The Pittsburgh Pirates have added catcher John Bormann to the Major League roster and optioned outfielder Danny Ortiz to Indianapolis. Ortiz made his Major League debut last night after ten years in the minors, playing the last three innings in right field without an at-bat.

Bormann getting added to the roster is an extreme case of being in the right place at the right time. Chris Stewart is catching today and Francisco Cervelli isn’t available for today’s game (no reason given as of yet), so the Pirates needed a catcher in a hurry. Bormann was with the Bradenton Marauders in Charlotte, so he was asked to make the drive over. Bormann is strong defensively, but in no way is he considered a prospect. He’s a 24-year-old in High-A and has a .136 average this season, while splitting the backup catching time with Kevin Krause, who is poor defensively behind the plate.

My guess is that Bormann has one day to enjoy the majors and if the Pirates need a catcher after today, someone like Jackson Williams could join the team if it’s short-term, or Elias Diaz if it’s longer.

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  1. Really cool to see him make his MLB debut today. Is it because he was suppose to be the starting catcher today for Bradenton, that they picked him over Kelley and Krause? Or is it a service time thing( meaning they don’t want to DFA someone like Kelley that has more potential to make the majors one day)?

  2. John, how about a story on this kind of thing some time? What’s the finiacial windfall of a day in the majors; benefits, meal money, a days pay, pension, future earnings etc.

    • I’m pretty sure service time is 172 days/season. So, with Bormann being called up today…if he is sent down tomorrow…I would think he’d earn 1/86th of the major league minimum salary. So…$6,220.

      One day on the roster gets you free health care for life. 43 days nets a $34,000 pension…but I don’t think that kicks in until age 62.

      Meal money is $30/day on the road.

      • If he is sent down tomorrow, he will get just one day on the roster and the season is 183 days long, so that’s how it’s split. When they figure out service time, you just need 172 days for a full year, which is why someone like Kris Bryant was kept down for 9-10 days in his rookie year. It meant all he could get is 171 days.

        His salary now becomes $86,500 pro-rated over the rest of the minor league season, or just as long as he is on the 40-man roster. If they DFA him tomorrow, then his total windfall is the healthcare and around $3,000. Then he will return to Bradenton and make $1,500 a month (if he’s dropped from the 40).

        He also got a Major League at-bat = priceless

        • If he’s sent down tomorrow, he only gets one day on the roster…even though he was on the active roster on both 4/30 and 5/1?

          Now for a total hypothetical…it was very nice to see him get a PA. However, let’s say he takes a pitch off the hand. He goes on the DL, but still accrues service time? If he’s out for 8 weeks, he earns (roughly) a quarter of the ML minimum and gets enough time in to be vested in the pension, correct?

          • Yes, if he got hurt, then he goes on the MLB DL and gets service time and everything that goes along with it. One day service time is correct. That’s why you never seen demotions immediately after games to save money, they are always made the next day. With all the times they switch players, you’d be talking about a lot of money thrown away over the years by waiting until the next day to send them down if it meant they got two days. Basically, you get a day of service time for days you’re eligible to play (or on the DL).

  3. Time to option Hudson to Indy, although I am sure he doesn’t have any options. But, its time to stop putting him in high leverage situations and get him out of the 8th inning spot. He turned a close, winnable game into a blowout today. If this team actually wants to win THIS YEAR, they need to bring Santana up and give him a shot at that role.

    • I was thinking the same thing earlier. Not sure if it is an option, or what it is called, but if he is sent down, he is likely to clear waivers. He is owed the better part of $7 million over the next 2 years, so any team that claimed him would be on the hook for the remainder. Santana and Neverauskas should both be up.

    • I was at the game Saturday night and Cerveli was hurting a lot. He is one tough dude. He was clearly in pain but I think he did not want to let Nova down. Speaking of Nova, his demeanor during the game was all business. More like Taillion than Cole. Very little emotion but just exuded confidence. Amazing performance.

    • That, plus a nice paycheck bonus and a great story for the grandkids. I expect him to be DFA’d tomorrow if Cervelli can’t go, but if he isn’t, Bormann will receive a pro-rated $86,500 salary, as opposed to $1,500 a month.

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