The Pirates have reinstated RHP Juan Cruz from the 15-day disabled list and optioned Jared Hughes to AAA Indianapolis. I had suggested the team might do this a few days ago in order to give Hughes some rest. He threw a scoreless 2.1 innings last night, but had been touched up in each of his previous three outings.
Hughes will be eligible to be recalled in ten days and I'm sure the Pirates will look to have him up by August 31 so that he is eligible for post-season play.
Cruz was very effective the first couple months of the season, but appeared to lose some velocity before going on the DL. The 33-year old reliever has always had command issues and they have flared up again of late, but he is still likely get an opportunity to reclaim the seventh inning role that he held for much of the first half with Brad Lincoln in Toronto and no one else stepping up.
Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle continue to look to supplement the bullpen. Chad Qualls will take over the sinkerballer role held by Hughes for now. I don't expect Qualls to be around for long, but they might as well ride him as long as he keeps putting up zeros.
Chris Leroux, Jared Hughes, Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson are all waiting stage left.