One day after the Cincinnati Reds claimed right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla from the Pittsburgh Pirates, they claimed a second Pirate, right-handed pitcher Nefi Ogando. The Pirates designated Ogando for assignment last Friday when they picked up infielder Phil Gosselin in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Pirates claimed Ogando from the Miami Marlins just before Christmas. That time they designated Jason Rogers for assignment and they were able to get him through waivers. The Pirates didn’t have the same waiver luck this time, losing Ogando and Bonilla, while picking up pitcher Pat Light from the Minnesota Twins and Gosselin. The Pirates also sent minor league prospect Frank Duncan to the Diamondbacks in that trade, so they ended up one player and two pitchers short due to these moves.
Ogando had some success last year with the Marlins in limited time, plus he has excellent stuff when his command is on. He sits 95 MPH, topping out at 98, while mixing it with a slider that can be a strikeout pitch at times. He probably wouldn’t have made the Opening Day roster, though he had an option remaining. The Pirates still have a lot of pitching depth in the bullpen, so while Ogando may have helped them this year, they have plenty of other pitchers who can fill that depth spot as well.