Pirates Call Up Infielder Adam Frazier, Make Several Other Moves

There are currently a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter congratulating Adam Frazier on getting called up to the majors, including one of his own teammates in the Pirates’ system.

Frazier was removed from tonight’s Indianapolis game in the 7th inning as a defensive replacement during an 8-4 game. He was also removed at the same time as Cole Figueroa. No reports on whether Figueroa is also being called up, or if it was just coincidental that they were removed at the same time.

Currently, the Pirates are carrying three catchers, and Chris Stewart has been able to get back in games, so it would make sense if they cut back to two catchers and carried a more useful position player. Frazier can play all over the field, spending most of his time in left field this year, but also getting eight starts at second base, 13 in center field, and two at shortstop, including tonight’s game. With the outfielders banged up, Frazier’s outfield experience could add some value here, and be a reason for the call.

We’ll have more on this as more information becomes available.

UPDATE 3:07 PM: The move is official, as the Pirates have called up Frazier. To make room on the active roster, they have sent Jacob Stallings to Indianapolis. To make room on the 40-man roster, they have designated Cole Figueroa for assignment.

The Pirates also reinstated Juan Nicasio from the restricted list, and designated Jorge Rondon for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

  • What the F?!?!?!?!? Not only is Frazier not in the lineup, Sean is starting at 2B!

  • Glad he’s up, Frazier seems like a versatile bench piece for years to come.

    • Hopefully he gets some ABs. If he gets the same playing time Cole F was getting he might as well stay in AAA.

  • Lets hope this call up is not for a day or three to sit on the bench and he is given a chance to play. Maybe Bell will be next. He certainly seems to deserve it.

  • Wait a minute, did I miss something here. (I may have.)
    Frazier is being called up. (he has a nice AAA season going.)
    Has anyone thought about the fact that they may have just
    traded Joyce or Freeze?

    • Joseph Willis
      June 24, 2016 1:01 pm

      I think it’s because they have three catcher, Stallings will be sent back down

  • Joseph Willis
    June 24, 2016 11:40 am

    Trade idea with red Sox. They need outfielders with injuries . S-Rod for bucholz, I know he struggled and moved to bullpen, but take a chance on a turnaround in NL. And allows us a better option for that spot in rotation then we have right now, Frazier stays up and takes S-Rod spot

  • One of biggest misconceptions it seems is the “blame” that NH is receiving for not getting enough pitching in the off-season and potentially in this trade season. For those feeling this way, take a look around the league – a close look at each teams rotation. You will find that almost every team looks very similar to the Bucs… there just isn’t that many good pitchers. Each team has difficulty finding a full rotation of quality arms, and buying them (See Shelby Miller deal) is extremely expensive in terms of prospect cost. No thanks. Even if you do it the results aren’t typically so good (See Shelby Miller stats) So you have to look for other ways which most thought NH did well with the way Nicasio pitched, the deal for Neise, and a backup plan in Vogelsong.
    So it hasn’t gone right as rain, guess what a lot of teams feel the same about their plans. Smardja just got rocked by us for 6 and he cost $100 mil. No thanks.
    Chris Archer has 10 losses and an ERA about 5.
    Matt Harvey has 9 losses and an ERA about 5.
    Dallas Kuechel has 9 losses and an ERA over 5.
    Clay Bucholz has 7 losses and an ERA over 6.
    Ubaldo Jimenez has 7 losses and an ERA over 7.
    Sonny Gray has 5 losses and an ERA around 6.
    Anibal Sanchez has 7 losses and an ERA of 6………..
    Look the point is you can plan all you want, but every team has issues with pitching even from very good pitchers. Our guys are doing every bit as good if not a bit better than all these guys so don’t be so quick to shove them out the door.
    In the meanwhile, I hope NH can make some very difficult decisions for the bullpen which surely need made with the same kind of excellence he’s delivered in the past.

    • “Our guys are doing every bit as good if not a bit better than all these guys so don’t be so quick to shove them out the door.”

      C’mon man! The Pirates right now have the fifth highest team ERA in ALL OF BASEBALL! The Pirates rotation is not “every bit as good” as most teams. Their numbers are pathetic, ridiculous, and just plain sad. Those are the facts.

      And it is revisionist history to suggest that Vogelsong was “plan B.” Going into spring training, the expectation was that Vogelsong would be a STARTER or at least half the year. The Pirates realized within a month that Plan A was a stupid plan so they went to Nicasso as Plan B which, as it turns out two months later was also a stupid plan.

