Pirates acquire Eveland for rotation mix
Minor League pitcher Uviedo goes to Blue Jays in trade
PITTSBURGH -- In a move that general manager Neal Huntington said represents an upgrade to the current rotation, the Pirates acquired left-hander Dana Eveland from the Blue Jays on Tuesday in exchange for Minor League righty Ronald Uviedo.
Eveland is expected to work his way into the Pirates' rotation, though the club remained noncommittal as to when that would be, given that Eveland hasn't pitched since May 22. The 26-year-old is scheduled to join the team on Friday, after which the Pirates will get a better idea of how the layoff has affected Eveland.
According to Huntington, Eveland was to throw a bullpen session at home on Tuesday and another on Thursday. Even still, Huntington said the likeliest scenario would be that Eveland makes a few appearances out of the bullpen for Pittsburgh before then sliding into the rotation.
"He hasn't pitched competitively in a game for a little while, so it would be unfair to ask him to go right back in with starts," Huntington said. "But big picture, our thought is he could be a starting pitcher for us."
Eveland went 3-4 with a 6.45 ERA in nine starts for the Blue Jays before being designated for assignment on May 23. He struck out 21 and walked 27 in 44 2/3 innings. His last three starts were especially troublesome, as Eveland lasted a combined 9 1/3 innings and allowed 17 earned runs on 23 hits and 10 walks.
The former 16th-round Draft pick has pitched for four organizations since making his Major League debut in 2005. He has a career record of 16-21 with a 5.66 ERA in 92 games (53 starts). In addition to being intrigued by a four-pitch mix, Huntington said the fact that Eveland has just over two years of service time made him an intriguing pickup.
"We've got multiple years of control with him if all goes well," Huntington said. "His flaw has been the strike-throwing ability, but what we like about him is it's a good sinker. He's not overpowering, but he's going to mix and match his four pitches, and we like the ability to get ground balls."
Eveland's eventual insertion into the rotation will shake things up a bit. Although the Pirates haven't officially announced as much, it looks as if Eveland will step into the rotation spot that had been occupied by Brian Burres.
Burres was scheduled to make his next start Friday, though Russell announced Tuesday that Burres will be skipped because the team is off Thursday. Paul Maholm, who last pitched Sunday, will now make Friday's start.
Russell also confirmed that Jeff Karstens, who returned to the rotation Tuesday, is tentatively scheduled to make at least one more start after this one. Keeping Karstens in the rotation and adding Eveland into it would give the Pirates their starting five.
The Pirates will have to make a roster move to add Eveland to the 25-man roster when he reports Friday. With Burres seemingly out of the rotation, he might be the odd man out on the roster, too.
Uviedo's departure opened up the necessary spot on the 40-man roster for Eveland. Uviedo had been in the Pirates' organization since 2006 and was pitching for Double-A Altoona this year. In 22 1/3 innings, Uviedo had allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits. He had struck out 28 and walked 12.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.