"With Kang going down," manager Clint Hurdle said, "we believe there could be a situation we might have to protect [Pedro] Florimon, not use him as the first runner off the bench. Broxton's arguably the second-best opportunistic baserunner. That's a get for us right now."
Hurdle said Broxton, 25, can play all three outfield positions and is both a good baserunner and basestealer.
The Pirates acquired Broxton from the D-backs in a Minor League deal in March 2014, and he played at Double-A Altoona. He returned to Altoona to start this season and hit .302 in 45 games with 12 doubles, four triples, three homers, 26 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
After a promotion to Indianapolis, Broxton hit .256 with 15 doubles, eight triples, seven homers, 42 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 88 games. Broxton learned he was joining the Pirates on Saturday night after Indianapolis was eliminated by Columbus in the championship round of the International League playoffs.
"I wasn't expecting it all," said Broxton. "I thought they were going to call up a couple other guys. But I'm very excited, very excited to help the team."
Broxton received news of his promotion when Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor was addressing the team.
"Because we lost, he was a little down," Broxton said of Treanor. "He said, 'There's one good thing about tonight, and that's Keon Broxton is going to the Pirates tomorrow.' It was unexpected. It was awesome."
Broxton said he was "kind of bummed out" when he learned he was starting the season back at Altoona but realized, "I have a goal to do. I have to get better."
Hurdle said, "Every level, it's been a time of adjustment, getting his feet on the ground, and then there's been a progression and move forward."