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Pirates send Luis Heredia to Altoona

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The Pirates have moved right-handed reliever Luis Heredia from extended spring training to Altoona. According to Pirates Prospects, Heredia got a late start this spring due to a medical issue (sub. req’d). He’s likely on his last chance with the organization, as he’ll be a minor league free agent after the season.

Heredia originally signed in 2010. He, Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie all signed within a fairly short time frame and seemed to provide the future foundation of the Pirates’ rotation. Of course, only Taillon succeeded, a success rate that’s probably about what should have been expected, pitching prospects being what they are. The Pirates moved Heredia to relief last season at Bradenton and he had a very encouraging first half, but he came unglued in the second half due to control issues.

Heredia took the roster spot of right-hander John Kuchno, whom the Pirates released. Kuchno got an above-slot bonus as an 18th-round pick in 2012. He’s an extreme groundball pitcher, but has struggled with control problems and the lack of an out pitch. He had an 8.38 ERA in 9.2 IP this year.

The Pirates also reassigned catcher Zane Chavez from Altoona to extended spring training. Chavez was subbing for Jin-De Jhang, who’s out with an oblique strain. Chavez showed a strong arm, but was overmatched at the plate, going 2-for-33. He’ll be replaced for now by Jackson Williams, an all-glove catcher who was in spring training with the Pirates.