Hayes transferred to 60-day IL among roster moves

Moran to 10-day IL, Reynolds day to day, Feliz designated for assignment

May 9th, 2021

The Pirates made a flurry of roster moves and transactions ahead of Sunday’s finale with the Cubs, including the transferring of third baseman to the 60-day injured list.

Hayes has been out of game action since April 4, when he was placed on the injured list with left wrist discomfort. In his first progression back, he aggravated the injury doing batting work in Detroit and had to be re-examined and work back slowly to swinging the bat, which he’s now doing.

The Pirates are playing it conservative with their star rookie third baseman. Manager Derek Shelton said Hayes has not sustained any sort of additional setback in his progression back, but with further build-up work, rehab assignments on the way and intake window considerations, this move made the most sense.

“It's just a matter of that's kind of the way it lines up, and, now, with making the other moves, we just added him to the 60,” Shelton said. “So he'll stay on the progression he's on and continue to hit.”

, who was removed from Saturday’s game with a left groin strain, was placed on the 10-day injured list. Shelton said Todd Frazier will get the majority of the reps at first base for the time being despite struggling early this season.

However, Frazier, who's gone 1-for-31 entering Sunday, will have to also try to fill in for Moran in the order, which may require a team effort to make up for that lost production. Moran led the team in OPS entering Sunday (.821) and is tied with Phillip Evans for the Pirates’ lead in homers (4).

“He was really hitting a stride,” second baseman Adam Frazier said, “hitting .300 with a few homers, and he really hadn't even gotten going. He has taken a lot of strides forward, and that’s going to be a huge, huge loss for the lineup."

Additionally, will not require a trip to the injured list for now, with what Shelton called a lower body injury, but he will be sidelined on a day-to-day basis for the time being.

“He's been playing a lot,” Shelton said. “We've been dealing with a bunch of guys having played a lot, so with the conditions today and with him being a little bit sore, just decided to give him another day.”

Beyond the injury moves made on Sunday, the Pirates made some sweeping changes to their roster.

In another move to try to shore up their outfield depth at the Major League level, the club claimed outfielder Ben Gamel off waivers from Cleveland. Pittsburgh designated right-hander Michael Feliz for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Gamel and recalled right-hander Geoff Hartlieb to fill Feliz’s spot in the bullpen.

“We’ve been beaten up a little bit in the outfield,” general manager Ben Cherington said on his Sunday radio show on 93.7 The Fan, “and, obviously, now, trying to manage through Reynolds’ situation -- we hope that continues to get better, he’s progressing -- we want to protect ourselves there.”

Gamel has played six seasons in the big leagues, most recently with Cleveland, who designated him for assignment on Wednesday. The 28-year-old is no stranger to the National League Central, playing 174 games with the Brewers between 2019-20. Gamel is a career .259/.330/.385 hitter with experience at every outfield position.

Outfielder Troy Stokes Jr., who made his MLB debut in right field on Sunday, was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game to provide even more depth at all three outfield positions. Stokes went 7-for-33 for the Pirates in Spring Training, with two homers, one double and a stolen base. He also drove a pinch-hit home run for Indianapolis on Thursday, his first of the season.

“Anybody that saw his at-bats in the spring, he really got after it,” Shelton said. “I like the fact that he can play all three outfield positions, so that gives us some flexibility and versatility there. But he did a nice job in the spring and made a really positive impression on myself and the staff.”

The Pirates designated for assignment both of their Opening Day options in center field, Anthony Alford and Dustin Fowler, earlier this season, though both remained in the organization after waivers.

As for Feliz’s DFA, Cherington said it was a tough decision to make. Feliz has pitched in 115 games with the Pirates over the past four seasons, recording a 5.00 ERA despite doing well in the early going this year (two earned runs in 7 2/3 innings).

However, Feliz is out of options, and Cherington said the club needed to look forward with the corresponding 40-man move for Gamel.

“We wanted to try to hold on to guys who are playing the most meaningful roles in the Major Leagues and also guys who have options remaining, which we value once we get deeper into the season,” Cherington said. “Just felt like Feliz was a spot we needed to use, and we appreciate what he’s done for the Pirates and we wish him well with where he ends up.”

Hartlieb was left off the Pirates’ Opening Day roster after recording a 3.63 ERA in 21 games last season. The right-hander, who throws a sinker-slider mix, pitched two scoreless innings at Triple-A this season before his recall.