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. Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
CINCINNATI -- Of the three players the Pirates added to their expanded roster on Monday, no one has traveled as much to get to Cincinnati as right-hander Rick van den Hurk. Also promoted were infielder Chase d'Arnaud and fellow righty Bryan Morris, and all three had to trek only 360 miles from Triple-A Indianapolis to the Queen City. However, van den Hurk has been on the move -- quite literally -- since Feb. 3, when he was released by the Orioles, the first of four Major League organizations with which he has been this year.
Before the Bucs signed him as a free agent on April 9, van den Hurk was signed and waived by the Blue Jays and claimed and released by the Indians. "It was crazy, going from place to place to place in Spring Training," the 6-foot-5 Netherlands native said upon donning his Pirates No. 35. "It happened, and the good thing was I kept getting signed. With the Pirates, I was able to stay in one place and get myself under control." In Indianapolis, he went from being a hot potato to being just hot. With a 13-5 record and 2.92 ERA in 21 games, primarily as a starter, he was chosen as Player of the Year of the International League West Division champs. The Bucs will use him out of the bullpen, at least until "we get to take a look at him on the mound," manager Clint Hurdle said. The other two newcomers aren't new at all, having spent prior time with the big league club. The Pirates' fourth-round choice in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, d'Arnaud batted .252 with 34 stolen bases for Indianapolis this season. The 25-year-old hit .217 in 48 contests with Pittsburgh during the 2011 campaign. Morris, who was called up earlier this season but did not get into a game and has yet to make his big league debut, posted a 2-2 mark and 2.67 ERA in 46 relief appearances at Triple-A. He is ranked No. 13 by MLB.com on the Pirates' Top 20 Prospects list. To create room on the 40-man roster for van den Hurk, Pittsburgh designated right-hander Evan Meek for assignment. Meek spent parts of the last five seasons with the Pirates, logging a 7-7 mark with a 3.34 ERA in 156 outings -- all in relief -- with four saves. He had no record with a 6.75 ERA in 12 appearances this season.