The Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly calling up Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds today, according to Stephen Nesbitt of The Athletic.
Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds will join the Pirates today, sources tell The Athletic. Pittsburgh, say hello.
— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) April 20, 2019
The Pirates have seen a lot of injuries lately, and that only increased last night after a collision between Erik Gonzalez and Starling Marte put both players out of the game. These moves today suggest that those two could miss some time.
This is going to be an interesting situation with Tucker. He’s looked good in his brief time in Triple-A this year, hitting for a .333/.415/.579 line in 66 plate appearances, with three homers. His defense can produce positive value at shortstop, and based on the way Gonzalez has played so far, you could argue Tucker is the best defensive option.
Tucker is the shortstop of the future in Pittsburgh, with a higher upside than Gonzalez or Kevin Newman. If he comes up and hits well, there would be no reason to send him back down, especially with Gonzalez and Newman both struggling to hit.
As for Reynolds, I’m guessing he’s only going to be up for a short time, especially with the other outfielders returning soon. Gregory Polanco and Lonnie Chisenhall have been rehabbing in Triple-A, with Polanco having one more week until he needs to come up. Polanco hasn’t looked great in his rehab, and could use some extra time. If Marte is down, Reynolds might provide a better option in center field for the Pirates in the short-term.
That’s not to say that Reynolds hasn’t earned this call. He was hitting for a .367/.446/.735 line in 57 plate appearances with five homers. The Pirates will need to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Reynolds.
We rated Reynolds the number eight prospect in the system heading into the season, and Tucker was number three. Reynolds is the top outfield prospect behind Travis Swaggerty (though he does share the same tier as Jason Martin, who is ranked two spots lower, and also up). Tucker was the top middle infield prospect, and the second best position player behind Ke’Bryan Hayes. I’ll have more on Tucker and Reynolds later today.