The Pirates recalled infielder Brent Morel from Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, filling a spot on the active roster that was vacated when the club optioned right-hander Phil Irwin to Indianapolis on Thursday.
Morel hit .215 with six doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs in 25 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season. The Bucs claimed the veteran off waivers from Toronto in February. Morel played 194 games with the White Sox between 2010-13, batting .229 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs, and he has experience at third base and second base.
"We talked about all the possibilities, and this was the move that we felt we needed to make, based on roster availability and other considerations," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Irwin did not appear in a game with the Pirates after being promoted from the Minors on Tuesday when starter Jeff Locke was optioned to Indianapolis.
Suspensions upheld for Bucs' Snider and Martin
PITTSBURGH -- The suspensions of Travis Snider and Russell Martin have been upheld by Major League Baseball.
Both players' appeals of the suspensions arising from the April 20 altercation with the Brewers were heard on Tuesday.
Snider will serve his two-game suspension on Friday and Saturday, sitting out the first two games of a key National League Central series with the Cardinals at PNC Park.
Martin, suspended for one game, is currently on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and will serve his suspension when he's activated. He is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, but he's not close to returning.
"The hardest part is that, for two games, you've got to sit and watch your teammates play," said Snider, whose understanding is that his suspension arose from his action after having been punched from behind by Milwaukee backup catcher Martin Maldonado, whose five-game suspension was the longest to come out of the fracas.
"In that situation, I have to be a man and accept responsibility for what I did," Snider added. "I have to take responsibility for my actions. I look forward to getting these two games out of the way and moving forward."
Snider had arguably his strongest game of the season on Wednesday, going 2-for-3, driving in two runs and scoring another in the Bucs' 4-3 victory over the Giants. He figured to get plenty of action this weekend with St. Louis starting three right-handed pitchers.
"I haven't been starting every day, but you still want to be out there every single day with your teammates," Snider said. "Starting or coming off the bench, you want to be part of it."
Snider will become active on Sunday for the finale of this series. Following an off-day Monday, the Pirates will open a road trip against the Brewers at Miller Park.
"Whatever happens in Milwaukee, we'll deal with it when we get there," Snider said.
• Injured pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Jason Grilli both threw bullpens on Friday. Additionally, according to Hurdle, Rodriguez said he has "felt fine" since his 5 1/3-innings rehab start on Tuesday for Double-A Altoona.
• Recall the talk about how unusual was the Pirates' season-opening schedule of 26 consecutive games against National League Central rivals? Turns out, that was the longest intra-divisional stretch to start a season since the 1981 Blue Jays played 35 consecutive games against American League East foes.
• Two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera now is trying to run down a couple of Pirates Hall of Famers: He started Friday night's game 20 RBIs shy of tying Roberto Clemente's career total of 1,305 (No. 107 all time) and tied with Willie Stargell with 423 career doubles (No. 144).
First number, last word
1,421: Pirates' home games between hosting Sunday Night Baseball -- this Sunday's telecast will be their first since July 28, 1996, when the Bucs downed Philadelphia, 12-8, at Three Rivers Stadium in a game in which the plate umpire was Jerry Meals.
"He's been our best pinch-hitter, and I wanted to get him in a game, get him some at-bats to keep him sharp before the St. Louis series."
-- Hurdle, speaking of Travis Snider's start after Wednesday's game and before an MLB suspension tabled the lefty hitter for the first two games of the series.
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.Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.