MIAMI – Trevor Williams is likely to return to the Pirates’ rotation next week. However, it’s going to be a while before Keone Kela is back in the bullpen.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday that Williams is scheduled to start next Wednesday night against the Tigers at PNC Park. Williams has been on the injured list since May 17 with a strained right side.
Meanwhile, Kela was transferred to the 60-day IL from the 10-day IL to open a roster spot for right-hander Dario Agrazal, whose contract was purchased from Class AAA Indianapolis. Agrazal will make his major-league debut Saturday night by facing the Marlins at Marlins Park.
The move with Kela means he would not be able to be activated until July 4. He has been sidelined by right shoulder inflammation and is currently rehabbing at the Pirates’ spring training facility in Bradenton, Fla.. where he began a throwing program Thursday.
Shifting Kela opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Agrazal and the Pirates cleared a spot on the 25-man roster by optioning Dovydas Neverauskas to Indianapolis.
Neverauskas pitched a total of three shutout innings in two relief appearances against the Braves in Atlanta earlier this week following his latest callup from Indianapolis. Overall, he has a 9.95 ERA in seven games with the Pirates this season.
The Pirates have not announced a starter for Tuesday night when they open their two-game series with the Tigers. They are off Monday.
Tuesday would be rookie Mitch Keller’s turn to pitch if the Pirates stay in rotation. However, Keller has been rocked for 13 runs in seven innings in his first two major-league starts, going 0-1.
No big surprises here. It was clear Williams was ready to come back to the active roster after a successful rehab start Thursday for Indianapolis. Though the Pirates haven't said so, it is now fairly obvious that Kela's injury is more significant than originally thought.