The Pittsburgh Pirates have called up shortstop prospect Kevin Newman and outfielder Jordan Luplow prior to Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. To make room on the active roster, Jacob Stallings has been optioned to Indianapolis and Jordy Mercer was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left calf strain. The Pirates have also designated Casey Sadler for assignment.
Newman is up in the majors for the first time now. The 2015 1st round pick was hitting .302/.350/.407 in 109 games with Indianapolis. He had 28 steals in 39 attempts. Newman was playing some second base early this season, but he hasn’t been there in a game since June 27th. He has a .982 fielding percentage and six errors in 83 games at shortstop this year.
Mercer had his trip to the disabled list made retroactive one day and it appears that he won’t miss more time than the minimum nine days. It’s possible that Newman is up for good now if Mercer doesn’t return right away (meaning they could hold off to September 1st), but we will see how that works out down the line.
Jordan Luplow wasn’t even added back to the active Indianapolis roster yet after being sent down a few days ago, but he was eligible to come back because Mercer went on the DL. With Francisco Cervelli able to catch again, the Pirates didn’t need Jacob Stallings around any longer, so that opened a spot for Luplow to return, though technically Newman replaces Stallings in these transactions.
Sadler made two appearances with the Pirates this year after not pitching in the majors since 2015. He gave up four earned runs over 4.1 innings. He will have the option to become a free agent if he clears waivers, though he would likely finish the season off with Indianapolis and just become a minor league free agent at the end of the season.
We will have more on Newman coming up a little later. For those wondering, I confirmed that Cole Tucker is still with Altoona.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.