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Pirates Claim RHP Eli Villalobos From Marlins; Move Oneil Cruz to 60-Day IL



Pittsburgh Pirates, Osvaldo Bido

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed right-handed pitcher Eli Villalobos off waivers from the Miami Marlins and optioned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. To make room for him on the roster, shortstop Oneil Cruz was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Villalobos, 25, was designated for assignment by the Marlins on Sunday. He appeared in three games for the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate this season and posted an 11.57 ERA (6er/4.2ip).

The right-hander split last season between Double-A and Triple-A. He went 5-2 with a 2.86 ERA, 14 saves and 101 strikeouts in 78.2 innings.

The Marlins drafted Villalobos in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of California State University.

“Big arm,” manager Derek Shelton said on the newest Pirate. “Had some success last year, I know he’s off to a tough start this year — fastball, changeup mix which we like and he’s an optionable reliever.”

According to Pirates’ Director of Sports medicine Todd Tomczyk, Cruz was discharged from the hospital following his ankle surgery and is said to be in “good spirits.”

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