Pirates promote Munoz; Cleveland claims Bullington

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The Pirates today promoted starter Luis Munoz from Class AA Altoona to fill the roster spot left by the optioning of John Van Benschoten last night.

Munoz, 26, was 3-3 with a 5.45 ERA for Class AAA Indianapolis before being demoted to Altoona, where he went 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA. In his most recent outing, Saturday against Harrisburg, he pitched five scoreless innings while giving up three hits and four walks.

This will mark his first appearance in Major League Baseball.

General manager Neal Huntington minced no words on that front.

"I would not anticipate Luis being here for an extended period of time," Huntington said. "It was a step short of desperation. Our pitching staff has taken a beating of late, and he was the best available option to give us 75-90 pitches if necessary."

Munoz already was on the 40-man roster, so no move was necessary there.

Also today, the Cleveland Indians claimed minor league starter Bryan Bullington off waivers from the Pirates. Had he cleared by this afternoon, he would have reported to Indianapolis.

That ended the Pirates career of Bullington, the No. 1 overall pick in 2002 draft with an 0-3 record and 5.89 ERA in five appearances.

Huntington had expressed hope that Bullington would clear waivers and return to Indianapolis.

"He wasn't in our immediate picture, but we felt there was more there," Huntington said. "We thought it was a worthwhile risk, and it didn't pay off."

Bullington will report to the Indians' Class AAA affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y.

Finally, the Pirates made two minor league trades: They sent first baseman Craig Wilson to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be names, and they acquired right-handed starter Dan Reichert and utilityman Ryan Mulhern from Cleveland for a player to be named.

Reichert, 32, was 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA for Buffalo. Mulhern, 27, was batting .250 with seven home runs for Buffalo. Each was assigned to Indianapolis.

Wilson, a longtime player in Pittsburgh, batted .223 with 10 home runs for Indianapolis.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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