The Pittsburgh Pirates made some roster moves ahead of Tuesday’s game. We heard about these moves earlier, but they are all now official. Right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz has been added from the taxi squad, which he joined yesterday. Outfielder Josh Palacios has been added from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Ortiz was named as the starter for tonight’s game against the Colorado Rockies. He’s taking the place of right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez in the starting rotation.
It’s unknown at this time if Ortiz will stick around after this game. Velasquez is supposed to be out for a short time according to General Manager Ben Cherington over the weekend. The Pirates have off on Thursday this week, followed by a day off on Monday next week, as well as an off-day next Thursday. So they won’t need a fifth starter again for quite some time.
That doesn’t mean that they won’t keep Ortiz and give the rotation a longer rest between starts, but it’s possible for them to add to the to bullpen until Velasquez comes back (assuming no setbacks obviously) and not use a fifth starter.
Ortiz has looked good in his last two outings, including a limited pitch start on Friday that allowed him to start today. His first three outings this season included a lot of strikeouts and high pitch counts that limited his innings. His next two starts were both efficient outings, though he combined for just three strikeouts over two games, which never happened previously in back-to-back starts during his career. He combined the ability to miss bats with the efficient pitch count in his last two games for ideal results.
Ortiz overall has a 2.23 ERA in 32.1 innings, with 11 walks, 29 strikeouts and an 0.96 WHIP.
The Pirates sent down right-handed pitcher Cody Bolton to make room for Ortiz. He made three appearances since joining the team for his big league debut, allowing three runs over six innings, on seven hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
Palacios is a bit of a surprise addition. He is doing quite well recently for Indianapolis, but he’s also just over two weeks removed from playing part-time with Altoona to start the season. The Pirates are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle from someone while they are on a hot streak. They need help with an offense that has scored 11 runs in the last eight games.
The 27-year-old Palacios is a .207/.267/.232 hitter over 42 big league games, seeing time with the 2021 Washington National and 2022 Toronto Blue Jays. He is hitting .434/.500/.774 in 13 games with Indianapolis, after putting up a .648 OPS in eight games with Altoona.
To make room on the active roster and the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong has been designated for assignment. He has a 10.61 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP in five appearances this year, while also missing some time due to a minor injury, which allowed them to send him on a rehab assignment.
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.
Just recently, we have started to look like the previous 3 editions of the Cherrington/Shelton management team, where cheap AAAA off-season signings are getting more play.
Owings is up as SS – he’s in his age 32 season and has played about 25 games at SS in the past 4 years – most in the minors. Palacios has been hitting in the minors, but is primarily a corner OF and is in his age 28 season. Mathias is in his age 29 season and is not any improvement over our young MI/Util prospects which now includes Castro, Bae, and Marcano.
BTW, was Castro injured after celebrating the 2-0 win? Hit a game winning HR, end the game on an excellent defensive play at 2B, and then assigned bench duty for the next game? Go figure!
I wonder if Keller just earned himself extension talks last night?
Let’s not get too carried away – 8 Starts, 49.2 IP, 10.15/2.54 K/BB/9, 2.72 ERA? Since 2020 his yearly FIP numbers are 6.75, 4.30, 3.88, and 3.02 so far this year. His 1.3 fWAR so far in 2023 is 12th among the 74 qualified SP’s in MLB.
He is making $2.4 mil in 2023, so any extension better carry a significant signing bonus. He becomes a FA after the 2025 season, and locking in the first 2 years of FA should be the goal, which would be his ages 30 and 31 years. A 4 year extension for $______ fill in the blank
5 year sounds pretty good to me. He could still reasonably expect to sign a multi-year deal at 33.
15 pitches, 12 strikes. No doubt Luis was in the dugout watching Mitch last night.
I’m not sure I totally like this. If Ortiz gets knocked around, quality pitchers will throw garbage innings. I’d end the Andujar era before sending Bolton down.
Okay. So what would you do? Throwing a bullpen game does the same thing.
Does keeping Andujar up and sending Bolton down put us over the limit of pitchers? I’m all for Ortiz being up. I don’t like being down a pitcher when this team has enough versatility to cover positions. If Palacios needs to come up, send down Andujar (or DFA him).
The opposite. There can be no more than 13 pitchers on a roster, but they can have fewer. By adding one and clearing two out, they’re at 14 hitters/12 pitchers. All kosher with MLB.
Whoops–I meant the opposite (sending down Andujar/keeping Bolton putting us over the limit). I just don’t like seeing players with limited skill sets hanging around at the expense of pitching arms.
Is Palacios a good fielder?
According to Clay Davenport and his stats, he should be fine in CF
Enough to play some CF.
Not really sure but thought I remembered hearing something about that he was in ST…..
Ok Ortiz, this is the game plan, 60% slider, 30% FB, 5% CB, 5% CH.
No!! I want 61% Slider,29% FB, 4%CB and 6% CH– Luis 🙂
That’s a crazy amount of sliders, you are nuts!
Yes….yes I am ……
Well, I am nuts!!
I’m happy they DFA de Jong. I know he had good numbers last year, but his stuff is not good enough to keep it up. He was an easy to root for, but I had a bad feeling every time he pitched.
I think they will put Oviedo on a quick DL trip to give him a break and let Ortiz have a few starts.