The Pirates have placed Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list with right hip inflammation. Morton's stats stand at 5-12, 3.84. For much of the year he's been the Pirates' most reliable starter, but over his last seven starts he's had an ERA of 6.00. This move no doubt will draw suspicion, as the Pirates need to move somebody out of the rotation to make room for Gerrit Cole. Jeff Locke seemed like the obvious candidate because he can be optioned and hadn't been pitching well, but he had an excellent game last night before the bullpen blew it. The timing of this move means Morton is eligible to return right after rosters expand in early September.
Brent Morel will replace Morton on the 25-man roster, no doubt just for a few days until Cole returns. The Pirates' obsession with calling up whomever is the worst hitter available remains inexplicable. They just designated for assignment a much better hitter in Matt Hague and, with two good-glove, no-bat infielders already on the roster in Michael Martinez and Jayson Nix, they need a bat rather than another defense-only player. Their management of their bench over the last couple months is hard to fathom.