clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pirates option John Holdzkom to Indianapolis

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have announced that they've optioned John Holdzkom to Indianapolis. They also optioned Rob Scahill to Indianapolis and reassigned Blake Wood.

It's funny that everyone's upset about Kris Bryant being a victim and not about Holdzkom being a victim in a similar way. There's been a lot of criticism of the likely Holdzkom move, but rarely does it take the form of sympathy for Holdzkom himself. And the MLBPA isn't issuing any statements on Holdzkom's behalf.

Anyway, Holdzkom clearly seems to be among the Pirates' best relievers, and as a fan, it's a drag when a good big-leaguer isn't in the majors. But what the Pirates are doing here mostly does make sense, even if it's annoying to the outsider. Teams shouldn't make moves based on what players deserve or even always on what's best for the organization for that day, but on what's best for the long haul. The Pirates will make a million moves involving pitching this season, and Holdzkom will get plenty of innings. Meanwhile, sending him down now allows them to keep more pitchers. Vance Worley (who's a reliever for now, in case you missed it), Arquimedes Caminero, Radhames Liz and Stolmy Pimentel are all out of options, and the Pirates would like to keep at least those first three pitchers. Within a month, someone will get hurt, and Holdzkom will be back. And by the summer, we'll have forgotten this was an issue.

If there's anything that doesn't make sense here, it's that this move might suggest that Jared Hughes will make the team instead of Holdzkom, as Vlad points out in the comments. Hughes has an option remaining. Holdzkom is the better pitcher, and I'd hate to see the Pirates go with Hughes out of some obligation to a veteran. Let's see if that actually happens, though -- if the Bucs decide to keep Pimentel, they might end up optioning Hughes in a couple days as well.