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Hughes recalled from Triple-A by Pirates, Gomez to 15-day DL

Rob Biertempfel
| Monday, June 3, 2013, 3:15 p.m.
Pirates reliever Jared Hughes pitches against the Cubs Thursday, April 4, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates reliever Jared Hughes pitches against the Cubs Thursday, April 4, 2013, at PNC Park.

To ease the stress on their overworked bullpen, the Pirates on Monday called up right-handed relievers Jared Hughes and Ryan Reid from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of right forearm inflammation/strain, and outfielder Alex Presley was optioned to Indy.

Gomez pitched one inning Sunday before leaving the game because of arm pain. The bullpen pieced together 10 scoreless innings in the Pirates' 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Reid, pitcher Phil Irwin was placed on the 60-day DL because of inflammation of the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. General manager Neal Huntington said Irwin might be out more than 60 days.

“As a result of the number of injuries and the current need for pitching at the major league level, we took the unusual step of transitioning a player from the minor-league DL to the major league 60-day DL,” Huntington said via email.

Manager Clint Hurdle said doctors found no ligament damage in Gomez's elbow. Gomez will rest for three or four days then will begin working toward a minor-league rehab assignment.

Morton not quite ready

With an off day Thursday, the Pirates do not necessarily need to immediately fill Gomez's spot in the starting rotation. A.J. Burnett, who pitched Monday, could start again Saturday on the normal five days' rest.

“He prefers that,” Hurdle said. “There's also been times when he's been open to the extra day (off). So, we'll have a conversation with him (Tuesday). Everything's hypothetical right now.”

In turn, the Pirates can afford to have right-hander Charlie Morton (elbow surgery) make at least one more rehab start before rejoining the team.

Morton pitched 4 23 innings for Indy on Sunday and gave up two runs, three hits and four walks. He struck out four. Morton threw 86 pitches, and his fastball sat around 93 mph.

“It was definitely a step forward as far as focus and command,” Hurdle said. “We want to bring people back who are game-ready, who are going to give us meaningful innings. I think there's room for improvement, and we would like to push the pitch count toward 100.”

Reid on a roll

Reid was impressive at Indy, going 6-1 with one save and a 0.52 ERA. His ERA against right-handed batters was 0.00. From April 10 to May 21, he tossed 24 23 consecutive scoreless innings, during which he allowed 14 hits and five walks and struck out 24.

“Aw, I don't know about streaks,” Reid said. “I do my best not to look at them. Whenever you think about putting a streak together, it never happens.”

Reid turned down a couple of other teams to sign with the Pirates as a minor league free agent in November.

“The Pirates were honest, which was a big thing for me,” Reid said. “Getting that opportunity to pitch in big-league (spring training) camp helped.”

Reid pitched in 292 minor league games before finally getting a call-up to the majors.

“I'm pumped I'm here,” Reid said. “I called my dad right away. His birthday is today, so this was perfect timing.”

GPS for McCutchen?

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen was not in the starting lineup Monday because, as Hurdle put it, “He's been running around a lot.”

Hurdle meant that literally. The Pirates' stat wonks are able to track how much running McCutchen does in the outfield and on the basepaths. Hurdle half-jokingly talked about it in hushed tones.

“We have a way of measuring the distance our players cover on the ground,” Hurdle said. “It's pretty cool, and it's pretty accurate. And we found out that his activity has spiked from where it was last year.”

The envelope, please ...

Jason Grilli was named MLB Delivery Man of the Month for May, the second consecutive month he's been named the top reliever. In 15 outings last month, he converted all 12 save chances and posted a 1.32 ERA. ... Bradenton left-hander Eliecer Navarro was named High-A Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. Navarro tossed seven scoreless innings Friday in a 3-0 victory over Jupiter. He racked up a personal-best seven strikeouts and matched his career high for innings pitched in the game.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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