      If you want to give Pirates brass a break, go ahead and give them a break but you are just kidding yourself. The front office has made nothing but idiotic moves since Spring training to deal with the losses of AJ Burnett and Happ. That’s primarily what went wrong with this season.

      Yes, a few players underperformed – Cole Liriano and McCutcheon – and that’s on them but the fact remains that Pirates brass made the decision not to have depth in the pitching staff. That was a conscious decision which directly led to their failures as a team this year.

      Not to be critical

  • Will someone please clarify for me if we know, for sure, that it’s Huntington’s fault regarding the dreadful pitching or were his hands tied behind his back by senior management? I just don’t know. Yes, I’m just as unhappy with the situation as the next guy but when it comes to spending money you always need to look to the top of the food chain.

    • we wont know this for a couple of years….once NH is up for some premium GM money, we will see if he walks from the bucs – that would tell u everything u need to know…..

    • I agree, Rob. My guess would be that Neal H. was/is/probably always will be hamstrung by ownership’s limited budget. I think that Neal H. has done a good job, overall. This past offseason notwithstanding, although one cannot have champagne tastes on a beer budget.

  • The sentiment to bag the season already shares something with the motivation behind NH’s failure to equip this team with adequate pitching in the off season. That shared sentiment is always playing for another day. NH keeps powder dry vs. spend for what reason? Survival for another day. Doesn’t trade assets to acquire pitching. Why? play for another day. Everyone who wants to bag the season already wants to play for another day. I get that but you know, we’re not THAT far from a wildcard spot. We can improve and other teams hit their swoons and things can change in July. The payoffs aren’t that far out of reach. We aren’t going to be a contending team next year with Tallion, Glasnow and Kuhl in our rotation. They are too young/inexperienced. Contending teams don’t rely on 3 rookie starters. I’d prefer that the Bucs make a bold move now vs. throw in the towel.

    • Eric Marshall
      June 24, 2016 9:41 am

      Really? If we bring Glasnow and Kuhl up this year then they aren’t rookies next year… kind of what everyone is saying to prepare for a WS run next year. What kind of move would you make… giving away top prospects for decent pitching in hopes that we get the WC this year? That would be a Littlefield type move. Frustrating there are fans out there so short sighted.

      • why does everyone think that Glasnow and Kuhl are automatics? Kuhl is a back of the rotation kinda guy and chances are Glasnow doesnt figure things out with the bucs and it takes him a few years to settle into his stuff (ala Randy Johnson/Chris Young) due to the super tall issue…..

        • Exactly! I wrote in the off-season that I didn’t think Glassnow would make the biggs this year. So far, nothing that’s happened indicates he should or will. Kuhl isn’t projected to be a better pitcher than Locke. Never was. Why he is suddenly lumped in with Glassnow and Tallion has a potential franchise savior is beyond me.

          • Eric Marshall
            June 24, 2016 11:12 am

            Glasnow will be called up this year. Nobody is lumping Kuhl into the potential ace category. Just looked at as a potential strong number 4 candidate. When coupled with Cole, Liriano, Glasnow and Tallion… that looks pretty nice. They need to grow together this year for performance next year.

            • We will see. The more the Pirates lose, the more likely I think it is that Glassnow stays right where he is. Kuhl too.

              They are more than one or two pitchers away from contending this year. Giving those guys service time before they are ready will cause them to become more expensive sooner. If either guy comes up it will be in September but honestly, I don’t think either guy plays until the super two deadline next year.

              • Eric Marshall
                June 24, 2016 11:52 am

                We need a pitcher on Sunday. I sincerely hope it isn’t Masterson who has been pathetic in AAA thus far. I am hopeful Kuhl will be given a chance to see what he can do.

                • I’d bet my life it’s Nicasso.

                  • Then again, maybe I wouldn’t bet my life. They are reporting on 93.7 Fan that Kuhl is in Pittsburgh today Maybe the glass is half full after all

        • Eric Marshall
          June 24, 2016 11:10 am

          adding a couple of potential aces to Cole could do wonders. Kuhl fills in nicely as a 4. They need the experience this year so that they are prepared for next year. Cole, Glasnow, Tallion, Kuhl would be a very nice group. Can fill the 5th with Locke, Niece or Brault. Liriano if still around could slide into 3 and move Kuhl down to 5 for a year.

          • mysonisnamedafterRoberto
            June 24, 2016 4:59 pm

            Everyone seems to be forgetting about Kingham. He has and is the 4th behind the other three.

