Pirates Prospects has learned that right-handed pitcher Eduardo Vera has been promoted to the Altoona Curve and relief pitcher Blake Weiman has been promoted to Bradenton from West Virginia.
Vera has been pitching for Bradenton this season, where he has a 2.95 ERA in 58 innings, with a 30:10 SO/BB ratio, a 1.00 WHIP and a .230 BAA. He established himself as a prospect last year when he showed mid-90s velocity, to go along with excellent control over three pitches.
Vera missed a lot of time due to needing Tommy John surgery at the end of Spring Training in 2015. That caused him to miss the entire season, plus more than half of 2016. He was able to return with the added velocity, up from 88-90 MPH range before the injury.
After putting up a strong 2017 season and excelling at the beginning of 2018, Vera now has a chance to pitch three months of Double-A ball. That’s important because he is a free agent at the end of this season and the Pirates will need to decide whether to add him to the 40-man roster to retain his rights.
To fill the roster spot in Bradenton, relief pitcher Blake Weiman moves up from West Virginia. He has dominated at Low-A, which was a low placement for the 2017 eighth round pick out of Kansas. He had a 1.29 ERA in 28 innings, with 35 strikeouts and an 0.82 WHIP. The southpaw Weiman has dominated lefties, holding them to a .167 average with 17 strikeouts in 42 at-bats.
Right-handed reliever Joel Cesar has been activated from the disabled list and will take Weiman’s roster spot in West Virginia.