The Pittsburgh Pirates announced five transactions on Friday night, including right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams going on the 10-day injured list with a right side strain. They have replaced him on the 25-man roster with right-handed pitcher Clay Holmes, who was just sent down two days ago, but allowed to come back earlier than ten days due to the injury.
In somewhat surprising moves, reliever Richard Rodriguez was optioned to Indianapolis and the Pirates designated catcher Jacob Stallings for assignment. Not only has Stallings already cleared waivers, he is in the Indianapolis lineup tonight catching Eduardo Vera. To take the place of Rodriguez on the 25-man roster, they Pirates have added right-handed pitcher Geoff Hartlieb (pictured above) to the 40-man roster and called him up. He takes the place of Stallings on the 40-man roster.
Williams was injured during last night’s game. There hasn’t been any update on his status, but he’s going to miss at least one start. Neither Holmes nor Hartlieb would be a potential starter option in his place, so we could see more moves in the near future as the Pirates try to work around all of these injuries.
Stallings was on a 20-day rehab assignment, which ended yesterday. The Pirates took two chances by placing him on waivers. One is that another team could have picked him up, while the other chance was that he had a right to refuse this assignment, since he has already been DFA’d twice before. The Pirates now have just two catchers on the 40-man roster, though Stallings would still be the third string catcher at this point.
Rodriguez has struggled badly this year, especially allowing home runs. That comes after he was one of the best relievers last year. He has a 5.49 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 22 appearances this season. Hartlieb is a hard-thrower, standing 6’6″ and reaching 100 MPH in the past, while sitting 97-99 at times. He has also been erratic this season with 11 walks in 19 innings. He has a 3.32 ERA, a 2.05 GO/AO ratio and a .225 BAA, with 23 strikeouts in Indianapolis. He ranked 45th in the system in our latest Prospect Guide. Besides the fastball, the 25-year-old Hartlieb has a slider that is an effective out pitch.
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.