A lot of y’nz already have asked me why Josh Harrison was sent down to Indy today instead of Pedro Ciriaco, who never plays. Here’s the way I expect all these roster moves to shake down and why …
Infielder Chase d’Arnaud will be called up from the minors and join the Pirates on Friday. Outfielder Alex Presley will be promoted Tuesday for the start of the series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Pitcher Brad Lincoln will get a callup July 2 to make a spot start in the second game of a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals.
Harrison’s spot on the active roster will be filled by d’Arnaud, a fourth-round draft pick in 2008 who this year is batting .280 with four home runs at Indy.
Manager Clint Hurdle already has made it clear he would like to have Presley — who’s hitting .330 with eight homers at Indy — available for an interleague series where the designated hitter is used. When Presley is called up Tuesday, infielder Pedro Ciriaco will go back to Indianpolis.
After the three games against the Blue Jays, the Pirates will option either Presley, d’Arnaud or a reliever to Indianapolis and bring up Lincoln. The right-hander is 6-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 13 starts this year.
Remember, under MLB rules, a player who is sent to the minors cannot be recalled for 10 days unless someone goes on the DL. On July 3, Harrison will be eligible for a recall to the Pirates, and he will rejoin the team at that point (with Lincoln going back to Indy) to provide infielder depth on the bench. By sending Harrison down first instead of Ciriaco, the Pirates can bring him back sooner and the team will have only two days — July 1 and 2 in Washington — in which it’s short an infielder. By sending Harrison down first, the Pirates are actually showing he figures in their long-term plans this season. Ciriaco, not so much.