The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed Donald Veal to a minor league contract, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Veal was non-tendered two weeks ago, but the Pirates were said to be trying to bring him back.
Veal went down early in the 2010 season with Tommy John surgery, and probably won’t return until June 2011. Had the Pirates tendered him a contract, he would have had to start the season on the disabled list, making a Major League salary, while accumulating service time.
It’s good that the Pirates brought Veal back, as they spent a lot of time on him over the last two years. He’s a talented left hander with a mid-90s fastball. His biggest issue has been a lack of control, although he was showing improvements in that area in 2010. The Indianapolis rotation should be full to start the 2011 season, with Brad Lincoln, Rudy Owens, Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, and Justin Wilson expected to open the year as starters. One of those options should be in the majors by the time Veal returns, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him used as a starter in AAA once he returns.