Pirates suspend prospect Moreno

Pirates suspend prospect Moreno

PITTSBURGH -- Right-handed pitching prospect Diego Moreno has been suspended by the organization for unprofessional conduct. General manager Neal Huntington did not go into detail about the particular incident that prompted the action, but he labeled Moreno's conduct as "untrustworthy."

"We have a certain standard that we expect of our players," Huntington said. "Certainly at the Double-A level, we need to be able to trust our players. We've addressed it and addressed it aggressively. Hopefully, he'll learn from it and move beyond it."

Moreno was promoted to Double-A in late May after starting the season with a 1.37 ERA in 16 relief appearances for Class A Bradenton. Moreno has made seven appearances for the Curve and has only been scored upon in two of them. He last pitched on July 11.

The organization's decision to suspend a Minor League player for unprofessional conduct is not unprecedented. Last August, the Pirates handed pitcher Bryan Morris a similar suspension that lasted 11 days. Though it came during a terrible season for the right-hander, Morris responded well and has rebounded to go 7-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 19 starts between high Class A and Double-A this year.

The Pirates are hopeful that Moreno follows suit.

"He can go one of two directions," Huntington said. "He can do what Bryan did and hopefully learns that what he did is inappropriate. Unfortunately, some players never learn. This is a challenge to our staff to help this young man get better and avoid this type of behavior moving forward."