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Pirates transfer Kela to 60-day IL

Agrazal makes Major League debut; Neverauskas optioned to Triple-A
@cdenicola13
June 16, 2019

MIAMI -- The Pirates transferred setup man Keone Kela to the 60-day injured list on Saturday as he continues to work through right shoulder inflammation. The move freed up a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Dario Agrazal, who started and allowed three runs (two earned) over four innings in the

MIAMI -- The Pirates transferred setup man Keone Kela to the 60-day injured list on Saturday as he continues to work through right shoulder inflammation.

The move freed up a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Dario Agrazal, who started and allowed three runs (two earned) over four innings in the Pirates' 4-3 loss to the Marlins on Saturday. Pittsburgh also optioned righty Dovydas Neverauskas to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Kela, who has been working out at the Pirate City complex in Bradenton, Fla., resumed throwing on Thursday and responded well, according to Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk. He's eligible to come off the IL on July 5, though it's unlikely the 26-year-old will be ready by then.

"There's no date on this right now, no shelf life," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said on Sunday. "Just to get him right, get him healthy to where he can feel freedom to go ahead and pitch like he's pitched in the past."

Acquired from the Rangers at last July’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, Kela posted a 2.93 ERA over 16 outings after joining the Bucs. The 26-year-old compiled a 4.63 ERA with two holds in 14 appearances this season until exiting a game May 4. His rehab was shut down at the end of May following a setback in his recovery.

Right-handers Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez have gotten the majority of the late-inning workload, with nine holds apiece entering Saturday. Southpaw Francisco Liriano has five.

"I think it's something that we've been pretty much aware that it could be a possibility when he went out, once we started the process of the recovery and the rehab [that] there could be some length to this," Hurdle said. "We've been pitching without him in the bullpen. He's a valuable addition when he's physically able to pitch. He's not. We'll continue on in the manner in which we've gone with Liriano and Crick and [Felipe] Vazquez at the end, and trying to find a complementary guy along the way as well. Rodriguez or maybe somebody else can step forward to help out."

Williams targeting Wednesday return
Hurdle said the Pirates intend to start right-hander Trevor Williams on Wednesday against the Tigers at PNC Park.

Williams, who has been out with a right side strain since May 17, made a rehab start Thursday for Indianapolis, giving up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over three innings. He finished up in the bullpen to get his pitch count up to around 90.

Pittsburgh has been piecing together a rotation with three of its members -- Williams, Jameson Taillon and Jordan Lyles -- sidelined. At one point this month, the Bucs used seven pitchers to start 11 games.

"They should rename it to the 'useless list,'" Williams said on Friday. "That's what I've been feeling like. Hopefully it's my last time on the IL. It's not that I didn't treat my body right, but you take your health for granted until something happens. ... Just seeing guys get certain opportunities has been good where it's trial by fire. A lot of guys have been thrown into this big league experience earlier than they thought. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and helping the team as much as I can."

Lyles making progress
Lyles, on the IL retroactive to last Sunday with left hamstring tightness, threw around 35 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday in Miami. Eligible to return Thursday, he simulated two innings of work.

"I think tomorrow we should have some answers about what direction we're going to go in next," Lyles said. "First time back on a mound, I threw all my pitches. Exciting to get back out there and start working on my craft again. No setbacks. Nothing flaring up. It's fun trying to make pitches again. Overall pleased."

Draft update
The Pirates announced the signing of high school outfielder Sammy Siani (Competitive Balance Round A, 37th overall) on Friday. He will begin his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Pirates.

Pittsburgh also agreed to terms with Central Arizona College infielder Ernny Ordonez (33rd round). He will report to to the Bristol Pirates of the Appalachian League. The organization has signed 25 players from this month's Draft.

Worth noting
The Pirates will announce a starter for Tuesday's game against the Tigers on Sunday.

Christina De Nicola is a reporter and game producer for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow her on Twitter @CDeNicola13.