Pirates outright three off 40-man roster

Pirates outright three off 40-man roster

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates continue to retool the club's 40-man roster, with three more players being removed from it on Friday. Right-handers Virgil Vasquez and Eric Hacker were outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis, while catcher Steve Lerud was sent outright to Double-A Altoona.

With the three subtractions, the Pirates now have 36 players on their 40-man roster. Relievers Evan Meek and Jose Ascanio remain on the 60-day disabled list and will take two of those vacant spots soon. The Pirates have until Nov. 20 to finalize their 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10.

None of Friday's three roster moves comes as much of a surprise. Vasquez and Hacker both spent minimal time on the Major League roster in 2009. In 14 games (seven starts) with the Pirates, Vasquez went 2-5 with a 5.84 ERA. Hacker, whom the Pirates received in a trade from the Yankees back in May, made only three relief appearances with Pittsburgh, all in September.

Lerud, who had been added to the 40-man roster last November, hit .240 with 26 RBIs in 95 games with Altoona last season. The Pirates drafted Lerud in the third round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.