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Pirates activate Antonio Bastardo, bolster white flag legion

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

In need of more pitchers who can’t be used in games that are still in doubt, the Pirates have activated left-handed rain delay Antonio Bastardo. They had already optioned empty roster spot/third catcher Jacob Stallings to AAA yesterday. They had to make a move with Bastardo because the time limit on his rehab was up.

Bastardo struggled horrifically early in the year, posting a 16.20 ERA and peripherals to match. That led to a trip to the disabled list with an allegedly injured something-or-other. A lengthy rehab in AAA produced more weak pitching, as Bastardo walked eight while striking out nine in 11.1 IP. He showed his readiness for white flag duty by requiring 36 pitches to get two outs in his final rehab outing on Sunday. Releasing Bastardo obviously isn’t an option due to the number of pitchers in the Pirates’ bullpen who can’t get hitters out. When one reliever fails to get outs, it’s important to be able to bring in another to not get outs. With eight bodies in the bullpen, Clint Hurdle will have plenty of options, especially given that Edgar Santana isn’t suited for an unable-to-get-outs role and, as a result, can’t be used when outs are needed.