Pirates Call Up Max Moroff, Chris Bostick and Option Phil Gosselin, Elias Diaz

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a series of moves to their bench this afternoon, calling up infielders Max Moroff and Chris Bostick. As corresponding moves, the team optioned infielder Phil Gosselin and catcher Elias Diaz to Indianapolis.

Diaz was only up as a third catcher with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart banged up. Neal Huntington had this to say on Sunday about how long the Pirates would keep an additional catcher.

“[Stewart and Cervelli are] just a little beat up right now,” Huntington said. “We wanted to get through this weekend and may look to readjust some things at some point this week. [Adam] Frazier and [David] Freese are coming back. — plus some guys optioned out who can’t come back for ten days — At some point, we’d like to re-balance the position player group.”

Meanwhile, Gosselin has struggled offensively this year, hitting for a .138/.167/.172 line in 30 plate appearances. That’s a far cry from his .277/.324/.368 line last year. He also wasn’t providing the same positive defensive value, and it was looking like it was time for the Pirates to make a switch.

Moroff has been on fire in Triple-A this year, hitting for a .258/.345/.546 line in 110 plate appearances. That includes eight home runs, which matches his season total from last year. He’s probably not going to hit for this type of power going forward, but he does have some pop in his bat — more than he’s shown in the past — and it could be reasonable to expect better production than his .119 ISO from last year.

Bostick has been hitting for a .320/.347/.495 line in 101 plate appearances in Indianapolis, with similar advanced metrics to what he put up in Double-A last season. The one key difference is that his walks have been down, although his strikeouts also took a drop and his power remained the same. He can play all over the infield, and can play outfield.

Moroff and Bostick will most likely only be up until Freese and Frazier return. The only way they could remain up is if one of them starts hitting like Jose Osuna has been doing, which might force the Pirates to make a decision on someone like Alen Hanson or John Jaso.

  • Last year was the “Bridge Year” I guess there was a cliff at the other end of the bridge. I don’t like to read books, but I’d pay good money to read Clint Hurdle’s diary. You cannot write better fiction than the reality of the Pirates season. I’m expecting Hurdle and Huntington to hold a joint news conference announcing they don’t want the Pirates to pick up their options.

  • I see these two guys as fungible like Gossling, Hanson, Jaso, etc. I mean they’re all just about the same overall. Jacks of all trades, experts at none, kindasorta hit maybe. Ngope maybe is the exception b/c his defense is so good at least he stands out.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    May 8, 2017 11:51 pm

    Good news…..Gosselin gone – hope to never return…

    Bad news….Stewart and Jaso are still on the Pirates 25 man roster – why, only NH can tell you….

    Remember when Diaz was one of baseball’s best prospects and arguably the best defensive catcher in the minors? Well, only in NH’s world, he’s not good enough to beat out Chris Stewart. The Pirates ought to due Diaz a favor and trade him – he deserves better and he deserves a real fair shot somewhere on a team that recognizes talent….

    • Diaz will be back again this year prior to September and in September, he will be up for good and will then take Stewart’s place for 2018. Why are you so concerned about the back up catcher position and it’s corresponding 24 games?

      • Rich, if that guy isn’t being negative, that means the sun didn’t rise today.

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          May 9, 2017 10:32 am

          Snowflake Randy

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          May 9, 2017 10:37 am

          Okay snowflake, tell me why Stewart is the better choice over Diaz and how Stewart better fits into the team’s short and long term plans?

          • Kris Mosley
            May 9, 2017 2:07 pm

            No one including probably NH thinks Stewart is better than Diaz, but it’s a matter of managing assets.
            Is it worth getting rid of Stewart, and leaving the organization with Stallings as the no.2 catcher if Cervelli or Diaz goes down?
            Is it more beneficial to Diaz to get 1,2 starts a week in Pittsburgh, instead of 5 a week in Indy?
            My answers are no and no, but of yours are yes, and yes then I understand your whining.
            If Cervelli goes on the DL for a significant amount of time then Diaz would be up getting the majority of starts.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        May 9, 2017 10:34 am

        September?? Sadly, you may be right….NH has driven the org into the ground… for Diaz sake, I hope he gets traded…

  • Would hate to see them “make a decision” on Hanson without ever really giving him an adequate opportunity. Much rather seem him or Gift at 3rd and Harrison at RF than a guy hitting .150 w/ no defensive value in the OF. I’m usually not one to bash Hurdle or the FO, but the stubbornness with which they’ve continued to use Jaso and not give Hanson an opportunity is extremely frustrating. I’m not saying Hanson will do any better- he may end up being a career bench guy due to inconsistency- I’m just saying that I really hope they give him an opportunity to prove himself before tough roster moves lead to a rash decision.

    EDIT: Just saw the lineup for tonight. Moroff starting over Gift or Hanson? Sure are putting a lot of stock in those AAA homers- hope they show up in the majors.

    • Finally Gosselin gone… please oh please can jaso be next..

    • Hasn’t Hanson had lots of opportunity to distinguish himself in AAA? He really hasn’t done much to distinguish himself. He’s just about the same as all of these guys. But I agree on a team going nowhere fast, why is Jaso taking starts from anyone? If we can trade Jaso, it’s not like we’re going to get a better return if he’s played. We’re getting next to nothing for him no matter what.

  • freddylang
    May 8, 2017 7:22 pm

    Moroff also had 10 errors. The way the Pirates have been, I hope that trend doesn’t continue.

  • Last two years Max Moroff has looked good at the plate
    in AAA. When he came up with the Pirates briefly last year,
    all of the sudden he looked like Gosselin. Hopefully,
    this time, he gets off to a better start.

  • Very happy to see Gosselin optioned. I don’t see much value in running out Gosselin and Jaso at this point. Give the at-bats to Hanson, Gnoepe, Frazier, Bell, Ozuna, and these kids.

  • keithdcarlson
    May 8, 2017 7:01 pm

    They need to jettison Jaso soon. He’s horrible.

  • Maybe Diaz will get to play when he’s in his early 30’s.

  • Normally I’d be happy about these moves, but the news of cancer for JT has soured my mood.

    Good luck Max and Chris!