Pirates notebook: Ryan Reid, Jared Hughes join worn-out bullpen

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ATLANTA -- With a few other options as a minor league free agent this offseason, Ryan Reid decided to sign with the Pirates because they were willing to give him a chance in major league camp.

It was a decision that could pay off well for both parties.

The Pirates selected Reid on Monday from Class AAA Indianapolis, giving the right-handed relief pitcher his first trip to the major leagues. The team also recalled right-handed reliever Jared Hughes, and both pitchers will help bolster a bullpen that pitched 10 shutout innings Sunday.

Scouting report

  • Game:

    Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:10 p.m., Turner Field, Atlanta.

  • TV, Radio:

    Root Sports, KDKA-FM (93.7).

  • Probable starters:

    LHP Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.25) vs. LHP Mike Minor (7-2, 2.48)

  • Key Matchup:

    Pitchers vs. Andrew McCutchen, who is a .318 career hitter with 26 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs in June.

  • Hidden stat:

    Minor is the first left-handed starter to face the Pirates since Houston's Erik Bedard pitched against them May 18 and is the second left-handed starter in 22 games.

Reid, 28, spent seven seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays minor league organization before becoming a free agent this offseason.

Reid said he signed with the Pirates because he believed they were honest about giving him a chance to earn a spot in the majors.

"Other teams, talking about big league camp wasn't first on their list," he said. "And it was the first on mine. Pittsburgh was eye-to-eye with me. Getting that opportunity to compete for Clint [Hurdle] in big league camp obviously helps."

He pitched well in spring training, allowing one earned run in eight innings, and continued his strong performance once he joined Indianapolis to start the season.

In 20 outings for Indianapolis, Reid went 6-1 with an 0.52 ERA. He struck out 31 batters in 342/3 innings. But he said he didn't expect a call-up to the major leagues because he wasn't on the 40-man roster.

"I'm still not sure how they did it," Reid said Monday afternoon.

The Pirates placed minor league pitcher Phil Irwin on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Reid on the 40-man roster. Irwin was diagnosed with ulnar neuritis, or inflammation of the ulnar nerve near his right elbow.

The Pirates placed right-handed starter Jeanmar Gomez on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain/inflammation and optioned outfielder Alex Presley to make room for Reid and Hughes on the 25-man roster.

Hughes, who spent most of the 2012 season with the Pirates, has bounced between the minor and major leagues several times this season. He is 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 13 appearances with the Pirates this season and 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 11 appearances with Indianapolis.

Good news for Gomez

After Gomez left a start after pitching just one inning Sunday, the Pirates got encouraging news on the right-hander Monday. Tests revealed he avoided significant damage to his forearm or elbow.

"There was no ligament damage," Hurdle said. "We'll shut him down for a few days. ... Won't throw for a few days. Could be three, could be more.

"I think he was very optimistic after hearing the news, as well."

Gomez is 2-0 with a 3.07 ERA in 12 appearances this season, seven of them starts.

Morton not ready just yet

It appears likely Charlie Morton (Tommy John surgery) will make at least one more rehabilitation start before being activated.

Hurdle said nothing is official -- the team wanted to talk with Morton before making an announcement -- but said the Pirates need a starting pitcher who is more "game ready."

"We don't need somebody going out and only giving us three or four innings off the starting bump right now," Hurdle said.

In his last rehab start, Morton lasted 42/3 innings, throwing 86 pitches. Hurdle said the Pirates would like to drive his pitch count to about 100 pitches.

"I think there's room for improvement," he said.

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Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 or on Twitter @msanserino.


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