which means they can go with a four man rotation until next Saturday. That’s the first day they’d need a fifth starter, so they could decide to go with someone like Juan Nicasio out of the bullpen until then. Or, if they place someone on the disabled list, Taillon could come up sooner and fill that final rotation spot.

Either way, I’d expect Taillon back as soon as he’s able to return. The team needed short-term bullpen help, and in the long run, they might only miss one start from Taillon at the big league level by doing this, and they might not even miss that.

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103 COMMENTS

  1. Ok, as I say, I am just learning about these things.

    So where is Taillion today? Spending time with his
    family and GF in Pittsburgh? Looking for a nice
    two bedroom apartment near downtown to move into
    later this month? Driving back to Indy?
    Flying Back to Indy? None of the above?

  2. Good job Neil…Locke getting crushed again today. Another loss due to the Ineptitude of the FO.

  3. Luke has a good point though- no need to have Cole Figeroa on the team right now. Bigger question is after 8 runs, how long are they going to leave Locke in the game? This is pathetic.

  4. Oh well. This bugs me but I get it. The MLB is the only league where you purposely don’t field your best team sometimes. It’s not good for the sport but it’s good for the owner’s wallet. It is was it is. Sometimes you keep paying it forward and there is nothing there when you get there. It’s only 1 start missed basically so I’ll get over it. By the way I love Trevor Williams’ tweet about not being able to see the Pirates in Columbus. I lived that too many times. Why do you hate your fans MLB. I had to move to St Pete to be able to watch the Pirates! I watch them on mlbtv.com and I think it is garbage. I don’t get to see any Root pre or post commentary and even though I pay $80 there are still occasional commercials and the interface is just clunky and seems 10 years old. Ok. I’m done.

    • You can get the MLB package with Directv and the regional sport package and then you can have root sports pittsburgh as a channel- just sayin

      • Yeah, I had direct tv for years and for awhile I could get the Pirates in Cbus then they changed it, because like I said that dislike their fans. I actually don’t have dtv or cable right now and don’t miss it so it became another cost…yet I spend $110 a year on watching Pirates and this site…and they are about 4-8 when I have had time to watch. Hopefully that will even out.

  5. JT did well but he can not let a nobody hit a tying Hr off of him. Then let the pitcher get a 2b off him. These are the mistakes that young pitchers make and it can result in losing the game. He looked good and we need that now. He will get better but to send him down is just not smart.

  6. This is a sensible move, especially if they intend to skip a start to keep his innings down. Now they can skip it in AAA instead of taking up a spot on the 25-man. I know folks want to see him stay up for good, but this move is more roster construction necessity than a demotion.

  7. Can anyone explain why Lobstein was recalled? He’s terrible – and Luebke has been just as bad…The bullpen is just a red hot mess, as the saying goes….made worse by an inconsistent rotation that seldom goes more than 6 innings. Out of all the games played so far, how many times has a Pirates starting pitcher gone more than 6 innings? It cannot be too many
    Sending Taillon down is another dumb FO move – so, they will let the current rotation lose another game or two, so the team falls further behind the Cubs? Yes, Nicasio pitched well against the Mets, but that was one start – he had been terrible his recent starts before that……again, the Pirates have the most underutilized farm system in MLB….

    • Only real reason would be his ability to throw multiple innings.

      They are looking for a warm body able to cover 2+ innings if Locke or Liriano goes bad. If they brought up a guy who only goes 1 inning, they run the risk of having to use too many arms and have the bullpen shot.

      • I would think Kuhl would be a better candidate, since he is at least a competent pitcher – although not left-handed….I think we all know what Lobstein brings to the table, which is not good. If he gets into a game and pitches multiple innings, you can be sure that the Pirates are getting spanked in that game….

  8. Can anyone explain why Luebke is on the team? I don’t care if he is the 2nd lefty in the BP, he can’t be trusted to get an out if a batter was standing on his head. Why not bring back Caminero too. And maybe they can see what Moskos is doing these days, he should be well rested.

    • I believe Littlefield drafting Moskos was the origin of the term “Clemsoning.”

      I’m heading to wikipedia to add it.

  9. We’re back to a 7 man bullpen, but 4 of them are useless.

    It would’ve been nice to keep JT in the rotation and move Nicasio to the pen, giving us 4 fairly dependable guys.

    Hughes (anymore), Shugel, Loober and Lobber are just awful.

    • Who said Nicasio isn’t still going to the BP? The day off on Monday can be used to go w a 4-man rotation till next Saturday like Tim said. Nicasio can be used in the bullpen like he should in that time till Taillon is back in the rotation next week.

  10. I am no expert, but I saw this coming, If he had gone 7 and Hughes and Watson
    pitch a clean 8th and 9th then the would not need the bullpen help for tonight.
    As it is, they needed an extra arm after a double headers followed by
    extra inning. Am I right Tim or John?

