d’Arnaud up; Harrison down; more moves coming

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Chase d’Arnaud is expected to join the Pirates on Friday in the first of a series of roster moves that the club will make in the next week to 10 days. The Pirates made room for d’Arnaud by optioning infielder Josh Harrison to Triple-A Indianapolis, though that demotion is expected to be temporary.

With three games in Toronto beginning on Tuesday, the Pirates have plans to add outfielder Alex Presley to the big league roster. Presley leads the International League in hits, and manager Clint Hurdle has made it clear that he would like to add the outfielder to serve as a designated hitter.

To make room for Presley, the Pirates will likely option sparsely used infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Triple-A. Though sending down Ciriaco would leave the Pirates with only one backup infielder, that, too, would be temporary.

Later next week, the Pirates will need to make another roster move, this time calling up a starting pitcher to cover one of the two games in a July 2 doubleheader against the Nationals. That addition is almost certain to be Brad Lincoln, since Lincoln is already on the 40-man roster. At that time, the Pirates will need to send down Presley or a reliever to make room for Lincoln.

Lincoln would return to Indianapolis after the outing, and the Pirates could recall Harrison – who, by rule, could not rejoin the Pirates until 10 days after being optioned unless someone goes on the disabled list – to replenish the infield depth. By July 3, those mandatory 10 days would have passed.

That explains why the Pirates opted to send down Harrison – and not Ciriaco – on Thursday. Had the Pirates waited to option Harrison next week, he would not be eligible to return on July 3.

While general manager Neal Huntington would not engage in the speculation, he did offer this on Harrison, who was called up to the Majors on May 30.

“Josh did a solid job, and we expect he will help us at the Major League level again this season,” Huntington said.

Harrison hit .283 in 16 games.

d’Arnaud, the Pirates’ top infield prospect, was hitting .280 with 11 doubles, five triples, four homers and 33 RBIs with Indianapolis at the time of the call up. He had also swiped 17 bases in 62 games.

He had split time playing short and second this year, though d’Arnaud also recently spent some time at third base and has plenty of familiarity at the position, which he played regularly in college. The 24-year-old infielder is likely to see significant playing time at third with Pedro Alvarez and Steve Pearce still on the disabled list.

The Pirates still need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for d’Arnaud. That move will be made on Friday.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

1 Comment

The D’Arnaud for Harrison move is interesting. Since Harrison faired okay (BA was good, but on base, slugging, and fielding weren’t that strong), I would have thought the Pirates would have left him at third. Reading into it, I’d guess that the Pirates are fed up with Cedeno and he’ll be playing short some, if not most of the time. I guess they don’t want to give up on Wood yet, so they had to send Harrison down (I noted and understand why not Ciriaco, he’ll be down for good shortly). We could be seeing D’Arnaud at short and Wood at third. When is Pearce coming back? The Bucs could use him. Jones looks like he could be taking over at first against righties with Paul playing right field, but they could use a right handed bat at first to platoon with him and to help out at third. I think Overbay’s time is about up, which is right about on estimated departure time from when they signed him. He just can’t hit enough for a 1B. Poor signing. Chase at short, Pedro at third when he comes back, Doumit catching when he returns, Jones/Pearce at first, and Paul/Diaz/Presley? in RF. If they can get healthy, the Pirates lineup could be much improved by late July without any trade pickups.

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