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Pirates shuffle deck, recall three pitchers from Triple-A


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Pirates pitcher Steven Brault exits a game vs. the Brewers with a left shoulder injury – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

The Pirates made like a hockey team Saturday and changed a quarter of their pitching staff on the fly.

Trevor Williams was placed on the paternity list, and right-hander Dario Agrazal has been recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis to replace him. Agrazal will start against the Brewers at 4:05 p.m. today at PNC Park in the middle game of a three-game series. This move you knew.

Dovydas Neverauskas, fresh off a collapse in last night's 7-6 loss to the Brewers, was optioned to Indy.

Steven Brault was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder strain. He was removed from Friday's game against the Brewers after feeling pain in the shoulder.

Brault did get good news from the results of imaging performed Friday night. He has no structural damage and can begin throwing again in 7-10 days.

Brault was optimistic that his injury was not serious and the test confirmed that.

"It's been sore but it got more sore as the game went on and we shut it down to make sure there was no irreparable-kind of damage," Brault said Saturday at PNC Park.

• Right-handed relievers Montana DuRapau and Luis Escobar were recalled from Indy. Escobar has not pitched in the major leagues.

This marks DuRapau's third stint with the Pirates this season. After succeeding in his first try as the team's "opener," DuRapau largely faltered from there. He was 0-1 with a 9.31 ERA in nine appearances. For Indianapolis, however, DuRapau was 1-1 with seven saves and a 1.93 ERA in 24 appearances. There, he was named to the International League's midseason All-Star team.

Escobar, meanwhile, is the most intriguing piece in all this. Signed by the Pirates in 2013 as a non-drafted free agent, Escobar brings zero big-league experience to the table. With Indianapolis this year, Escobar went 2-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 36 1/3 innings. That encompassed 13 appearances, including five starts.

Escobar represented the Pirates in 2017 in the All-Star Futures Game at Miami and also represented Team Colombia that year in the World Baseball Classic. Both events were at Marlins Park. He will wear No. 77 for the Pirates.

Escobar believes the experience of participating in the Futures Game will help calm the nerves of pitching in the major leagues.

"When I threw my first strike that day, that's when I knew I could reach my goal and pitch in the big leagues," Escobar said through translator Mike Gonzalez. "I'm excited to be here and I feel like I'm ready to help the team."

Clint Hurdle is intrigued by Escobar.

"I think he is in as good a place from a conviction and confidence standpoint as he has ever been," Hurdle said.

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