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Pirates Claim Jeremy Hefner, Brian Jeroloman

The Pirates have claimed pitcher Jeremy Hefner from the Padres and catcher Brian Jeroloman from the Jays, the Bucs themselves report. Matt Pagnozzi is off the roster, which I'm sure will make many of you sad.

If Hefner lasts on the roster through Spring Training, which I doubt, it looks like he'll play a sort of Virgil Vasquez role, pitching at Indianapolis and serving as depth in case someone gets hurt. He'll be 26 next season and has unspectacular Class AAA numbers, and I can't find much praise for pitches other than his curveball, so, while he's a better use of roster space than Pagnozzi was, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pirates try to sneak him through waivers at some point.

As for Jeroloman, I have no idea what that's about. Jeroloman will be 27 in May, and he posted a .631 OPS last season in Las Vegas, which isn't easy to do. I've actually written about him on Bucs Dugout before, as a cautionary tale for what might happen to Evan Chambers' career. Jeroloman drew spectacular numbers of walks in the low minors, but never really showed much actual hitting ability, and he has really struggled against pitchers who have some semblance of control. Unfortunately, most big-league pitchers do, so he's kind of screwed. I have no idea what his role in the big-leagues might be - bullpen catcher, and pinch-hitting specialist when some control-challenged pitcher like Enerio Del Rosario or Carlos Marmol is on the hill? I'm stumped. Pagnozzi was a bad hitter, but Jeroloman is almost as bad.

My guess is that the Pirates want these guys for minor-league depth and are about to try to sneak them off the roster and hope no one notices.