Pirates trade Jordan Lyles to Brewers for Double-A relief pitcher
The Pittsburgh Pirates began the business of reshaping their starting rotation Monday when they traded Jordan Lyles, who was scheduled to start Monday night in Cincinnati, to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher Cody Ponce.
The 25-year-old Ponce, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound right-hander, had been a starter until becoming exclusively a reliever this season.
He was the Brewers’ second-round draft choice in 2015, and he spent this season and 2018 in Double-A Biloxi.
He was 7-6 last year, compiling a 4.36 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 11 starts in his 29 appearances. This season, he has appeared in 27 games out of the bullpen, with a 1-3 record, 3.29 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He’s struck out 44 in 381⁄3 innings.
Lyles does not have a contract for next season and is returning to the Brewers, who claimed him off waivers from the San Diego Padres last year. He signed with the Pirates in the offseason.
He was on the injured list twice this season (side discomfort and hamstring tightness) but has made 17 starts. Lyles, 29, was the Pirates’ most effective starter through the first 1½ months of the season, with a 4-1 record and 1.97 ERA through May 17. But he has struggled recently and leaves the team with a 5-7 record, 5.36 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.
In his last start as a Pirate on Wednesday at PNC Park, he allowed eight of 13 batters to reach base (seven hits and a walk), surrendered eight runs (five earned) and lasted just 12⁄3 innings of a 14-8 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Rookie Alex McRae made his first career start Monday night against the Reds in Lyles’ place. McRae entered Monday with a 7.71 ERA in 14 innings with the Pirates this season, allowing 16 hits and four walks.
Pitcher Montana DuRapau was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for his fourth stint with the Pirates. He is 2-1 with eight saves in eight opportunities and a 2.21 ERA for Indianapolis. He has not allowed a run in his past five games while striking out 16 in 72⁄3 innings.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .