Prior to Saturday’s game, the Pittsburgh Pirates added three pitchers to their staff, calling up right-handers Dario Agrazal, Luis Escobar and Montana DuRapau. Trevor Williams was scheduled to start Saturday’s game, but he has been placed on paternity leave. He will be replaced by Agrazal. Steven Brault was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder strain and Dovydas Neverauskas was optioned to Indianapolis.
The 24-year-old Agrazal will be making his third start for the Pirates. He debuted in Miami with two earned runs over four innings on June 15th. That was followed 11 days later by six strong innings in Houston, where he allowed just one run. His last two minor league appearances did not go well, with nine earned runs over 5.2 innings.
Escobar will make his pro debut if he gets into a game this weekend. He has a 2.72 ERA in 36.1 innings with Indianapolis, recording 42 strikeouts, while holding batters to a .212 BAA. We will have much more on him shortly.
Neverauskas and DuRapau are just switching spots on the roster because one is available today and the other isn’t after pitching last night. They have both pitched great in Indianapolis (both received All-Star spots), and they have struggled in the majors.
Brault was injured last night during his start, leaving early with left shoulder discomfort. This trip to the injured list isn’t any indication of the severity. His spot in the rotation won’t come up for ten days due to the All-Star break, so it’s possible that he doesn’t even miss a start and remains on schedule. Of course it could be something worse, but he wasn’t going to pitch in the next ten days anyway, so this just gives the Pirates a bullpen arm in his place for now.
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.