CINCINNATI -- The Pirates placed A.J. Burnett on the 15-day disabled list today because of inflammation in his right elbow.
Burnett has struggled in three starts since the All-Star break, allowing 18 earned runs and 32 hits in 16 innings. Last night he allowed eight runs, seven earned, and 10 hits in 41/3 innings, the third consecutive start he allowed double-digit hits.
The acquisition of J.A. Happ, who like Burnett pitched Thursday, makes even more sense in the context of Burnett’s injury, though it is unclear whether or not the Pirates were in on Happ prior to learning they would need to put Burnett on the DL.
Lefty Bobby LaFromboise was recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis to take Burnett’s place on the roster.
Also the Pirates designated righty Deolis Guerra for assignment to make room for Joakim Soria. Guerra allowed runs in each of his past three outings, and in five of his past six.
LHP Jeff Locke (Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)
Game: Pirates (59-42) at Reds (46-54)
Time: 7:10 p.m.
Site: Great American Ball Park
TV, radio: ROOT Sports, KDKA-FM 93.7
Weather: 81 and sunny
1. Gregory Polanco RF
2. Starling Marte LF
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Jung Ho Kang SS
6. Neil Walker 2B
7. Pedro Alvarez 1B
8. Francisco Cervelli C
9. Jeff Locke LHP
1. Brandon Phillips 2B
2. Jason Bourgeois LF
3. Joey Votto 1B
4. Todd Frazier 3B
5. Marlon Byrd RF
6. Bryan Pena C
7. Ivan De Jesus SS
8. Michael Lorenzen RHP
9. Billy Hamilton CF
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Reliever Joakim Soria strolled into the Pirates clubhouse at 3:52 p.m. Friday, just minutes before the trade deadline passed, and met with media shortly thereafter to discuss his move from the Tigers to the Pirates. Here’s the audio ...
CINCINNATI -- The Pirates made two deals that came out right after today’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline, bringing their total major league acquisition to five.
They announced a trade that brings lefty J.A. Happ to Pittsburgh from the Mariners in exchange for Class AAA Indianapolis right-hander Adrian Sampson. According to a source familiar with the trade, they also got first baseman Michael Morse from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Jose Tabata. CBS Sports first reported the Morse trade.
These moves are obviously intended to address two needs, one that has existed all season and one that cropped up recently: The rotation and first base, or at least a right-handed complement to Pedro Alvarez. A.J. Burnett has struggled in his past three starts, Charlie Morton in his past seven. Alvarez has hit better recently, but still has a .307 on-base percentage and is worth exactly 0.0 Wins Above Replacement, according to Fangraphs’ version of the stat (minus-0.4 according to Baseball Reference).
But neither Happ nor Morse are having great seasons. Happ has a 4.64 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP in 1082/3 innings and Morse is hitting .213/.276/.313 with four home runs and a 63 OPS+ (league average is 100).
CINCINNATI -- We have one hour remaining until the trade deadline. Here’s what’s been going on today:
***The Giants acquired righty Mike Leake from the Reds, meaning the Pirates won’t face him Sunday.
***I’m not a fan of the cliche “Our long national nightmare is over,” but that nicely describes the Phillies’ trade of Cole Hamels to the Rangers. Hamels hopes to pitch meaningful games for the Rangers.
***Elsewhere in the division: The Cardinals, who already added Steve Cishek, traded for Jonathan Broxton to strengthen their bullpen. This might be a net gain for the Pirates, against whom Broxton has a 6.00 ERA in 39 innings, including seven homers and 17 walks. That is Broxton’s highest ERA against an NL club. ... The Cubs traded for Marlins starter Dan Haren. ... The Brewers continued to sell, getting rid of Gerardo Parra in addition to Broxton.
***The Orioles designated Bud Norris for assignment, but he has a 7.06 ERA, he’s been pitching in relief since the beginning of July and is making $8.8 million this season.
***From late last night: The Pirates sent outfielder Gorkys Hernandez outright to Class AAA Indianapolis, where he had been rehabbing. They placed him on waivers earlier this week and he cleared. He was on the DL, but according to the Indianapolis roster he is active.
What type of shape is the Pirates’ pitching in?
- The rotation, which for most of the season has been the second-best unit in the NL, has dropped to third, with a 3.35 ERA, behind the Cardinals and Dodgers. In the past 30 days, though, their 3.88 ERA is 12th in the NL.
- A.J. Burnett’s past three starts: 16 innings, 32 hits, 18 earned runs.
- Charlie Morton’s past seven starts: 37 innings, 45 hits, 30 earned runs, 16 walks, 7.30 ERA, 302/.392/.544 opposing batters’ line. That’s a .935 OPS.
- Options at Class AAA Indianapolis: RHPs Wilfredo Boscan, Adrian Sampson, Radhames Liz, Chris Volstad.
- The Pirates’ bullpen in the past 30 days has a 4.68 ERA, 13th in the NL. Their 2.88 ERA for the season is still second in the NL.