Susac (undisclosed) was placed on the 7-day injured list by Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Susac hasn't seen game action for Indianapolis since June 3, and the reason for his placement on the shelf remains unclear.
The Pirates reassigned Susac to their minor-league camp Wednesday. After Pittsburgh demoted Susac and Joe Hudson on Wednesday, Jacob Stallings, Michael Perez and Tony Wolters are left to battle for the two available catcher jobs on the Pirates' Opening Day roster. Susac spent most of the 2020 campaign at Pittsburgh's alternate training site before receiving a call-up on the final day of the season.
The Pirates outrighted Susac off their 40-man roster Wednesday. The Pirates added Susac to the 28-man active roster ahead of last Sunday's season finale against the Indians, with the 30-year-old backstop drawing a start behind the dish and going 0-for-2 with two walks. Susac was likely just being rewarded for his quality work at the alternate training site all season, as the Pirates never viewed him as a major piece in their rebuild. His dismissal from the 40-man roster thus comes as no surprise, with Pittsburgh presumably preferring to reserve that spot for a younger player with more long-term upside.
The Pirates selected Susac's contract from their taxi squad ahead of Sunday's game against the Indians, Alex Stumpf of DKPittsburghSports.com reports. Manager Derek Shelton noted that the organization has been pleased with the work Susac has been putting in at the Pirates' alternate site this season, so the 30-year-old will be rewarded with a callup in advance of the finale. He'll start behind the plate, catching for JT Brubaker.
Susac, who went 4-for-13 with four walks in Grapefruit League action this spring, remains one of three catchers in the running to back up starter Jacob Stallings, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The Pirates brought both Susac and John Ryan Murphy to camp as non-roster invitees. The third catcher, Luke Maile, likely has an edge in the competition, given that he is not only strong defensively, but he is also already on the 40-man roster. In any event, Susac is looking to stay healthy after missing most of 2019 with a fractured wrist. His last big-league action came in 2018, when he appeared in nine games with the Orioles. Susac, who recently turned 30, has slashed .221/.283/.373 with seven homers in 300 career major-league plate appearances. The pathway is clear for him to at least see action at Triple-A Indianapolis in the event he fails to make the Opening Day roster.