The Pirates selected the contract of lefty Justin Thomas and recalled right-hander Steven Jackson on Thursday to bring their roster back to a full 25 players. The two vacancies had been created when Zach Duke was placed on the DL and after Dana Eveland had been designated for assignment.
This will be Jackson’s second go-around with Pittsburgh this season. He made one relief appearance (May 28) during that short stint. In 22 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season, Jackson has allowed 10 earned runs on 34 hits and 11 walks in 31 innings. He has struck out 18. Jackson has not allowed a run in his last 10 Triple-A appearances.
This will be Thomas’ first return to the Majors since 2008, when he went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in eight relief appearances with the Mariners. Thomas, 26, is 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in 24 relief appearances with Indianapolis. Thomas has allowed just two earned runs in his last 19 appearances.
We’ll find out more details shortly once the clubhouse opens, but the Pirates’ decision to bring up two relievers was likely dictated by the need to have some fresh arms available for the next few days. The fact that Paul Maholm only went one inning on Wednesday forced manager John Russell to rely on his ‘pen for seven innings yesterday.
The Pirates still need a starter for Saturday, but that roster move likely won’t come until just before then. I’d expect the Pirates to send either Jackson or Thomas (likely Jackson, so the Pirates can keep a second left-handed reliever) after Friday’s game to clear a spot for a starter. Daniel McCutchen and Charlie Morton remain the candidates.
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