The Pittsburgh Pirates added another arm to their weary pitching staff on Sunday, bringing up right-hander Beau Sulser from Triple-A Indianapolis.
It’s the first major league promotion for Sulser, the brother of Miami Marlins reliever Cole Sulser. Beau Sulser, who turns 28 on May 5, went 1-2 with a 2.13 ERA in three starts with Indianapolis.
“He can pitch in multiple roles,” manager Derek Shelton said before the the Pirates’ rain-delayed 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. “He can start if we have to. He can pitch in that hybrid role. He can pitch, you know, length, so it gives us different functionality.”
To make room on Pittsburgh’s 40- and 28-man rosters, outfielder Anthony Alford was designated for assignment. Alford was reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Friday after being sidelined by a right wrist sprain.
The move takes Pittsburgh down to three outfielders listed on its active roster, but Diego Castillo and Cole Tucker also can play in the outfield. Castillo started in right in the series finale against the Cubs.
“When you make a roster decision, there’s a casualty, and Anthony ended up being the casualty today, which is unfortunate,” Shelton said. “But we just need innings.”
Shelton had Castillo pitch the eighth inning in Saturday’s 21-0 loss to Chicago. He used five relievers on Thursday night and four relievers on Friday night in the second game of the four-game series.
Alford, a third-round pick by Toronto in the 2012 amateur draft, was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh in August 2020. He batted .233 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 49 games with the Pirates last year.
“It’s a challenging conversation,” Shelton said, “because Anthony Alford the person is a wonderful human being. … Those (conversations) are the worst part of the job.”
Sulser found out he was going to the majors when Triple-A Indianapolis manager Miguel Perez called a team meeting before he was supposed to start Saturday against Columbus.
“We thought it was going to be about something else before the game and then he let me know there,” said Sulser, a 10th-round pick in the 2017 amateur draft out of Dartmouth.
Sulser said he called his fiancée and his immediate family right after he got the news. His brother was preparing for his game with Miami, but they finally got connected on Sunday.
“He was just fired up,” Beau Sulser said. “Again, he’s in the clubhouse getting ready to go, so he couldn’t talk long, but he just said he loves me and congratulations and have fun today.”