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Pirates claim A.J. Schugel, designate Yoervis Medina

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: The Bucs have designated Yoervis Medina for assignment to make space on the roster for Schugel. Medina was himself a waiver claim earlier in the offseason, and the Pirates could be hoping to get him through to Indianapolis.

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The Pirates have announced that they've claimed righty A.J. Schugel from the Mariners. Schugel pitched the last two seasons in the Diamondbacks system before being claimed by Seattle last month.

Schugel made 12 starts for Double-A Mobile last year and did well, earning a promotion, but the Diamondbacks sent the man to Triple-A Reno just to watch him die -- Schugel allowed 45 runs in 38 innings there, suggesting he wasn't quite ready for big-league action. He did, however, appear in five games in the majors, allowing 13 runs (although only five were earned) over nine innings.

In those innings, Schugel averaged 91.7 MPH on his heater, so he doesn't have a blazing fastball, and he's never been a big strikeout pitcher. He's gotten smatterings of ground balls in his career, but not so many that that's obviously why the Pirates liked him. Instead, it's probably mostly a case of the Pirates grabbing a guy who's fairly young (26), is capable of starting, and has a couple of options remaining. It wouldn't be a surprise if they tried to sneak him through waivers at some point.