Making sense of Pittsburgh Pirates roster moves from the past week

By Scott Thomas
Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates used up their final options on both SPs Andy Oliver, whom they got from the Detroit Tigers earlier this season and Bryan Morris, when they were sent down to Indianapolis in the past week.

From here on out, Oliver and Morris would have to clear waivers before they could be moved off the Indianapolis Indians roster.

For the record, 3B Pedro Alvarez also has one more option left available for the Pirates to use this season, should the need arise to do so.

The Pirates also acquired IF John McDonald from the Arizona Diamondbacks for either a player to be named later or cash. This move came as a result of the injury suffered by SS Chase d’Arnaud who was placed on the 60-day Disabled List with his injured left thumb requiring surgery.

McDonald should be able to beat out IF Josh Harrison for the utility infielder role on the Pirates this season. The 24-year old Harrison hit .233 in 104 games last season, while the 37 year-old McDonald hit .249 for the Diamondbacks last year in 70 games. Both players are hitting under .270 thus far in Spring Training. Harrison might be the more versatile player for the every day roster this summer as he has the ability to play the outfield.  McDonald has only manned an OF position in six of his 893 career games.

With an infield of 1B Garrett Jones, 2B Neil Walker, 3B Alvarez, SS Clint Barmes and the previously mentioned McDonald, the Pirates should be all set to begin the season.

Manager Clint Hurdle has shown a tendency to favor bringing in veterans to camp, as evidenced by the acquisition of McDonald, and bringing in Non-Roster Invitees Brad Hawpe and Brandon Inge who are both in their 30s like McDonald.


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