Schugel gets the call up as the Pirates needs an extra bullpen arm with Francisco Liriano being scratched from tonight’s start due to hamstring discomfort…whatever that means. Liriano is considered day-to-day. The fact that he hasn’t hit the DL yet hopefully shows that his injury is not serious and will just miss one start. Ryan Vogelsong moves into Liriano’s spot in the rotation tonight and with Lobstein pitching three innings yesterday, the Bucs needed some depth in the pen.
Morse became expendable when Hurdle said that Freese would get work at 1B against left-handed starting pitchers. Morse’s role was cloudy after that pickup as well as Jason Rogers doing well in AAA this week. I’m a little disappointed that we won’t be able to see the true Jaso/Morse platoon at first base because Morse has raked against lefties in his career, and I think the platoon could have been successful. Unfortunately, the Pirates haven’t faced a LH starter yet this season so Morse’s first start was yesterday in Detroit against a righty and he went 0-for. What an oddity that the Pirates wouldn’t face a lefty through the first eight games of the season.
On the other side of this move, I’m a little surprised that Schugel was the first pitcher called up from Triple-A Indy. Trey Haley is already on the 40-man roster and Schugel was not. Haley and Schugel each pitched on a scoreless inning of work for Indy on April 10, but I think Haley is more intriguing to me than Schugel. However, Schugel has MLB experience (even though it’s just 9.0 innings) and Haley does not. Either way, my guess is this move is just to have some bullpen depth for a couple of games until Liriano is ready. So when Liriano is ready, Schugel goes down and Kang returns? That’s my prediction.