The Pittsburgh Pirates have sent right-handed pitcher JT Brubaker to Morgantown on a rehab assignment. He will also be joined in Morgantown by Major League veteran reliever Brandon Maurer.
Brubaker has been out since April 24th with elbow irritation. He threw 35 pitches in a simulated game last week, so he should be up to three innings when he makes his next start, which could be tonight. Rehab assignments almost always line up with the first day players are available. Maurer has been out just as long, suffering from a knee injury that was originally bothering him during Spring Training.
The Pirates have also made a swap of left-handed relievers in the minors, promoting Blake Weiman from Altoona to Indianapolis, while Brandon Waddell has been sent from Indianapolis to Altoona.
Weiman is rated as the top left-handed reliever in the farm system and he’s looked the part since returning from a Spring Training injury that caused him to miss the first 2 1/2 weeks of the season. In 19.1 innings over 16 appearances, he has a 1.86 ERA, an 0.78 WHIP, a .164 BAA and 24 strikeouts. The 23-year-old was an eighth round pick in 2017.
Waddell has been struggling while adapting to a relief role. He has an 8.70 ERA in 30 innings, with a 2.10 WHIP, a .297 BAA and a 37:25 SO/BB ratio. He’s actually shown better velocity in relief, hitting 95 MPH, but he is well off the 3.59 ERA and 1.37 WHIP he had in 135.1 innings last year, which were mainly put up in a starting role.
UPDATE: Brubaker is starting for Morgantown tonight, while Waddell is starting for Altoona.