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Bucs' Rivero changes surname to Vazquez

MLB.com @adamdberry

CHICAGO -- The Pirates' closer sat in front of his locker inside the cramped visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field, his usual No. 73 jersey hanging behind him. Only the name had changed.

Felipe Rivero legally changed his name to Felipe Vazquez on March 26, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported, and the Pirates reflected that change before Tuesday's series opener against the Cubs. His jersey now reads "Vazquez," not Rivero.

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CHICAGO -- The Pirates' closer sat in front of his locker inside the cramped visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field, his usual No. 73 jersey hanging behind him. Only the name had changed.

Felipe Rivero legally changed his name to Felipe Vazquez on March 26, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported, and the Pirates reflected that change before Tuesday's series opener against the Cubs. His jersey now reads "Vazquez," not Rivero.

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He looked the same on the mound, however, recording four outs against the Cubs for his fourth save of the season in the Pirates' 8-5 victory on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. He struggled in the Bucs' season opener, allowing four runs while recording only two outs, but has returned to form by recording a scoreless save in each of his last four appearances.

"My sister and I have been talking for the last, I want to say, 26 years about it," Rivero said. "I think we got to a point that she was ready and I was ready to do it. We decided in the offseason that we were going to do it. … She decided it's time. If she says something, I just get it done. That's the way it is."

Vazquez also changed his surname on his social media accounts. On Twitter, he apologized to fans who purchased Pirates gear with the name "Rivero" on it.

Tweet from @Rivero43: I want to apologize to all the fans that brought stuff with my name.. and saw all this happen but since was a long process I was not able to say anything till was actually approved.. my apologies to y���all...

Briefly advised by Scott Boras, Vazquez left the well-known baseball agent and hired Francis Marquez of Magnus Sports in late November at the advice of Prescilla. In January, he signed an extension worth a guaranteed $22 million over four years, with $10 million club options for 2022 and '23. He credited his sister for making the deal come together.

"My sister did the negotiation. My sister and my agent did all the negotiation," Vazquez said at the time. "I just signed the contract and that was it."

Acquired before the 2016 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Vazquez emerged as one of the Majors' best late-inning arms last season, as he posted a 1.67 ERA with 21 saves and 88 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings over 73 appearances.

Video: Taillon named NL Player of the Week following shutout

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• Right-hander Jameson Taillon said he was honored to be named the National League Player of the Week on Monday. Taillon is 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA, a 0.49 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings over two starts. On Sunday, he worked the first shutout of his professional career in a 5-0 win against the Reds at PNC Park.

"You always want to come out of the gate hot," Taillon said. "There's a lot of really good players in this league, so it's an honor."

• Right-hander Joe Musgrove, on the 10-day disabled list with a muscle strain in his right shoulder, resumed throwing on Monday when he pitched off the slope of the mound. Musgrove played catch on flat ground on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. He has not yet pitched for the Pirates this season, but he is expected to join their rotation after completing the rehabilitation process and rebuilding his arm strength.

• First-base coach Kimera Bartee is away from the team following a death in his family. Omar Moreno, the center fielder and leadoff man for the 1979 World Series champion Pirates, will step into the first-base coach's box for the Bucs this week at Wrigley Field. Moreno, a special instructor for Pittsburgh, occasionally replaced Bartee during Spring Training split-squad games.

"He's qualified in a lot of different areas as far as Major League experience," manager Clint Hurdle said. "This is a new opportunity during the real season that we'd like to be able to take advantage of."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Felipe Rivero