PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates claimed reliever Jhan Marinez off waivers from the Brewers on Friday, adding a big arm to their bullpen.
Marinez, 28, was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Monday. The right-hander has put together a 5.40 ERA in 16 2/3 innings over 15 appearances this season, but he is coming off a strong 2016 season in which he posted a 3.18 ERA in 62 1/3 innings over 46 outings, three of which came early in the year with the Rays.
The Pirates will announce a corresponding roster move after Marinez joins the team. He will wear No. 52 with the Pirates.
While he is struggling this season, Marinez has posted a 57.4 percent ground-ball rate, which likely made him appealing to the Pirates. Marinez may have also been the victim of some bad luck, as he has allowed a .396 batting average on balls in play, well above the league average.
Marinez's fastball averages 95.1 mph, according to Statcast™ data, and he is capable of pitching multiple innings. The right-hander is out of Minor League options.
It is unclear what role Marinez will play for the Pirates. Their bullpen depth has taken a hit without starter Jameson Taillon, with long reliever Trevor Williams moving into the rotation and forcing them to call up right-hander Josh Lindblom from Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Bucs have been without veteran left-hander Antonio Bastardo since he was placed on the disabled list on April 25. Bastardo struggled early in the season, posting a 16.20 ERA in six appearances before going on the DL. In his place, Pittsburgh called up right-hander Johnny Barbato, who has put together a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings over seven appearances.
Right-hander Daniel Hudson, a setup man at the beginning of the season, has been relegated to lower-leverage work after a rough start. That has bumped lefty Wade LeBlanc, their other long man to start the season, into a more prominent role in front of southpaw setup man Felipe Rivero and closer Tony Watson.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.