Jose Contreras has not pitched since last season after he underwent Tommy John Surgery in June. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Contreras to a Minor League contract in late February, and are now willing to give the reliever a chance in the big leagues once again.
The 41-year-old went 1-0 with a 5.27 earned run average, 15 strikeouts and four holds in 17 appearances with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012. Overall, he has pitched well as a relief pitcher since making the transition to the bullpen a couple years ago.
Contreras posted a 0-1 record with a 3.86 ERA, eight strikeouts and one walk in seven innings with three different Minor League affiliates this season, including Triple-A. It looks as if Contreras is ready to pitch in the big leagues again as the veteran should be a welcomed sight to an already impressive bullpen.
The right-hander has compiled a 79-67 record with a 4.55 ERA, 884 strikeouts and 23 holds in 292 games (175 starts) in his long career.
The Pirates have called up Contreras in hopes that he will perform better on the mound than reliever Jared Hughes has so far this year. Hughes has struggled mightily through the first month of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. He posted a 1-2 record with a 4.61 ERA, 13 strikeouts and three holds in 13 2/3 innings.
Pittsburgh sent Hughes down to Triple-A in order for him to work on his mechanics. The hope is that he will pitch well enough in the minors so that he can be called back up to the big leagues in the near future.