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Pirates suspend Curve reliever Moreno

July 18, 2010
By Cory Giger,

Curve relief pitcher Diego Moreno, a highly touted prospect with a 98 mph fastball, has been suspended by the Pirate organization for unprofessional behavior.

Farm director Kyle Stark said the suspension likely will be in the "five to seven day range." He also said he's not sure if Moreno will return to the Curve after the suspension.

Moreno has been sent to Bradenton to serve the suspension and likely will remain there even after he's allowed to pitch again.

Stark would not disclose details about why Moreno was suspended.

"It happened during the last homestand, but I'm not going to get into specifics," he said.

Moreno, a 23-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, was nearly untouchable at Single-A Bradenton as he went 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in 16 appearances. He struck out 39 in 26 1/3 innings.

Moreno has made seven appearances with the Curve, performing well in all but one of them. He gave up five runs in 1/3 of an inning at Binghamton on June 28, but in his other six appearances he allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings.

The one bad outing has left him with a 7.04 ERA. He has 12 strikeouts in his 7 2/3 innings.

The Curve have received lefty reliever Corey Hamman from Triple-A to help out in the bullpen in Moreno's absence.

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