            He was trending to be the 1st one up until TJ. He could be up by next July.

    • The Mets did it last year with 2 rookie starters, a 2nd year guy in deGrom, and Harvey coming off of TJ. But that’s why people are saying bring them up now/soon. Get them some experience and see what happens next year. Look at what the Cubs are doing this year.

      • for the love of god, please do not equate any member of the bucs pitching prospects with degrom/harvey/synndergard….we have nothing like those 3 in our system…mebbe Cole=Harvey, but thats it

        • Really? Taillon and Glasnow for two.

        • I’m not saying they’re comparable at the moment. But you’re telling me that you can’t see a possible Syndergaard/Glasnow comp? They both have the build, the fastball, and the plus curveball. Syndergaard has superior command and a change-up, which yes, that is a lot over Glasnow. But I’m confident that Glasnow will figure out his command issues and his change is improving. Then if you’re giving me Cole=Harvey, all that’s left is Taillon/deGrom, and I think Taillon might actually have the upper hand there once he gets his feet under him in the majors. Which is why it’s important to get these guys up soon so they can get that experience.

        • Have you seen Matt Harvey pitch this year?

  • Are they going to play Frazier in left if Marte is still dinged? That is a lot of ground to cover at PNC.

    • John Dreker
      June 24, 2016 9:37 am

      Up until Monday, it looked like Frazier was ready to at least be serviceable in left field. He does have speed despite the stolen base rate and I’ve seen him make some nice plays. The last few games in left field have been a total disaster out there for him, not sure what’s going on. If he plays more like the LF from last week and the week before when he looked good, then he should be fine out there. The arm won’t play up, but if he’s only around for a short time, then word won’t get around that quick.

      I have no doubt that he should at least hold his own at the plate. He has a solid approach, uses the entire field and makes consistent contact. His best position on defense is second base, but I doubt he’s coming up to play there. He has the speed to steal bases, just not the base running ability. He will really befuddle you when you see his hustle get him a double on his first soft liner into the gap, then he gets thrown out by ten feet on a good pitch to run on. He’s horrible at getting jumps on pitchers so I would hope he has a red light all the time unless it’s a hit and run.

      • Have they completely given up thought of him playing SS? I know you guys aren’t high on his arm, range there but I’ve heard others say he looked serviceable.

        I guess they have if he only saw 2 games at SS this year.

        • I have said serviceable and I think that’s the perfect description. It’s not someone you run out there everyday at shortstop or put in for defense, especially not over Mercer, but if it’s once a week, you won’t cringe seeing his name on the lineup card. He could play second base full-time. Part of the problem watching him play infield defense is that he is with Indianapolis. By that I mean you have Hanson playing plus defense at second base, you have Ngoepe playing plus defense at shortstop, you have Florimon looking solid-to-plus wherever you put him in the infield and you have Moroff not too far behind Florimon. So when you see Frazier compared to any of them, you can really see the drop-off, but that’s probably unfair to him.

          His best spot is second base, but he’s the fifth best second baseman on the team and with the way they shift the second baseman to shortstop for righties and Hanson has handled it terrific, he is basically playing shortstop too, so Frazier would even rate behind all four of them at shortstop. When you say fifth best at two spots, that doesn’t conjure up confidence, but you have to keep in perspective the players ahead of him

      • Sounds like the type of base-runner this team is used to.

  • I just hope Clint has the red light on him for stealing!

  • Glad for Frazier.
    No to Figs.
    Why all the noise about Hanson?
    Glasnow is close, at least for a look.
    Kuhl, after the break?
    Bell; the sooner the better.
    Got to be some trades ahead. Pitching is a high priority, as it should have been in the offseason.

    • I’m with you on Hanson….a .623 AAA OPS, no matter how good the “d” and speed, doesn’t excite me.

      • Yeah, he’s been really bad offensively since getting his cup of coffee.

    • I am wondering if something is brewing with the Mets. They could use Freese since Wright is on the DL.

      • Good thought. To expand, may be add a Pirate prospect for some near ready pitching help.

      • Trade the Mets Freese, Jaso and Niese for Thor lol.

      • They are testing the waters on Jose Reyes. The public outcry from Mets fans about his domestic violence wasn’t as much as expected, so they may sign him in the next few days.

    • Eric Marshall
      June 24, 2016 9:43 am

      Would love to Kuhl pitching in big leagues on Sunday.

