Pirates place reliever Stolmy Pimentel on 15-day DL



WASHINGTON -- Stolmy Pimentel went on the 15-day disabled list today because of a sprained right ankle suffered during Wednesday’s game against Detroit.

The move made space on the active roster for John Axford, the right-handed reliever whom the Pirates claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

Pimentel, a righty long reliever, said he hurt his ankle throwing a pitch Wednesday, when he allowed three runs without recording an out.

“With everything that’s going on, we’re probably a little aggressive,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Whether it affected his outing, I don’t know. We need some healthy arms and we need some healthy people. We’ve been playing short on and off. We felt it was best served, if it was going to take a little while, then it will take a little while and we’ll err on the side of caution.”

Axford joins a bullpen that has struggled to keep games close while trailing. The late-inning relievers have stayed strong, but the middle relievers -- typically the weakest part of any pitching staff -- have turned small deficits into large ones.

“He’s done multiple things in the last few years, from closing 46 games back in Milwaukee’s playoff run to pitching out of the bullpen for St. Louis,” Hurdle said of Axford. “In Cleveland, he’s actually been used one-plus outings, fractional outings.”

Axford, 31, has a 3.92 ERA this season and has walked 6.2 batters per nine innings, though his control improved after the first month and a half of the season.

“We’ve got some ideas,” Hurdle said regarding improving Axford’s control. “I’ve told him, it’s not going to be anything on the mound. We’re not going to the other side of the rubber, it’s not a wrist or a hand, nothing mechanical. Give us some feedback, we’ve got some thoughts we’ll share and we’ll move on this together. I think we can help him.”


First Published August 15, 2014 12:00 AM

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