PITTSBURGH -- Looking for another hitter to round out their bench, the Pirates turned to the Triple-A Indianapolis roster. One player stood out as outperforming the rest of the pack, and on Friday the Pirates called up versatile prospect Adam Frazier to make his Major League debut.
The Pirates' No. 27 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Frazier was thrown right into the action. He entered Friday's 8-6 win over the Dodgers at PNC Park as part of a sixth-inning double switch, playing second base. He lined a single to center field off J.P. Howell in his first Major League at-bat, and the ball was sent bouncing back toward the Pirates dugout for safekeeping.
"It's a term that doesn't sound like much, but it's definitely a term of endearment when you call somebody a backyard ballplayer," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's a backyard ballplayer."
Frazier was hitting .333/.401/.425 (.827 OPS) with 16 doubles, four triples and no homers before Pittsburgh selected his contract from Indianapolis. He had more walks (29) than strikeouts (27), along with 17 stolen bases, and his .333 average leads the International League.
Frazier, 24, was brought up as a shortstop and also plays second and third base. He started 43 games in left field and 13 in center this year.
"It's challenging at times, but that's part of the learning process," Frazier said. "I just try to go out there and react, not think too much about what I'm doing."
His callup came at an interesting time for the Bucs' outfield.
Starling Marte started in left field Friday but still appeared to be hobbled by a sore left foot. Gregory Polanco was out of the lineup due to left leg discomfort. Andrew McCutchen is still looking for answers to his season-long slump, and a potential solution could involve taking a few days off in a row.
Frazier started at shortstop on Thursday, one of a few players lined up out of their usual position. After the game, Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor gathered his team together -- the typical precursor to a callup announcement.
"He just kind of went through and asked how we all felt. He asked me, 'How'd you feel at shortstop?' 'I felt all right,'" Frazier said. "'What would you do if Clint said go out there.' I said, 'Well, I got it.' He said, 'Good, because you're going to Pittsburgh.'"
On Friday, he caught a flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh, made his way to PNC Park and found a locker and a No. 26 jersey with his name on it.
"Pretty cool," Frazier said. "That's one of the moments you dream about."
In a corresponding 25-man roster move, the Pirates optioned catcher Jacob Stallings to Triple-A. They had been carrying three catchers, and Chris Stewart's sore left knee is well enough to play. The Pirates designated infielder Cole Figueroa for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.
"Good young man, made the Opening Day roster," Hurdle said of Figueroa. "Now we have four or five different infielders in Triple-A."
For a good cause
Proceeds from the Pirates Charities 50/50 Raffle on Saturday at PNC Park will benefit the OneOrlando Fund to help assist the community affected by the tragic shooting on June 12 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
Raffle ticket prices are three for $5, 10 for $10 and 40 for $20. Sales close after the last out in the sixth inning, and the winning number is announced in the eighth inning.