Right-hander Charlie Morton joined the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday in Los Angeles, the day after making his final rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis. The 28-year-old allowed one run on six hits over 7.2 innings on Monday. Morton walked one and struck out eight batters while throwing 98 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Morton was placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the 2012 season due to offseason left hip surgery. The move was retroactive to March 29, making him eligible for reinstatement on April 13.
The Pirates will need a starter on Saturday, April 14, and Morton will likely get the ball. The club will have to option a player to Triple-A in order to reinstate Morton from the DL. Either Infielder Matt Hague, Josh Harrison or Yamaico Navarro will be sent down. The Pirates elected to carry an extra bat on the bench to start the season instead of carrying an extra arm in the ‘pen.
Hague, 26, has been used in a double platoon situation at first base with a left-hander on the mound. He’s made two starts and played in three games for the Pirates this season. Hague has gone 1-for-7 with two RBI. His lone hit was the game tying pinch-hit RBI in the Pirates eventual win on Sunday. Hague also drove in the only run scored on Monday in the Pirates 2-1 loss to the Dodgers.
Harrison and Navarro have yet to make a start this season. Harrison has had one at-bat, where he hit a double. Navarro has had two at-bats, where both times he drew a walk.