PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have had their eyes on reliever Jhan Marinez for a while now, manager Clint Hurdle said. The right-hander throws a hard two-seam fastball and produces ground balls while pitching multiple innings, a trio of traits the Bucs value out of the bullpen.For the Pirates to get
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have had their eyes on reliever Jhan Marinez for a while now, manager Clint Hurdle said. The right-hander throws a hard two-seam fastball and produces ground balls while pitching multiple innings, a trio of traits the Bucs value out of the bullpen.
For the Pirates to get the 28-year-old right-hander, he had to struggle. Marinez posted a 5.40 ERA and 2.04 WHIP for the Brewers in 15 appearances to start the season, so Milwaukee designated him for assignment on Monday. That made him available to the Pirates, who claimed Marinez off waivers on Friday and added him to their roster on Saturday.
"If he was rolling for them right now, we wouldn't have an opportunity to get him," Hurdle said. "We've had some success in having guys find their way back. This hasn't been a long-time turbulence thing for him. It's been a month. We'll get him in play."
The Pirates placed right-hander Joshua Lindblom on the 10-day disabled list with left side discomfort, clearing a spot on the roster for Marinez, who is out of Minor League options. Hurdle said Lindblom reported the discomfort Saturday morning after throwing 33 pitches in 2 1/3 innings in Friday's 7-2 loss to the Phillies. Lindblom also threw 152 pitches over two relief outings last week.
"I don't know if it's the volume of pitches he threw in that short time earlier or not," Hurdle said.
Marinez was effective for the Rays and Brewers last season, posting a 3.18 ERA in 62 1/3 innings over 46 appearances. Hurdle said Marinez will be called upon to get ground balls with runners on base and occasionally pitch an additional inning after that. If that "fireman" role sounds familiar, it used to belong to reliever Jared Hughes, who is now with the Brewers, coincidentally.
"We haven't had a guy to come in and sink the ball in the middle of an inning to try to take on some of that inherited-runner opportunity to finish off innings," Hurdle said. "The sinker ball is the thing that really gets our attention, the ball-on-the-ground rate."
After being designated for assignment, Marinez said he went home to Miami to work out and be with his daughter. He was pleased to hear the Pirates picked him up.
"I'm happy to be here," he said. "I feel very comfortable right now. I'm ready to go. I'm working hard, 100 percent."
Lower leverage for Hudson
After recording a 7.80 ERA in his first 18 appearances this season, reliever Daniel Hudson has put together consecutive scoreless outings. He threw a scoreless fifth inning against the Nationals on Tuesday and struck out two in a perfect ninth in Thursday's 10-4 win.
Signed as a setup man for closer Tony Watson, Hudson will continue to work in lower-leverage situations as he looks to get back on track. Hudson went through a similar rough stretch in the middle of last season, posting a 24.21 ERA from June 23-Aug. 2 between two great stretches (1.55 ERA to start the year, 1.66 ERA after Aug. 2).
"Give it some more time. I think some progress is being made," Hurdle said. "I think he'll make the progress he needs to make to get back to that role we envisioned him in. … We think we've got a good feel for what he needs to do, where he needs to go, as he does. It's just the execution come game time."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.