The Pirates announced this morning that Chase D'Arnaud will be with the Pirates for their weekend series against the Red Sox. D'Arnaud's hitting .280/.347/.418 in Indy, but he's been much better in May and June after a cold April and some time on the disabled list. Josh Harrison has been demoted back to Indianapolis in his place.
There's plenty of consternation about Harrison going down instead of Pedro Ciriaco, but I think a few factors are at play here. One is that the Pirates want Harrison to get at-bats, whereas they're obviously not concerned if Ciriaco does. The other is that Brandon Wood has been hitting the ball pretty well of late. In June he's hitting at a .292/.320/.438 clip, which isn't great (especially the OBP), but it's much better than the hollow .283/.295/.317 line that Harrison had managed. If the Pirates have finally reached the end of their Ronny Cedeno rope and want to give D'Arnaud a chance, it would make sense to give Wood the at-bats at third for now to see if he can continue being at least somewhat useful with the bat. That leaves Harrison as the odd man out for now. I'm certainly not writing the guy off after 62 big league plate appearances, but he did seem pretty overmatched at times and it makes sense to send him back for some regular reps in Triple-A.
We could debate the Pedro Ciriaco 24-man roster from now until the end of time, but it seems to me that Clint Hurdle's pretty firm on wanting a certain number of infielders and outfielders (the decision not to call Alex Presley up for the Indians' series was presented everywhere as Hurdle's choice, not Huntington's) and if Ciriaco goes down, that leaves just one backup infielder for non-first base positions. It's already pretty clear that Hurdle has a little more pull in the decision-making than John Russell did and I'm guessing that Huntington picks his battles and has decided this one isn't worth fighting. The 25th man on the roster just isn't that important, statistically speaking, and in the end when there's a chance for Presley to play regularly, he'll be in Pittsburgh to do so.
That chance is probably coming soon, as Rob Biertempfel just tweeted that both Presley and Brad Lincoln will be called up next week. After the fiasco in Cleveland, the club is likely rethinking their DH strategy and with Lyle Overbay likely headed to the bench a bit more regularly, there should be plenty of ways to work Presley into the lineup. Lincoln, I'm guessing, will be joining the club for the double header in DC, though that's not in any way confirmed yet.
I've been saying for a while that the Pirates need to find out what some of these fringe-type guys can do. Apparently, they're all about to get their chance.
UPDATE: Biertempfel has a great blog post about the roster maneuverings that are about to go on, pointing out that both Harrison and Ciriaco will need to go down in the coming week and that by sending Harrison down now, he'll be eligible to come back up for Lincoln after his spot start next weekend.
So, Pat, do we know if D'Arnaud is going to start at SS? The Pirates history (with Steve Pearce being the prime example) has had guys come up hot from AAA and then ride the pine for a couple weeks. Is D'Arnaud going to start, or are we going to see him split some time at SS/2B/3B while Cedeno and Wood take most of the ABs?
Obviously, my hope is that D'Arnaud is given the starting job -- I'd like to see him get 10 starts in a row and see how he does. I think you're right that Wood should get 3B ABs to see if he can be one of the utility infielders once PA is back.
Jiminy. I realize D'Arnaud isn't a prospect in the same mold as Alvarez -- or even Tabata or Walker. But has there been a rookie in the past 4 years whose performance is more important to the team? There just hasn't been and won't be other options at SS besides D'Arnaud. If he stinks, we're back to square one at a critical position.
@Fat Jimmy I'm not in the know here, but I'd be shocked if they called D'Arnaud up only to have him not play for a week and go back down. I think everyone recognizes that this is Cedeno's last year with the Pirates and it's time to figure out if D'Arnaud is worth a long-term shot or if they need to do something else for next year.
And it's not really fair to say there are no options besides D'Arnaud; coming into the year he and Brock Holt profiled pretty similarly. Holt has struggled a bit at Double-A, but then so did D'Arnaud last year and that didn't really slow him down.
I was at the at the Indy/LV game last night and they played Chase D'Arnaud at 3rd with Friday manning short. I'm thinking D'Arnaud might be coming up to play some at 3rd as well as short.
I have to ask why? We know have 4 SS on the ML roster...Cedeno, Wood, Ciriaco, and now D'Arnaud... Harrison was playing well and getting on base. I assume Wood is now the primary 3rd base option, but is D'Arnaud bat going to be easier to get in the lineup than if they would have called up Presley? And why is Ciriaco on the roster anyways, considering he is used so sparingly...he's basically on the roster to pinch run once a week.