PITTSBURGH -- Though the Pirates called up pitcher Wilfredo Boscan three times last season, he had to wait until his fourth stint in the big leagues to make his Major League debut. Boscan's latest big league opportunity comes after the Bucs' most recent slew of roster moves, made to strengthen
PITTSBURGH -- Though the Pirates called up pitcher Wilfredo Boscan three times last season, he had to wait until his fourth stint in the big leagues to make his Major League debut. Boscan's latest big league opportunity comes after the Bucs' most recent slew of roster moves, made to strengthen a struggling bullpen.
The right-hander debuted during Thursday night's 8-2 win over the Braves, throwing two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
"I've definitely been waiting for this opportunity since last year," Boscan said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. "But this has been a great night. I'm very happy, and it's a very emotional night. But I'm very excited to be able to give my 100 percent to the team."
Before the finale of a four-game series with the Braves, the Pirates called up Boscan from Triple-A Indianapolis, optioning left-hander Cory Luebke. Boscan was 3-4 with a 2.48 ERA in seven starts for Indianapolis this season.
"That was really nice," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Boscan's debut. "Waited a long time for that debut. He's made a lot of trips here for that debut, and that was quick and efficient."
Hurdle especially values Boscan's ability to pitch multiple innings.
"[Boscan] continues to show up and do well and do everything that's asked of him," Hurdle said. "And hopefully, this time we can get him involved and he can help us. And we believe with the multiple-inning role needed in our club right now, he fits that."
Boscan tried not to get frustrated during the times he was called up but not called on to play. Instead, he focused on impressing during his time in Triple-A, so when the opportunity to pitch arose, he could take advantage of it.
"The first time when I got called up, I got it in my mind, 'If I'm going to pitch, I'm going to pitch. I have to be ready,'" Boscan said. "I got the opportunity, and then they sent me down, and I'm like, 'OK, I have to prepare, keep working. Put numbers up here in Triple-A,' and I did last year. And now, I started in Triple-A, I had a good year, and now, I've got the opportunity here, and I want to do the best I can."
Luebke, who hadn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2012 before this season, accrued a 14.73 ERA in 3 2/3 innings pitched this year. The left-hander suffered a hamstring injury in the first week of Spring Training and re-aggravated the injury the first week of the regular season.
"The touches we gave Luebke the other night, saw four hitters, saw three of them left-handed, and it didn't end well," Hurdle said. "Weren't good matchups. It's a quick look, it's not ultra-fair. However, our bullpen, we're still trying to figure some things out."
In addition, Alen Hanson was optioned back to Triple-A in response to left fielder Starling Marte's return from a three-day paternity leave. The Pirates transferred catcher Elias Diaz from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL in order to make room for Boscan on the 40-man roster.
Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.