All-Star closer David Bednar was placed on the 15-day injured list with low back inflammation Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates made a series of roster moves.
First baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo was designated for assignment and right-hander reliever Yohan Ramirez and infielder Tucupita Marcano were recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the Pirates played the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.
Bednar has not pitched since last Friday and would first become eligible to be activated Aug. 14. He is 3-4 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 relief appearances this season.
“This is something that’s been bothering David for a little bit,” Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said. “That’s what caused him to miss the D.C. series (against the Washington Nationals from June 27-29). We as a medical staff, physicians included, sat down with David and felt this was best for him to unplug, get him off his feet and allow the inflammation to resolve – and that’s going to happen.”
The Pirates are unsure if Bednar will be ready to pitch By Aug. 14.
“We’re going to work to get him in a better spot to get throwing again,” Tomczyk said. “We don’t want to put a definitive timeframe on this right now, but I will share with you that David wanted to continue to pitch with this because we all know David and the competitor that he is.”
Tsutsugo had struggled all season, hitting .171/.249/.229 with two home runs in 50 games. After starring in his native Japan, Tsutsugo has a .197 career batting average and 18 homers in 182 MLB games.
The Pirates plan to go with a platoon of left-handed hitting rookie Bligh Madris and right-handed hitting Michael Chavis at first base.
“I think that we felt it was time that we were going to start giving opportunities to other people,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “Marcano has been playing really well. It was just the time that we felt we were going to move on.”
The Pirates acquired Ramirez from the Cleveland Guardians on July 8 for cash considerations. He pitched 4.1 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit in four appearances with Indianapolis.
Ramirez, 27, has made eight relief appearances in the major leagues this season, seven with the Seattle Mariners and one with the Cleveland Guardians. He has a 1-0 record with a 6.97 ERA, 1.64 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 10.1 innings.
This will be Marcano’s third stint with the Pirates this season after hitting .229/.280/.357 with two home runs in 22 games. With Indianapolis, Marcano batted .362/.433/.500 with one homer in 14 games.