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Pirates demote Danny Ortiz, promote catcher John Bormann

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In an unexpected turn of events, the Pirates have optioned outfielder Danny Ortiz to AAA Indianapolis, and replaced him with the backup catcher from the Bradenton Marauders, John Bormann. The move is apparently connected to concern about the health of Francisco Cervelli, who has been dealing with periodic bouts of pain in his foot since being hit by a foul ball from the bat of Scooter Gennett in June of last year. With Cervelli unexpectedly unavailable for today's game, the Pirates needed to find a catcher in a hurry, and with Bradenton currently on a road trip in nearby Port Charlotte for a series against the Stone Crabs, Bormann was close enough to drive to Miami.

Bormann, a 24th-round pick out of the University of Texas at San Antonio, is carrying a .136/.231/.182 batting line in 27 PA with the Marauders this year, and is a career .232/.282/.310 hitter in his three seasons as a professional. He's regarded as a strong defender, which for today's purposes is probably all that matters. This is likely to be his only major league game, with Elias Diaz expected to report to the Pirates tomorrow, but it'll still make a great story for his hypothetical kids and grandkids some day. As Tim Williams points out, there are some more tangible benefits as well: one day in the majors is enough to qualify you for MLB's health care plan for life.

Bormann's callup is reminiscent of a similar episode from 1944, when Pirates backup shortstop Frankie Zak ended up on the roster of the National League All-Star team as a last-minute replacement for an injured Eddie Miller. The game that year was being played at Forbes Field, and because Zak was spending the All-Star break in Pittsburgh, he got the call so that the NL wouldn't need to play the game short-handed.

We don't have a photo of Bormann in the database, so I went with an image of Clint Hurdle with his thumb in the air, gesturing for someone to get onto the field. It seemed like a good idea at the time. If anyone has any better suggestions, please leave them in the comments.