PITTSBURGH -- Triple-A first baseman Matt Hague is among a dozen or so players that the Pirates are considering adding once rosters expand on Sept. 1, manager Clint Hurdle said on Wednesday.
Hurdle said he'd like to keep the roster manageable, meaning that the number of players with Pittsburgh would likely be capped at about 35. Some players could be brought up on Sept. 1, while others might finish out the Minor League season first.
The Pirates will likely add at least one catcher from their Triple-A affiliate, and will certainly bring up some extra pitchers. In addition to the pitchers currently in Pittsburgh, Daniel Moskos and Evan Meek are leading candidates to be added. Meek has been on the disabled list since mid-June.
Alex Presley and Chase d'Arnaud will be here next month, if not before, and third baseman Pedro Alvarez could be back as well. All are already on the 40-man roster.
Summoning Hague would require that the Pirates clear a spot for him on the 40-man roster. But as they did with Presley last year, the Pirates would like to reward Hague for a stellar season.
"Matt Hague has definitely done enough to warrant consideration," Hurdle said. "Definitely. He's had solid offensive campaigns every level he's been at."
In 130 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this year, Hague has hit .318 with 34 doubles, 12 homers and 70 RBIs. A ninth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Hague ranks third in the International League in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage (.377) and second in total bases (229).
Ludwick latest Pirates player to land on DL
PITTSBURGH -- Plagued by mid-back muscle spasms for the last two days, outfielder Ryan Ludwick became the fourth player the Pirates have placed on the disabled list since Friday. Ludwick's placement on the DL on Wednesday is retroactive to Tuesday, meaning he'd be eligible to come off any time after Sept. 6.
Ludwick's back locked up on him Tuesday and then again on Wednesday morning. That prompted the Pirates to call back Pedro Ciriaco, who was at the Pittsburgh airport on Wednesday preparing to return to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Ciriaco, who was going to be optioned down in order to make room for the Pirates to add Wednesday starter Aaron Thompson, became available for the series finale against the Brewers.
Ludwick was undergoing an MRI exam at Allegheny General Hospital on Wednesday morning and was therefore unable to clarify exactly when the back spasms began and what might have led to the discomfort.
With Ludwick on the DL, the Pirates are now without the services of both players they acquired at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. First baseman Derrek Lee has been on the DL since Aug. 13 with a fractured bone in his left wrist.
Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia and Steve Pearce have also been shelved over the past few days.
Pirates' Presley, d'Arnaud await recall
PITTSBURGH -- The roster complications that the Pirates have dealt with all week has had a trickle-down effect on Alex Presley and Chase d'Arnaud, both of whom have had an extended rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis this month.
Manager Clint Hurdle noted that both appear healthy enough to end those rehab stints and come off the disabled list. The problem is, the Pirates have not had the flexibility to add either one this week.
Since Friday, the Pirates have placed four players on the DL, recalled three from Triple-A, activated one off the DL, designated one for assignment and purchased the contract of another. The club's roster issues were compounded even further with the need for an additional starter in Monday's doubleheader.
"This has been as much time as I've ever spent on trying to figure out the roster implications, complications and availability," Hurdle said. "We're making sure that we're continuing to do everything we can do to get the people up here that we need to have to try and win ballgames and compete."
There is a scenario, however, in which both Presley and d'Arnaud could rejoin the Pirates as early as Thursday. The Pirates are likely going to consider adding Presley and optioning Pedro Ciriaco now that Ryan Ludwick has landed on the 15-day DL with back spasms. Presley would be able to assume Ludwick's spot in left field.
The Pirates will also probably send Aaron Thompson out after he makes his spot start on Wednesday. His spot will likely be filled by a position player, since the team is currently playing with a four-man bench. d'Arnaud would be a candidate to fill this final bench spot.
Rookie Harrison enjoys week of firsts
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates infielder Josh Harrison hit his first Major League triple on Monday and followed it with his first home run on Tuesday against the Brewers.
Harrison led off the fifth inning on Tuesday at PNC Park with a shot to left field. He had five home runs with Triple-A Indianapolis this season, but had never hit one in the Majors.
"You can't really be too sure at this park, but I knew I hit it pretty good. I was just running and I saw him climb up the wall," Harrison said. "I was uncertain whether he caught it or not, but I just kept running."
Harrison, 24, has gone 4-for-11 in the first three games of the Pirates' four-game series with the Brewers. His RBI double in the second game of Monday's doubleheader sparked a seven-run rally in the seventh inning.
His uncle, former Pirates first-base coach John Shelby, works for the Brewers as an "eye in the sky."
"This is his first time getting to see me play professional ball," Harrison said. "He still has to do a job for the Brewers, so I think it gets kind of hard. He gets caught in between. He doesn't want to show any emotion. He's happy for me, but he still has to be professional about it."
Manager Clint Hurdle said Harrison, who was called up from Triple-A on Aug. 12 for his second stint with the team, had made improvements during his time in the Minors.
"He played hard down there and worked on the things we asked him to work on," Hurdle said. "He's got to be able to play small ball. He's got to be able to move runners and get bunts down to make him a more complete Major League player. But it looks like he's playing with a lot of confidence."
Right-hander Evan Meek (right shoulder tendinitis) will make his second rehab appearance with Class A Advanced Bradenton on Wednesday. Meek is scheduled to throw one inning in the Marauders' night game.
Catching prospect Tony Sanchez had a two-run homer for Double-A Altoona on Tuesday. It was Sanchez's first home run since July 16. He is batting .242 in August and has a season average of .238, with 12 doubles, five homers and 43 RBIs.
Left-hander Aaron Thompson became the eighth starting pitcher the Pirates have used this season when he started Wednesday. The club used 11 in 2010. A total of 48 players have appeared in at least one game for the team. The franchise record for most players used in a season is 51. That happened last year.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Laura Myers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.