Courtesy of StepOutside.org

Hartlieb promoted, Rodriguez optioned, Holmes back

SAN DIEGO -- Trevor Williams' injury triggered a flurry of moves by the Pirates.

All of the following were announced Friday before the game against the Padres at Petco Park:

• Williams was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right side strain.

Geoff Hartlieb, a 25-year-old right-hander, had his contract selected from Class AAA Indianapolis, his first promotion to the majors. He's with the team here.

Richard Rodríguez was optioned to Indianapolis.

Clay Holmes was recalled from Indianapolis.

Jacob Stallings cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Indianapolis.

Williams left in the fourth inning of Thursday night's loss to the Padres after striking out Wil Myers. Two innings later, Rodriguez gave up his eighth home run of the season in 19 2/3 innings, a three-run shot by Ian Kinsler that lifted the Padres to a 4-3 victory.

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Williams will rest for 10 days then be re-evaluated and that it was too early to put a timetable for his potential return.

Clint Hurdle said the Pirates have not decided on who will take Williams’ place in the rotation. In fact, Hurdle wasn’t even ready to announce a starter for Saturday night’s game against the Padres, saying he wanted to see what transpired Friday night.

Williams’ normal turn in the rotation would next come up Wednesday when the Pirates play the Rockies at PNC Park. However, the Pirates are also off Monday, which would give Hurdle flexibility in rearranging the rotation.

Hurdle did say right-hander Nick Kingham could be a possible replacement for a Williams, a day after he was sent back to the bullpen after two starts.

This marks Williams’ first stint on the IL, but the San Diego native was in good spirits when he met with reporters Friday. In fact, he told a joke before getting serious with his answers.

“It’s a little bump in the road,” Williams said. “It’s unfortunate that this happened but the sun came out today and I was surrounded by a lot of friends and family. I’m glad I took myself out when I did and didn’t make it any worse than it is.”

Williams said he felt discomfort in his side throughout his 3 2/3-inning outing Thursday but that got worse during his last two pitches.

He becomes the 20th different Pirates player to go on the IL just 41 games into the season. A total of 10 players are currently sidelined.

The eight home runs allowed by Rodriguez are the most by a major-league reliever. He was 0-3 with one save and a 5.49 ERA in 22 games.

Rodriguez will begin pitching for Indianapolis next Tuesday and will have regularly scheduled relief outings in order to work primarily on command of his fastball.

“We need him in our bullpen,” Hurdle said. “Bullpen guys are not like position players. You can’t unplug them for a couple of days. You need them available as often as possible. This gives him a chance to catch his breath and get back on track.”

Hartlieb is making his first trip to the major leagues. In 12 games at Indianapolis, he was 1-0 with one save and a 3.32 ERA in 12 games. He was the Pirates’ 29th-round draft pick in 2016 from Lindenwood University, a Division II school in Missouri.

Hartlieb, who's 6-foot-6, originally went to Quincy University in Illinois, also a Division II school, to play basketball. However, he decided to transfer after one year and switch sports.

I asked Hartlieb if he could have envisioned that the transfer would eventually lead to the major leagues:

Holmes returns to the Pirates just two days after being optioned to Indy when Chris Archer was activated from the IL. He pitched in two games for major-league club and allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings. In the minors, going 2-1 with one save and a 6.32 ERA in 10 games.

Stallings, 29, had been on the IL since April 13 with a cervical neck strain. He played in four games for the Pirates at the beginning of the season, going 3-for-11 (.273).

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