    Ok, I am feeling prophetic. Here we go, Liriano goes 3+ innings on Saturday
    and we wee Taillion back very soon after than.

  11. what’s the proper grammar “our bullpen is more shittier or our bullpen is now more shitty.

  12. Jameson Taillon is CLEARLY one of the best 5 options for this team. I imagine that this is all about getting him a couple of extra days of rest as you indicated while also getting an extra arm for a severely struggling pen. Luebke needs to go though. Period. He’s bad.

  13. Maybe it’s just because of the taxed bullpen and he’ll be back up in time for his next start?

  14. Nevermind! They did it now! I was thinking the All-Star break! We need the BP help of course bc THEY SUCK!

  15. A more depressing swap we surely wont see this season.

    What in the holy hell is the value of dropping Taillon back down? Super 2 is fluid, but its never been this late in the season that you had to worry.

    Super 2 worries should be minimal, he got the experience needed in AAA, and looked ML ready against ML hitters last night.

    • They can bring him back up on Tuesday for his next start if they wanted and get the 4-5 days they need for S2 comfort unless they use the day off to skip him to cut down on the innings. It could be a paper move w/o even physically sending him down to AAA.

      Am I correct Tim?

      • Yeah can someone clarify this, because I thought when you send him down a player had to wait 10 days before being brought back?

        Its happened a ton where we send someone down and ask why he isnt back in 5 days and the reasoning was you cant yo yo guys that quickly.

          • No, it isnt.

            The article is saying we need bullpen help so we did this.

            Fine, but thats still poor in my view. With a healthy Freese, we can last a week without Figs. Keep Taillon, bring a reliever for Figs, and have Nicasio throwing side sessions to stay ready if Liriano goes on the DL after Saturday.

                • I understood what he said, i just dont agree.

                  Maybe dont assume things about people and read what they post.

                    • I agree with the timeline and rule, just not that Taillon was the best use of resources to get a reliever up here.

                      Id rather roll with one less bench player and keep Taillon.

                    • Oh, I thought you were just asking about how long he had to be down.

                      It probably isn’t really going to matter, sending Taillon down. Worst case, he probably makes his next big league start a few days later than he would have by staying up. And it’s very possible he could make his next start with no delays.

                    • I would assume his return is going to be attached to how Liriano does in his next start. If Liriano pitches like he’s capable of I would thunk Taillon will stay the whole 10 days. If he pitches like he has the last couple starts then Taillon is probably back his next turn in the rotation with Liriano going to the DL.

        • Per the article

          He has to spend ten days on optional assignment, which means the earliest he can return is next Sunday against the Cubs. He could return sooner if the Pirates place someone on the disabled list before that time.

          So if we stick someone on the DL, he could come back sooner. Cut and dry.

          • He is saying he prefers to have sent down Figueroa instead of Taillon, not that he disagrees with the 10 day rule.

            But, to Tim’s point, Taillon might not even miss a start if someone goes onto DL, so this may just be a paper move. And, if he does miss a start, it’s probably because they want him to miss one for innings savings, and not just for bullpen help tonight. So I don’t have a problem with this move either way.

      • Not Tim, but there are a couple of problems with this strategy:

        1. if a player is recalled within a certain interval of being optioned (I think it’s 20 days), he earns major league service time for the period he was in the minors. So in order for this move to have any impact on Super 2 status, Taillon would have to be at Indy for a weeks, not just a few days.

        2. I’m pretty sure he cannot be recalled within 10 days unless someone on the ML staff goes on the DL.

        This is a clusterf*** in so many ways. The decision to option Boscan – the team’s only legit multi-inning reliever – set off a domino effect that was then made worse when the presumptive next-in-line long-inning reliever (Nicasio) had just pitched 6 innings the day before.

        To my mind, he best configuration right now – and this is being very generous to Francisco Liriano – is a rotation of Cole-Frankie-Niese-Taillon-Locke and a bullpen of Melancon-Feliz-Watson-Hughes-Boscan-Nicasio and Engelbert Humperdinck (hardly matters whether it’s Schugel, Lobstein, Luebke, etc). It’ll be another 10 days until we get to see that.

        • They must’ve changed the rule since they did it w Gerrit Cole at the all-start break bc I don’t remember them skipping a start w him in 2013.

          • Don’t remember that and I can’t find it in the transactions or his game log information, but I know they did a paper move in 2014, optioning Cole at the August trade deadline to an affiliate whose season would end around the time rosters would expand. It bought them an extra couple of days to expand their roster without having to skip a start.

        • Not correct. If a player spends more than 20 total days in a season on optional assignment, he doesn’t accrue MLB service time while in the minors. It’s total time, not contiguous time. Even if Liriano were to go on the DL Sunday and Taillon called up to take his next start on the 17th, he wouldn’t accrue MLB service time while in the minors.

      • And I think its just a crap use of resources.

