PITTSBURGH -- The sight of right-handed reliever Jared Hughes in the Pirates' clubhouse early Thursday afternoon, only four days after he'd been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, raised a chorus of "Uh-ohs" regarding Neil Walker.
Optioned players cannot be recalled for 10 days -- unless replacing a player disqualified by injury or other restrictions. But concerns that Walker was headed to the disabled list with a right finger dislocation he suffered in Wednesday night's 9-3 loss to the Dodgers were quickly allayed.
Walker, who had a routine examination with a hand specialist on Thursday morning, was not placed on the DL, but his activity will be limited for a few days. Hughes instead replaced Chad Qualls, who was placed on the three-day bereavement list because of a family illness, in one of two roster moves made by the Pirates on Thursday.
Left-hander Jeff Locke was optioned to Indianapolis. Recalled in Locke's place from Triple-A was Yamaico Navarro, who bolsters the club's infield depth during Walker's absence.
Hughes made no appearances for the Indianapolis Indians, doing only side work on "keeping the ball down and holding on runners."
Navarro broke camp with the Pirates, but he hit only .178 in 25 games prior to getting sent down at the end of May. Manager Clint Hurdle had been very high in the offseason on the infielder, acquired in a December deal from Kansas City in return for Minor Leaguers Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris.
"He wasn't getting the at-bats I'd hoped would be there for him," Hurdle said, "so we felt, you know what, he's still of age . We need him to be playing to get better. That's the reason he was sent down.
"He went through some challenges [in Indianapolis], and they've been addressed. He understands what's at stake for him personally and professionally with this callup, the importance of this opportunity at this point in his career with this organization."
Navarro hit .275 in 200 at-bats in Indianapolis, including 24 hits for extra bases.