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Bucs recalling Agrazal for start vs. Astros

Lyles (hamstring) takes final step towards return from IL
@alysonfooter
June 25, 2019

HOUSTON -- Less than two weeks after he made his Major League debut, right-hander Dario Agrazal will be on the mound again, to start Wednesday's game against the Astros. Manager Clint Hurdle made the announcement semi-official before Tuesday's series opener at Minute Maid Park, stating that the club "intends on

HOUSTON -- Less than two weeks after he made his Major League debut, right-hander Dario Agrazal will be on the mound again, to start Wednesday's game against the Astros.

Manager Clint Hurdle made the announcement semi-official before Tuesday's series opener at Minute Maid Park, stating that the club "intends on starting" Agrazal, who debuted against the Marlins and earned a no-decision in a losing effort on June 15.

"It feels great to be back, especially recognizing that the organization continues to trust me and provide the opportunity," Agrazal said through an interpreter. "I'm ready to get to work."

The Pirates have not yet announced a corresponding roster move for Agrazal.

Agrazal allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, with three strikeouts over four innings in that outing at Marlins Park. Over a combined 13 starts for Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, Agrazal has compiled a 3.87 ERA and 1.09 WHIP across 79 innings.

Most recently, Agrazal threw 88 pitches in a loss at Buffalo on Thursday, yielding seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.

The need for a spot starter was created when Thursday's starter, Joe Musgrove, was pushed back in order to get an extra day's rest. The Pirates had off-days last Monday and Thursday, but they are now in a stretch of 13 games in a row leading into the All-Star break.

Right-hander Mitch Keller, the club's No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, wasn't an option to make Wednesday's start, as he was recently demoted to Triple-A and hasn't spent enough days there yet to quality for a promotion.

Hurdle said that Agrazal was "head and shoulders" ahead of other pitchers under consideration to make Wednesday's start.

"His mound demeanor has always been one of focus, one of intent, one of conviction, from the Minor Leagues all the way up," Hurdle said. "He showed a poise and focused mound presence."

Lyles ready for Saturday

Right-hander Jordan Lyles was encouraged by the results of his rehab outing for Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday, a final step in a return to the Pirates rotation. Lyles is scheduled to start on Saturday in Milwaukee.

Lyles, recovering from left hamstring tightness, allowed a solo homer and two hits over 5 1/3 innings in his final rehab start, walking three and striking out seven.

Most significantly, Lyles was able to stay in the game long enough to take six trips to the mound, which is similar to what he'd do in a typical Major League outing. He'll throw a side session on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's start against the Brewers.

Of his schedule, Lyles added, "From here on out it's going to be normal."

Did you know?

All four of the players acquired by the Pirates in the Gerrit Cole trade are currently on their Major League roster. Cole, who started the series opener on Tuesday, was traded to Houston on Jan. 13, 2018, for Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran and Jason Martin. The final addition was Martin, who was recalled from Indianapolis on Saturday when Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-day IL.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.