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Pirates' Jung Ho Kang: Re-signs with former club
Kang inked a one-year, $3 million deal with Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Kang will return to the Pirates' organization after having his club option for the 2019 season declined in October. The club is hopeful that Kang can get back to being an everyday starter in the infield, though that seems a tad optimistic considering he hasn't played in more than a handful of games since the 2016 season. The third baseman dealt with a wrist injury for the final few months of this past campaign after missing the previous year-and-a-half due to legal issues in his native South Korea. Nevertheless, Kang will have a chance to win a starting job this spring, though a platoon role seems far more likely.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Ryan Lavarnway: Cast off 40-man roster
Lavarnway was outrighted from the Pirates' 40-man roster and will become a free agent, Jerry DiPaola of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Lavarnway elected to hit the free-agent market instead of remaining in the Pirates' system after appearing in just six big-league games in 2018. He spent a majority of the year with Triple-A Indianapolis, slashing .288/.375/.485 with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 77 games. The 31-year-old will look to latch on as catching depth with a new organization.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Patrick Kivlehan: Signs minor-league deal with Pirates
Kivlehan inked a minor-league contract with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reports.
Kivlehan will provide additional outfield depth after spending a majority of the 2018 campaign at the Triple-A level. The 28-year-old bounced around a few times this past year, beginning with Cincinnati then heading to the Mets in May, followed by a short stint with Arizona in September. He wound up playing in nine big-league games for the Diamondbacks, going 3-for-13 with two triples in his brief opportunity with the club. In his last -- and only -- full season in the majors, he slashed .208/.304/.399 in 115 games with the Reds in 2017.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Joe Musgrove: Undergoes abdominal procedure
Musgrove underwent surgery to repair his abdominal wall in order to help heal the stress reaction on the front of his pelvic bone, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Since a typical timetable for this surgery is around six weeks, Musgrove should be fully healed and ready to go prior to spring training. The right-hander suffered the stress fracture in mid-September after a start against the Royals and was promptly shut down for the last couple weeks of the season. Across 19 starts in 2018, he logged a 4.06 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 100 strikeouts in 115.1 innings.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Nik Turley: Outrighted to Triple-A
Turley (elbow) was shipped to Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday, John Dreker of PiratesProspects.com reports.
Turley was placed on the 60-day disabled list June 29 with a left elbow sprain, and he failed to pitch again in 2018 following the move. He'll report to Triple-A in a paper move for the time being but is expected to become a minor-league free agent during the offseason.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Edgar Santana: Undergoes Tommy John procedure
Santana (elbow) had Tommy John surgery with Dr. James Andrews on Thursday, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Santana will miss the entire 2019 season after suffering the elbow injury Sept. 21 during a game against Milwaukee. Looking ahead, he will aim for a full recovery by spring training in 2020.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Felipe Vazquez: Records 37th save in season finale
Vazquez recorded a pair of strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning to earn his 37th save of the season Sunday against the Reds.
Vazquez finished the game in dominant fashion, throwing eight of 11 pitches for strikes as he mowed down the side in order. After some struggles to begin the season, Vazquez rebounded to finish with a superb 2.70 ERA to go along with an 11.4 K/9.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Clay Holmes: Allows three runs in no-decision
Holmes allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and four walks across four innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Reds. He struck out three.
Holmes ran into a bit of trouble in the first inning, allowing a run on a hit, a walk and a throwing error before escaping the frame. He allowed a two-run home run in the second but was able to settle down over the rest of his outing. Holmes hadn't started since early August, so while this outing didn't go quite as planned, it could have been worse. He finishes the season with an unsightly 6.84 ERA to go along with a 2.01 WHIP and will look to make some adjustments before fighting for a spot during spring training.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Elias Diaz: Gets nod in finale
Diaz will catch and bat cleanup Sunday against the Reds.
He's 4-for-12 with one homer and four RBI in his last three starts. Diaz also has three hits (including one double) in nine career at-bats against Sunday starter Sal Romano. The catcher is slashing .286/.338/.456 with 10 homers and 34 RBI in 272 plate appearances.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Corey Dickerson: Rides pine Sunday
Dickerson is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.
Dickerson has a hit in each of his past four starts, but he'll head to the bench for a day off in the season finale. Barring a pinch-hit appearance, the outfielder will finish the season with 13 home runs, 55 RBI and an even .300 batting average, his best figure since 2015 with the Rockies. Pablo Reyes will slide over to left field to replace him, allowing Jose Osuna to log a start in right field to fill the void.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Francisco Cervelli: Remains out Sunday
Cervelli is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.
This marks the third game in a row Cervelli will watch from the bench, ultimately meaning he won't start a single game in the series with Cincinnati. Should he not get a pinch-hit appearance Sunday, Cervelli will finish the season with an .809 OPS thanks to career highs in home runs (12) and extra-base hits (30). Elias Diaz will replace him behind the dish Sunday.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Jordy Mercer: Stationed on bench Sunday
Mercer (forearm) is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.
The veteran shortstop exited Saturday's contest prematurely after being hit on the arm by a batted ball, and it seems like the Pirates will play things safe and keep him out of the final game of the season. Unless he manages to make a pinch-hit appearance, Mercer will end the season with a .696 OPS, six homers and 39 RBI, all of which are his lowest marks since 2015. Kevin Newman will take over at shortstop for the season finale.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Adam Frazier: Held out Sunday
Frazier (hamstring) is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.
Frazier was forced to exit Saturday's contest with right hamstring tightness, and with nothing to play for on the season's final day, the Pirates will keep him on the bench to rest his injury. Unless he enters the contest as a pinch hitter, the 26-year-old will end the season with a .277/.342/.456 slash line to go with 10 homers, 35 RBI and 52 runs scored. Kevin Kramer will replace him at second base Sunday.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Jameson Taillon: Finishes with loss despite quality start
Taillon (14-10) struck out seven but took the loss to the Reds on Saturday despite giving up three runs in six innings. He worked around seven hits and did not walk a batter.
The right-hander peppered the zone with 64 strikes in 89 pitches but allowed a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the third before a homer by Eugenio Suarez and an RBI single from opposing pitcher Michael Lorenzen in the fourth. All in all, Taillon was effective, but his offense failed to plate a run, which left him empty-handed in a quality start packed with strikeouts and sans a walk. He'll wrap up the 2018 season with a sparkling 3.20 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, and a solid 8.4 K/9 in 191 innings. Taillon already enters 2019 in top-25 territory among mixed-league starting pitchers, and given his impressive 10.5 percent swinging-strike rate from this year, he might reach another level in punchouts with more experience and a few tweaks to his approach.... See More ... See Less
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