The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have claimed catcher Zack Collins from the Toronto Blue Jays and right-handed pitcher Junior Fernandez from the St Louis Cardinals. Both players have been optioned to Indianapolis. There was already one open spot on the 40-man roster from earlier today. To open a second spot, left-handed pitcher Cam Vieaux has been designated for assignment.
Collins was the tenth overall draft pick in the 2016 draft out of the University of Miami. The 27-year-old has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, combining for a .195/.306/.347 slash line in 140 games, with a career -0.8 WAR, due in part to below average defensive numbers each season. His .682 OPS in 26 games this season in the best of his career. He has shown some power in the minors, but it has come with a low average and high strikeout rates.
The 25-year-old Fernandez has a similar story to Collins, as they both have played four partial seasons in the majors and both are having their best season this year. He has a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings over 13 appearances for the Cardinals this year. In his four seasons, he has a 5.51 ERA/5.57 FIP, a 1.74 WHIP, and 45 strikeouts in 50.2 innings over 47 appearances. While he has a low ERA in the majors this year, he has a 5.45 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP in 36.1 innings at Triple-A this season.
Vieaux has a 10.38 ERA and a 2.31 WHIP in 8.2 innings over eight appearances with the Pirates this season, his first in the majors at 28 years old. He has pitched well in Triple-A this season, posting a 2.80 ERA and an 0.87 WHIP in 45 innings.