The Pittsburgh Pirates made a bunch of roster moves on this Memorial Day Monday. Jose Tabata, the Pirates’ fourth outfielder, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, retroactive to May 25. Backup utility infielder Josh Harrison was recalled to replace Tabata on the roster.
In a somewhat surprising move, the Pirates have also promoted lefty Mike Zagurski and optioned Bryan Morris to Triple-A Indianapolis. Morris hadn’t been all that bad at the MLB level in 2013, but Zagurski has been dominant while in the minor leagues. In 21 innings with Indianapolis, Zagurski had a 37:9 K/BB ratio and a 2.14 ERA. To make room for Zagurksi on the 40-man roster, the Pirates had to place Jeff Karstens on the 60-day disabled list. A major reason for Zagurski’s promotion was that the lefty had an out clause in his contract. If Zagurski wasn’t added to the MLB team by June 1, he would have been able to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
With the addition of Harrison to replace Tabata, the Pirates now only have three true outfielders in Travis Snider, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte. Garrett Jones gets time in right field on occasion, but he is mainly a first baseman. Brandon Inge and Harrison can also play a little in the corner outfield spots so it shouldn’t be a major problem. I think promoting someone like Jerry Sands would have been a better move than promoting Harrison, but I can understand why the Pirates decided to go with a more versatile player than Sands.