The Pittsburgh Pirates made some changes prior to Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, including the returns of left fielder Corey Dickerson and third baseman Jung Ho Kang. Nick Kingham has been designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Dickerson. The Pirates also brought back right-handed reliever Michael Feliz. Cole Tucker has been optioned to Indianapolis, while Rookie Davis has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right middle finger blister.
As mentioned yesterday, Dickerson and Kang were expected back today. Kang has been out since May 13th with a left side strain. In a rehab assignment with Indianapolis, he hit .444/.516/.667 in eight games, while playing shortstop and third base. Dickerson has been out since April 4th with a right shoulder strain. He was rehabbing at Indianapolis, where he hit .182/.237/.212 in nine games.
Feliz was up with the Pirates for four weeks earlier this season and posted an 8.25 ERA in 12.1 innings over 12 appearances. He had 16 strikeouts, but also walked nine batters. Since being sent down to Indianapolis, he allowed one run over six innings, with one walk and ten strikeouts. He made three appearances, each of them going two innings.
Tucker hit .196/.244/.321 in 38 games with the Pirates, but over his last seven games, he had a 1.061 OPS. He will go down to Indianapolis to get regular at-bats and then we will either see him in early September, or sooner if the trade deadline opens up a spot.
Kingham has not pitched well, so this move shouldn’t come as a surprise. The timing might actually be a good thing because they are designating him for assignment after a string of very poor performances (27 runs in his last 18 innings). Assuming he clears waivers, that will allow him to get work in with Indianapolis to try to regain his form from early last year. He has a 9.87 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP in 34.2 innings this season.
Davis just started last night, so he wouldn’t have been available for five days. You would assume he’s going back to the bullpen when he returns, and a blister shouldn’t keep him out for longer than ten days. The move of Feliz brings in a fresh arm to replace two players who wouldn’t have been available for at least the next few days. This also returns the pitching staff to 12 players.
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.