The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Pedro Vasquez to the Altoona Curve on Friday. He will start the second game of a doubleheader tonight.

Vasquez pitched for Bradenton last year after coming over to the Pirates in the August 2016 traded with the Seattle Mariners for Arquimedes Caminero. In 26 appearances (24 starts), he had a 3.73 ERA in 137.2 innings, with 107 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. His stats were much better going into the last few weeks of the season, with the poor finish possibly being explained by the fact that he was well over his previous season high for innings pitched.

Vasquez’s velocity should a little increase during the season, as he began to hit 94-95 MPH more often. He also improved his off-speed pitches, with his changeup being ahead of his curve at the end of last season. He has been in Extended Spring Training building up his pitch count after he was shut down in late March due to illness.

To make room on the roster, lefty reliever Sean Keselica has been assigned to Morgantown, which is just a paper move. If you assume that Vasquez joining the rotation means that someone like JT Brubaker or Brandon Waddell could be promoted to Indianapolis soon, then Keselica should be back with the team shortly.

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