With closer Jason Grilli being out four to eight weeks, the Pittsburgh Pirates are rumored to be interested in some bullpen help. The Pirates should at least entertain the idea of bringing Jose Veras back to Pittsburgh.
He is currently closing games for the Houston Astros, and while he won’t need to be the closer for the Pirates, he could easily slide in as the setup man until Grilli returns. In 43 innings this season, Veras has a 2.93 ERA with a 9.21 K/9. Veras, as Pirates fans know, can be absolutely filthy sometimes. However, he has a reputation and history of being wild. This season, his control appears to be much better. Veras has a 2.93 BB/9 in 2013, much better than his career 4.68 BB/9.
Veras played for the Pirates in 2011 before being traded during the following offseason to the Milwaukee Brewers for Casey McGehee. Veras posted a 3.80 ERA with 10.01 K/9 in 71 innings that season.
If the Pirates would acquire Veras, he wouldn’t even be one of the better pitchers in the bullpen. It would be a move just to provide more veteran presence and depth to MLB‘s best bullpen. I trust a guy like Veras to pitch the eighth inning more than I trust younger guys like Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson. I would prefer to have Wilson pitch the seventh inning.
I haven’t seen any legitimate rumors about the Pirates being interested in Veras, but I think it seems inevitable that the Pirates will call or have made a call to the Astros about acquiring the veteran pitcher.