  • Congratulations to him for sure. I think I agree with the sentiment in the comments of this article on letting the young guys play. Too much is going wrong with this team, it happens. Retool, see what you have in some of the AAA guys, and get ready for next year. My hope is that NH is decisive at the deadline one way or the other (at this point I prefer selling). It would be a waste of they tried to do a little bit of both buying and selling. I think he has the good sense to know this year’s team isn’t going to do well even if it miraculously snuck into the playoffs. Even mediocre assets have returned pretty nice gains in the trade market the past few years and I am curious to see how NH does as a seller in the two wild card team era.

    • Wholeheartedly am happy for the young man. Do hope he doesn’t becpme Hurdle’s invisible bench man and does well enough when he does play to stick.

      Really not wanting Figs back up, if that is the case.

      Turn the kids loose. The big club isn’t winning with who they have.

  • There’s 90 games left. The season is not over yet. Relax.

  • Maybe they traded him for an arm.

  • Time for Bell & Kuhl! And Glasnow & Hanson as soon as they are ready! And explore what Melancon might bring in return – maybe a young starter in AA with potential?

    • 21: I agree, and bringing up Bell, Glasnow, Kuhl, and Hanson will not hurt this 2016 team, and instead, I think the youth will help to get this team off dead-center. I hear you about MM, but if we let B’more twist our arms with Liriano, saving the Pirates about $20 mil, would that not cover an extension for MM? Cole, Glasnow, Taillon, Kuhl, and then take your pick of Locke or Niese, or Brault.

      Between now and August, one or all of Freese, Jaso, SRod will be traded – they cannot stay as part-time starters who keep youth from being promoted. Freese would probably appreciate being moved to a team where he could be a starter at 1B/3B, and possibly earn a contract. Jaso will return to the AL – he has already passed his number of AB’s in 2015 and only played defensively in 8 games in the OF all year in 2015. And, SRod?

      • I see this bring up the kids idea bandied about, has any team actually ever done this?

        • The Cubs?

          • Eric Marshall
            June 24, 2016 9:44 am

            The Mets?

            • right the mets, than surround the kids with $150m in MLB talent – im all
              for that…not gonna happen – more chance that Nutting cashes in on his pre-sales for this year and dumps alot of salary

              • Eric Marshall
                June 24, 2016 11:57 am

                Our offense is more than fine right now. We have several prospects who could help out there as well. With rotation of Cole, Glasnow, Tallion, Liriano and Kuhl… our offense will be more than able to win us a ton of games. Mets had little pitching or hitting. They called up their stud pitchers and needed to supplement their offense hence they spent 150M.

                • Only the Brewers, A’s, and Mets have scored less runs in the month of June.

                  • dont look now, but the Brewers are merely a visit to Miller Park away from overtaking the bucs – that would be devastating

              • Looking at the Mets vs. the Pirates payroll, there’s really not a huge difference if you consider the Mets are getting zero production out of the $20m they’re paying David Wright as his body falls apart.


                • sorta like the $10m non production we are paying tabata and morse? Btw, jason, nice share on the sportrac site – alot of very good info there….

          • right the cubs, than surround the kids with $150m in MLB talent – im all for that…and what chance u think Nutting will be on board with that plan?

            • We’re not saying that you have to spend a ton of money. The Pirates already have a good core in place; a core that has taken them to 3 straight WCs. But the infusion of these prospects could help them greatly next year to build around that core.

              • I think you need to spend around $150m to give yourself a real chance in the competitive balance of MLB….since it’s an even year, you have to expect the giants to win it all this year and its gonna cost them at least $180m to do so….

                • Well yeah, it certainly helps if you can spend that kind of money. But you don’t need it to be competitive. The Royals had the 16th highest opening day payroll at $113m.

                  • I think the mythology is thinking that the answer is “if” – i think every MLB team has the ability to spend that kinda money….its all about desire to win a championship….bucs are happy with being just good enough to compete – nothing more…

          • They have brought up at least 5 position players starting with Bryant, Schwarber, and Russell last year and Almora and Baez so far this year. Nobody has young, quality SP depth like the Pirates, but we seem unable to try to work a few into the Rotation. How about a 6 man rotation?

            • You could also throw Contreras and Soler in there to a lesser extent. The Cubs are definitely very young.

