Note to Pirates management: your team’s fans deserve better


It’s September 2nd, yet the Pirates are playing with a 26-man roster.  Because they subtracted Matt Diaz on Wednesday and added only one hitter — and a lousy one at that in third catcher Jason Jaramillo — they’re still going with their usual 13 position players, even though they could have added several more yesterday if they wanted to.

And I get the not adding several, especially with their Triple-A affiliate competing for a postseason spot.  But one or two would have made a lot of sense.  Particularly given that the Pirates just brought in Brad Lincoln, Thursday’s starting pitcher, to pinch-hit to open the eighth inning in a 3-1 game against the Cubs today.

The Pirates have drawn 25,000 fans per game this year, and those fans deserve the team’s best effort.  The team won today in spite of the short-handed roster, but it’s chances were hurt because of some misguided priorities.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.