Pirates designate LHP Josh Fleming for assignment one night after a poor relief performance

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Josh Fleming throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Monday, May 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Left-handed pitcher Josh Fleming was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, one day after he allowed six runs while getting just three outs in a relief appearance.

The Pirates recalled right-hander Ryder Ryan from Triple-A Indianapolis to fill Fleming’s spot.

“We needed a bullpen arm,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Tuesday before a game with the Milwaukee Brewers. “We have other guys that are available tonight and we need the innings. Josh became the odd man out.”

Fleming, who turns 28 on Saturday, had a 1-1 record and a 5.68 ERA with one save in 17 appearances with the Pirates this season. He had pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2020-23.

After heading into April 30 with a 1.29 ERA, Fleming had given up 11 runs – 10 earned – over five innings in his last five appearances.

In the Pirates’ 8-6 victory over the Brewers on Monday night, Fleming allowed a grand slam to Jake Bauers and gave up a two-run double to Willy Adames.

He started the seventh inning with the Pirates ahead 5-0 before allowing Adames’ double. After the Pirates extended their lead to 7-2 in the top of the eighth, Fleming faced four batters in the bottom of the inning without retiring any. Blake Perkins and Gary Sánchez opened with singles, and after Joey Ortiz reached on an error by shortstop Oneil Cruz to load the bases, Bauers hit a shot over the right field wall to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 7-6.

Five of the six runs Fleming allowed were earned.

Ryan, 29, has gone 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in nine relief appearances with Pittsburgh this season. He also has an 0-0 record and 3.86 ERA in five games with Indianapolis.

“This guy throws a sinker that really does a nice job of getting ground balls when he executes it,” Shelton said.


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