The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted right-handed pitcher Luis Escobar to the Altoona Curve on Monday. Lefty reliever Jake Brentz came off the disabled list to fill Escobar’s spot in Bradenton.

Escobar is one of the top pitching prospects in the system, but his promotion now is a little surprising. He was added to the 40-man roster this off-season, so in that sense, this promotion makes sense. He’s already used an option and he was still in High-A. James Marvel has been the best pitcher on the Bradenton staff, plus he had experience last year with the Marauders, so he would be the more deserving candidate at this point.

The 22-year-old Escobar has a 3.98 ERA in 92.2 innings this season. He has 85 strikeouts, a 1.23 WHIP and a .224 BAA. He has a 2.37 ERA in three July starts and his strikeout rate has increased recently. Escobar throws mid-90s, with a curve that looks plus at times and an effective changeup. When all three of his pitches are on, he’s very tough to hit. He gets wild at times, especially in big spots, which is what is really holding him back at this point.

Evan Piechota takes his place in the Bradenton rotation for now. Alfredo Reyes has been promoted to Indianapolis, which could be short-lived, as they are short some position players, but expect Austin Meadows and Christopher Bostick soon. Pedro Vasquez, who left yesterday’s start early, was placed on the DL with a right forearm strain.

UPDATE: Eric Wood was placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain.

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