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Pirates Promote A Million Players In September Callups

The Pirates have promoted eight players now that Indianapolis' season is over: catcher Jason Jaramillo, shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, outfielders Alex Presley and Brandon Moss, and pitchers Brad Lincoln, Justin Thomas, Brian Bass and Steven Jackson. To clear space for Presley, Moss, Bass and Jackson on the roster, the Bucs also placed Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Clement on the 60-day disabled list and designated Akinori Iwamura and Erik Kratz for assignment. 

On the surface, there's a lot going on here, but these moves amount to much ado about very little. The promotions of all the pitchers are fine; while Bass and Jackson, in particular, aren't exactly stud prospects, the Bucs' pitching staff was a little short and not particularly deep, so they can use these guys to soak up innings. Lincoln pitched badly in Pittsburgh this year and has allowed a bunch of runs in Class AAA since being demoted, but he's also a former first-round draft pick who was already on the 40-man so calling him seems pretty routine. (And anyway, the 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio he's posted since his demotion suggests that at least some of the beating he's taken down there recently has probably just been incidental.) Thomas this year at least showed very convincingly that he can get Class AAA hitters out, so I don't have a problem with giving him a few more opportunities this year, even if his stuff isn't spectacular.

As for the hitters: a bunch of people have been talking up Moss' season at Indianapolis, but an .800 OPS from a 26-year-old doesn't impress me much, particularly since he had higher OPSes for Class AAA Pawtucket in both 2007 and 2008. He's interesting enough to not completely give up on, but that's about it. Presley's OPS wasn't much better, but he's two years younger and hit very well for Altoona earlier this year; I'm kind of excited to see him play, but mostly for novelty's sake. It now appears extremely likely that he'll be protected on the 40-man roster this offseason. Jaramillo you already know about, and Pedro Ciriaco can't hit at all and is likely to be as much of a non-factor as Argenis Diaz has been.

It's a shame to see Kratz go - I'm not sure he won't be claimed on waivers, actually, given how well he hit this year in Class AAA.