              A 6 man rotation would be an interesting idea, at least for this year if you’re just looking to get guys innings and not necessarily contend. It could also work to limit Taillon’s innings. Who were you thinking: Cole, Taillon, Glasnow, Kuhl, Liriano, Niese? The only reason I’m saying they probably wouldn’t contend with that is you’d have to figure Taillon, Glasnow, and Kuhl would have their growing pains and also you’d be getting less starts from Cole. Unless you just threw him every fifth day and everyone else got pushed back, then I could see that working.

              • Liriano & Niese have both struggled so far in 2016 – not what we hoped to get from our No. 2 and No. 3 pitchers. Therefore, I would not be concerned with what we may or may not get from Taillon, Glasnow, and Kuhl. The Pirates are not going to sign another 3 year deal with Liriano, so the only question is when do they take a deal for him? Don’t know his value, but if it is a deal with B’more, I would want Garrett Cleavinger included as part of the trade.

            • All the TJs didn’t help. With Taillon, Kingham, Cumpton, Sadler, Sanchez and Holmes all going down this delayed the arrival of the young, quality SP depth. At least three of these guys probably would have been in the rotation to start the year if they didn’t get injured.

        • The Cubs and Mets brought up prospects in-mass while jettisoning 4-5 non-replacement level roster players in an effort to play for next season?

      • I am sure the Mets would love to have Freese,
        but the Pirates are not trading him to the Mets.

    • Hanson?…Do we need a guy with a .623 OPS in AAA!!!

    • In his last five games, Kuhl has gone 24 innings in total with high pitch counts in each game. Has given up 41 hits and 7 walks, for a WHIP of 2.0. Also has allowed 17 runs in the 24 innings. ERA of 6.00. What would suggest he is remotely ready for MLB at this point?

    • Chad Kuhl will start on Sunday in Pittsburgh

  • terrygordon30
    June 24, 2016 1:13 am

    I am not a gloom and doomer, and I believe that the NH administration has laid a great foundation, but I believe that what looks to me to be a down year is a great opportunity to trade some of our assets such as our closer and bring up some youngsters as they are deemed ready.

    • gosteelers69
      June 24, 2016 6:08 am

      Agreed! It definitely looks like a down year, so why not trade some of the assets on the big club to further set yourself up in the future.

      • You are right go69. As I have posted earlier, now is the time to bring up Frazier, Hanson and Moroff, as well has Glasnow. Not throwing in the towel yet, but we all know all of these infielders like Freese, Harrison, Serpico and all of the others above cannot play at the same time. Time to see what we can get for the front end of the BP maybe?

        • I would think Moroff needs more time.

        • Hanson has done nothing to indicate he’s mentally ready to contribute to a major league team.

          With Glasnow, I’ve been dead set against bringing him up due to the control issues, but honestly after watching the Pirates the last 4 weeks with start after start ending early, I’m starting to ask myself, “well why the f**k not?”

      • I said the same yesterday about trading Liriano and was called a quitter and “Philly fan.” Where is Joshuatree now?

    • Yea, that always works 😛 lets get rid of MLB talent and take a chance with AAA talent…1993 anyone?

    • True… I thought that was the whole purpose of having one of the best minor league system, so those players who will be free agents and difficult to sign can be traded for younger players and allow these kids to shine
      Whoa… I didn’t plan on that rhyming..haha

      • Only Keith Law says this is a really good minor league system, but proof is in the pudding, i.e. players rising through system and ready for MLB when circumstances dictate.

        I have witnessed little of that, which is why I challenged friend “Terry” above.

        • little compared to who? Beside the Cubs, name any team that has more resent products of their OWN farm system on their current 25 man roster. Actually, the cubs haven’t done anything yet!

    • Terry–

      Please detail the “foundation” and your support for same?

      • Marte, Cole, Polanco, Cervelli, Kang, Taillon, McCutchen. Pretty good core of players to build around. Seems like a good foundation for a team to me. Just because they’re having a bad season doesn’t mean all the players are garbage.

      • terrygordon30
        June 27, 2016 8:31 am

        I have not seen a group of Pirate prospects like this since the early 70s. I am making my own judgement here, and I am not terribly concerned with how many baseball experts agree with me. The NH administration is the first Pirate administration since Branch Rickey/Joe Brown who had a solid plan and stuck around long enough to watch things play out. Where I believe that NH needs improvement is the same as Branch Rickey and Joe Brown had weakness: trades.

    • *slow clap*
      great idea, lets further decimate the weakest part of our pitching staff (the bullpen) for the “future that never comes”…this team is a glasnow elbow away from losing 90 games in 2017…mebbe those three years is all we are getting and we are back to our next 1993