Yesterday it was reported that Vin Mazzaro had been outrighted to Indianapolis, and that Duke Welker appeared to have Tommy John surgery. The Pirates just issued a press release saying that Mazzaro has accepted his assignment to Indianapolis, while confirming the surgery for Welker.
This is the third time that Mazzaro has been outrighted to Triple-A, and the second time this year. He could have declined the assignment to become a free agent. However, he would have given up the remainder of his $950,000 salary. Considering no team claimed him off waivers for that same salary, it seems unlikely that he’d get the same deal as a free agent.
We knew that Welker was having surgery, but the assumption was that it was Tommy John. That was cleared up with this release. The Pirates gave the 12-18 month recovery timeline. Usually players are back closer to 12 months, which puts Welker out until the middle of next season.
Since Welker was in the minors, he doesn’t have to be added to the 60-day DL unless the Pirates need a 40-man spot. Considering they have a few spots open, it’s unlikely that Welker will be called up and placed on the 60-day DL.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.