PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates designated pitcher Bryan Bullington for assignment Friday, a move that may end the former No. 1 draft pick's tenure with the organization without him winning a game in the majors.
The Pirates have 10 days to trade the right-hander, release him or keep him at Triple-A Indianapolis if he clears waivers. Outfielder Chris Duffy was returned to the 40-man roster after his time on the 60-day disabled list expired.
Bullington was drafted ahead of players such as B.J. Upton, Prince Fielder, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher and Cole Hamels in June 2002, partly because the Pirates felt they had a better chance of signing the former Ball State pitcher. General manager Dave Littlefield projected him as no better than a No. 3 starter in the majors.
Bullington was 0-3 with a 5.89 ERA in six games, including three starts, with Pittsburgh in 2005 and 2007. He missed the 2006 season for right shoulder surgery.
The Pirates called up Bullington for nearly two weeks earlier this season, but he was not used -- a sign that manager John Russell had no confidence in him.
Duffy had left shoulder surgery on Aug. 31 and has been rehabilitating since then. He was optioned to Double-A Altoona, where he has been playing on a rehabilitation assignment.