Pittsburgh Pirates Promote Jose Contreras, Option Jared Hughes

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to promote reliever Jose Contreras to the 25-man roster, and optioned fellow reliever Jared Hughes to Triple-A Indianapolis in a corresponding move.

Contreras, 41, has appeared in 292 games throughout his 10-year career. He has been a full-time reliever since 2010 with the Philadelphia Phillies, being mainly a starting pitcher before that. Contreras is known as a guy with a nasty splitter/forkball-type pitch.

Injuries have been a big problem for Contreras in recent years, he hasn’t pitched more than 14 innings since 2010. In his three brief seasons with the Phillies, Contreras put up a decent 3.74 ERA in 84.1 innings with 85 strikeouts and 27 walks.

Hughes, the player optioned to Triple-A, had been a decent reliever in 2012, but has struggled in 2013. In 13.2 innings thus far, Hughes has a 4.61 ERA with nine walks. Hughes, a pitcher that is known for using his sinker to induce ground balls, has already surrendered two home runs in 2013 and is responsible for two losses.

The Pirates’ bullpen has been the strength of the team in 2013, and adding Contreras while optioning Hughes should only make the bullpen stronger. Contreras is also a fresh arm, which should help a bullpen that has been overworked this season, with more innings pitched than any other bullpen so far.

I’m somewhat surprised that Hughes was the guy chosen to be sent down, because Vin Mazzaro hasn’t been overly impressive either.

More news regarding the Pirates may be breaking at some point in the next few hours, as Dan Zangrilli of 93.7 the Fan (a Pittsburgh sports radio station) tweeted earlier that he is hearing the Pirates will call Jordy Mercer up to the majors today. Stay tuned for that.

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