Pirates select Florimon from Triple-A Indianapolis

Pirates select Florimon from Triple-A Indianapolis

KANSAS CITY -- In another move that highlighted the Pirates' eagerness and need for sounder infield reinforcements prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, on Wednesday they purchased switch-hitting infielder Pedro Florimon's contract from Triple-A Indianapolis.

The light-hitting Florimon immediately entered the starting lineup at shortstop -- and manager Clint Hurdle's motive for that move also shed light on what the club will hunt for in the eight days prior to the July 31 deadline. Florimon went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the Bucs' 5-1 loss.

As did, really, other parts of the lineup facing Kansas City righty Edinson Volquez: Jaff Decker was in left and Travis Ishikawa at first base, as Pedro Alvarez sat against an opposition's right-hander for the second time in four days.

Florimon gave a break not only to utilityman Sean Rodriguez, sitting after having played five straight games, but to Jung Ho Kang, who returned to third base to unplug him both physically and mentally from the rigors of playing short.

"It gets Kang out of the shortstop position from time to time to give him a breather," Hurdle said. "He's commented that it's a different shortstop here [than what he had played in the Korean Baseball Organization]. The pitch-to-pitch intensity. He loves it, but he also says that at the end of the night it's a whole different feeling than he was having after a regular game over there."

If Kang needed a breather after two starts at short, and if the only way to give him that blow was by having him play third, clearly the Pirates have an interest in acquiring a more viable replacement for third baseman Josh Harrison and/or shortstop Jordy Mercer, both on injury leave until early September.

The current infield reserve of Brent Morel, Rodriguez and Florimon will not be part of the solution for a stalling offense that scored fewer than three runs in 36 of the Bucs' first 93 games. They were 6-30 with that handicap.

Two other moves needed to be made to accommodate Florimon: Right-hander Wilfredo Boscan was optioned to Indianapolis to clear room on the 25-man active roster and lefty Jayson Aquino, who was with Class A Advanced Bradenton, was designated for assignment to open space on the 40-man roster.

Florimon, 28, was acquired in November on waivers from the Nationals and has played every infield position with the exception of first base in 61 games with the Indians. He hit .254, with an on-base percentage of .324.

Two years ago, Florimon was the regular shortstop for the Twins, while batting .221 in 134 games.

"He's an above-average defender across the board, a good baserunner. A very dependable player," said Hurdle, citing Florimon's ability to lay down bunts and apply situational hitting.

Admittedly, not an overly enthusiastic, five-star evaluation of his newest infielder. Not someone who will call an end to the Pirates' search for help.

Boscan, who ended his third stint of the season with the Pirates, still has yet to make his big league debut.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.