MILWAUKEE -- As the Pirates attempt to piece together their bench, as manager Clint Hurdle put it, "one series at a time," outfielder Jaff Decker got the call on Friday for an opening that closed before he got here.
Hurdle had planned to give All-Star Andrew McCutchen the day off in the second-half opener against the Brewers, and have the lefty-hitting Decker start against right-hander Mike Fiers.
"[Francisco] Cervelli can go a couple places," said Hurdle, quickly adding, "Shortstop is not one of them."
However long he remains, Decker, who had to be placed on the disabled list at the end of a very impressive Spring Training and had been playing at Triple-A Indianapolis, at least made it back to the Bucs.
Decker takes the roster spot of right-hander Wilfredo Boscan, optioned back to the Triple-A Indians on Monday after having been called up if a need arose for another relief arm in Sunday's game, which never came up.
Decker put up a good preseason fight for a roster spot, but came down with a strained left calf near the end of Grapefruit League play and went on the DL the day before Opening Day.
"Those things happen, but another window opened and I got to go to Indy and work on couple more things, and it worked out for the best," said Decker, who watched the Indianapolis-Pittsburgh shuttle operate often without being asked aboard. "There's different puzzle pieces they're trying to fit in up here. They know what they're doing and you can't really argue about any moves they make when they're the second-best team in baseball."
In 54 games with the Indians, Decker hit .275 with 13 extra base hits (nine doubles, one triple, three home runs). He stole 11 bases.
Decker returns on the anniversary of his last Major League appearance. In two brief stints with the Bucs last season, he went hitless in five at-bats, the last on July 13.