Pirates notebook: Four players called up, including pitcher Glasnow
The home clubhouse at PNC Park became more crowded Tuesday as the Pirates added four players to their expanded September roster, including three young arms that figure to be part of the club's future plans.
The Pirates recalled right-handed pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Drew Hutchison and selected the contracts of right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams and utilityman Pedro Florimon from Triple-A Indianapolis. Because Williams and Florimon were not on the club's 40-man roster, the Pirates designated pitchers Curtis Partch and Kelvin Marte for assignment.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Glasnow, the club's top-rated prospect, Hutchison — acquired in the Francisco Liriano trade — and Williams, compensation for Jim Benedict's departure to the Miami Marlins, will be placed in the bullpen.
However, Hurdle indicated one or more of the arms could receive a look in the starting rotation down the stretch depending upon a number of factors, one likely being whether the club is in contention for a playoff berth.
“There may be an opportunity for one, for somebody, down the road here based on the regulation of (Jameson) Taillon's innings, or Chad Kuhl's innings, along those lines,” Hurdle said. “There's a doubleheader day coming up (in Cincinnati on Sept. 17). (Gerrit) Cole's anticipated next outing is the (Sept.) 12th. So there are some moving pieces.”
For now, they will be used as “length” options out of the bullpen, Hurdle said.
The Pirates are expected to field a largely homegrown starting rotation next season, so Glasnow, Williams and Hutchison could soon begin auditioning for jobs. Cole and Taillon project as the only two locks in the 2017 rotation.
Glasnow was up-and-down in his performance as he came back from a shoulder injury with Indianapolis but allowed just one run in his last 11 2⁄3 innings in Triple-A. In two starts at the major league level earlier this summer, Glasnow struggled to throw strikes and control the run game and rarely threw a changeup.
“I feel better now,” Glasnow said. “I feel good.”
Hutchison had a rough start at Indianapolis after coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays but threw six shutout innings in his last minor league start. Hutchison is aware of the many successful reclamation projects in Pittsburgh and spoke with one, J.A. Happ, this spring in Toronto.
“I'm excited for a fresh start,” Hutchison said. “I'm glad to be here.”
Williams, who was called up for the first time, has posted a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A over 110 innings this season.
Cervelli, Feliz updates
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli was not in Tuesday's lineup after leaving Monday's game with a left thumb injury. Neftali Feliz (right arm) was not available to pitch Tuesday, Hurdle said.
Hurdle said Cervelli's thumb issue was not related to surgery earlier this year to remove a hamate bone in his left hand. Cervelli went through pregame tests to assess his availability. Hurdle said it was possible Feliz returns to the mound during the homestand. Feliz (right arm) is dealing with a muscular injury, not a ligament injury, according to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.
Pirates reliever Jared Hughes was nominated as the Pirates' candidate for the Roberto Clemente Award. Hughes participates in a number of off-the-field charities, including work with the Pittsburgh Food Bank. Fans can vote for Hughes on social media, using the hashtag #VoteHughes, beginning Wednesday.
“It's special,” Hughes said. “Being drafted in 2006 by the Pirates, being here 10 years, just being taught the history of the organization.
“The fact that people look up to me because I play baseball allows me to have a stage where I can go out and help people that need help. Or even convince other people to help other people.”
Code of silence
To break the club's seven-game losing streak, has Hurdle deviated from his normal practices or held a closed-door team meeting?
“I would not tell you if we did,” Hurdle said. “There are two types of team meetings that are great in this game: ones you never hear about, and the other ones where you vote on (playoff) shares. Those are the best meetings.”