Pirates Notebook: Josh Harrison Out For the Year, Max Moroff Will Get His Time

PITTSBURGH — Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison’s season is over with a broken fifth metacarpal on his left hand.

Harrison suffered the injury on Saturday, when he was hit with a 96-mph fastball from Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo. Sunday, he was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

It brings to a premature end what has been a fantastic season for Harrison, who will finish with a .272/.339/.432 line for a 103 wRC+, the second-highest figure for his major-league career.

Ironically, that figure was buoyed by his hit-by-pitch totals, as his 23 HPB ended up eclipsing the total of his previous four seasons. Those helped his OBP to its highest total since 2014, the last time Harrison was an All-Star before this year.

“He had poured everything he had into the season and left everything on the field,” manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday. “I guess the 23rd hit-by-pitch broke the piñata, literally. An unfortunate circumstance, for sure.”

Sean Rodriguez replaced Harrison in the field on Saturday, but Hurdle said that it will be Max Moroff getting the majority of the reps at that spot the rest of the way, with recently recalled Chris Bostick in the mix, as well as Adam Frazier, when he returns from injury.

“For Max, we were going to hunt for some playing time for him anyway in the month of September,” Hurdle said. “This opens that avenue up, clearly.”

Moroff hasn’t had many opportunities to get starts, and especially not on consecutive days. He hasn’t started back-to-back games in the majors all season.

In the future, Hurdle doesn’t anticipate any changes to Harrison’s approach in reaction to the number of times he’s been plunked this season.

“Josh has found a stance and an approach to hitting that he’s very convicted with,” Hurdle said. “It wasn’t so bad the year before. This time it got toxic. We’ll see what next year brings, but I don’t seem him making any changes as far as approach, stance or stride.”


Reliever George Kontos threw a 30-pitch bullpen session and is scheduled to be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday if his right groin responds well.

Francisco Cervelli (left quad) and Gregory Polanco (left hamstring) both took turns in the batting cage, but neither had an update on their status. Polanco is already eligible to be reinstated. Cervelli will be eligible Sept. 4.


Steven Brault will start on Tuesday, giving Ivan Nova a chance to skip a start. But Tyler Glasnow will be added to the rotation eventually, too, giving the Pirates seven starting pitchers for five spots. Or maybe six. Hurdle said they’re considering going to six-man rotation down the stretch, but haven’t made a definitive decision and probably won’t until they know when they’re getting Glasnow.

“We have those conversations — Ray (Searage), Neal (Huntington), and I — about twice a week,” Hurdle said. “That has been tabled.”


  • Williams & Kuhl have thrown a bunch of innings respectively-time to see if any
    of the AAA starters have anything to offer

    • Not really sure why those two are the choice.

      Since coming back from the DL, Taillon has an ERA over 6 and has given up an .840 OPS.

      Of qualified pitchers, Kuhl and Williams are 1-2 on the team in FIP. While both will set career highs for IP this season, it won’t be by much. Kuhl is 16.2 innings behind his best mark and Williams will probably need another two starts to pass his highest innings season.

      I’d say go to a six man rotation….skip a Nova start and consider putting Taillon in the BP. That provides room for Glasnow and Brault…and someone else from AAA gets a start in place of Nova….I’m guessing Kingham.

      • You miss Taillon’s last start?

        • He can use a rest, with cancer issues earlier in the year.

        • No.

          Did you miss the 14 before that?

          Here are the highlights:

          Avg of 5 IP/start
          5.48 ERA
          .315 BA
          .845 OPS

          I’m not saying the kid isn’t going to be good…but he’s, obviously, had a lot affecting him this season.

          • I think the cancer wiped him out. What he did this yr was nothing short of a miracle,and I don’t think that’s blowing it out of proportion. I think he’s going to be a very good, top 50-60 SP in his career. But I don’t even know if I agree Blaine that he even should go to the BP…that body needs a timeout.

  • 103 wrc +, sounds awfully low.

  • How are Bostick’s skills at 2B?

  • Send the vets on vacation early. I don’t see a benefit to them being out there.

  • hate to say it, but the more veterans that need DL time this month, the better

    • It’s the only way the young guys will get to play. Clint certainly won’t play them.

      • i cant blame Clint for keeping the vets who will still be around next year in the lineup. we already see Nova kinda speaking out against sitting. But yeah. DLs take the butthurt-ness out of it.

  • about time. pirates need to see if moroff’s power translates to the mlb. they sure as hell need it