        Great, we’ve got Figs on the bench to use for 1 useless at bat a game. Couldnt possibly send him down and bring up a relief arm.

      • I believe Tim extended the article bc (1)Tims answering my question or (2)He been around long enough to know the HEAT was coming.

        • I always put the news up first, then add thoughts. The thoughts went up a few minutes after the initial article, but you have to refresh the page to see it updated. I’m just now getting to the comments about an hour later.

    • Honestly, Luke, my very humble opinion is that this whole season has been poorly managed from the top. I wanted Happ kept–yes even for a 3rd year if need be–and I wanted Blanton kept. Instead we’ve continued to pitch Nicasio out of his ideal spot and have had also-ran after also-ran in the bullpen who can’t get guys out, hold leads, or fail to let teams extend leads well beyond what they should. Yes Liriano has struggled and that wasn’t forseen nor was the struggles of Watson…but there were way too many question marks for a team coming off the season we had last year.

      • Only problem I have with this is that its simply easy.

        Everyone wants the entire roster after a great season kept. Keep Happ, keep Blanton, etc.

        I dislike Vogey and wanted another SP, but I didnt hate letting Blanton walk. Boscan looks like a fine replacement, it was just crappy SP that led to us overusing not good long relief.

        Liriano is where the strategy went from risky to awful, because we were relying on our best players to play well. And nearly all of them have underperformed. Liriano-Cutch-Watson.

        • I would have taken Blanton over Vogy. I hear what you’re saying but it’s not like I wanted everyone kept. Think if we had Happ in the rotation, Nicasio in the role he was signed for actually, and Blanton in long relief. I imagine we have at least 3 more wins right now honestly.

          • If they signed Vogey for mid relief, absolutely.

            But when they signed Vogey, he was for the rotation.

            And we can all agree Blanton wasnt a SP. I’d take Nicasio over Blanton in long relief, but Vogey fucked it up.

            • Give me Happ over Vogy and that pushes Nicasio to the pen…and, yes, I still would have preferred bringing Blanton back but you are right that Boscan has been serviceable. I’m just tired of the revolving door of shit.

              • Part of that wont ever stop, because paying 4 million for a long reliever isnt something teams like PGH will ever do.

                Thats not fun to think about, but seems realistic.

                • When we were willing to pay Bastardo for 2 years-$8 million in the bidding before the Mets got him, I knew we were in trouble till the trade deadline because no one else was out there.

                • teams like PGH? What teams in MLB pay a long reliever that type of money period? Not even the Yankees have a long reliever making that money.

                  • Well, The Angels did. He’s been asked to go multiple innings something like 10 of his 30 some outings.

                    So the Angels apparently thought that was okay, which is funny since they have tanked a bit early on.

          • Jared….Happ’s ERA is up to 3.57 and he has gotten bombed in 2 of his last starts.

            He did this last year….great start and then “boom”. We got our two good months out of him. He is overpaid in Toronto, imo.

            • Agreed! Pirates saw something that Toronto and us fans did not. They were not going to overpay or give him that 3rd year! At this moment w not signing Happ and Neise rising, I’m relieved!

            • Two bombed starts and 12 Quality starts- sure, 0verpaid. This is not an instance where you use ERA to judge Happ’s effectiveness, he had like 6 straight starts with 6 or 7 innings and 3 runs or less

        • And what is it with the damn terrible retreads? Lobstein sucks and so does Luebke…I thought we had gotten past this as an organization. Our BP this year is like when we gave big at bats to Michael Martinez and company a couple years ago. My god!

          • That seems more like needing to dip too far into the depth than they planned.

            They felt Cammy could be good enough (and so did I after even a streaky last year) and Hughes was useful.

            Instead, suddenly Vogey is a poor long reliever and Cammy cant hit the zone and we need 1-2 AAAA relievers.

            I didnt hate the pen to start the year, but the back half folded and forced us to use poor options. Though Schugel and Boscan look fine.

            • Do you know how hard it is to be as bad as Luebke has been? I could probably have a lower ERA…and I did not like the pitching staff all that much going into the season and the couple of pieces I counted on haven’t been good, which only adds to the misery.

            • All fingers should be pointing at 1. Liriano, 2. Caminero, 3. Hughes, & to a lesser extent, Watson. But when Liriano started to fail, On top of those middle relievers being terrible, it was a cascading effect.

          • This I agree with 100%. The pen is mostly terrible this year. Without looking anything up id guess they blew the same amount of leads after the 7th as last year.

      • No, he explained when he can come back up and what the rule is.

        Nothing in here explains why this is better than sending Figs back down for a reliever.

        Best argument is that they wont use Nicasio in the pen even if Taillon sticks, but meh.

    • our bullpen is dead, obvious by the garbage we had to trot out there last night after the double-header…..we need the arm

    • Yet he is in the minors. The bullpen is taxed though. I know, I watched them last night.

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