PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Jeff Clement will get his first taste of big-league baseball in over two years, as the Pirates recalled the Indianapolis infielder from their Triple-A affiliate Friday afternoon. To compensate, the team optioned Yamaico Navarro back to the Indians.
Rejoining Navarro down on the farm will be right-handed reliever Daniel McCutchen, while utility infielder Jordy Mercer, back from paternity leave, took his roster spot.
The 26-year-old Clement came to Pittsburgh at the 2009 trade deadline in a multi-player deal with the Seattle Mariners that sent popular shortstop Jack Wilson out of town. He struggled with the Pirates as a catcher/first baseman in 2010, hitting just .201 with a .237 on-base percentage and seven home runs in 54 games before his demotion.
Once rated as one of the top 50 prospects in Major League Baseball by Baseball America, Clement has hit .276 in Indy this season with a .340 on-base and .486 slugging percentage. He has hit 16 homers and driven in 57 for the Indians, who clinched the International League West Division title Thursday.
Navarro hit .275 in 60 games with Indianapolis before his brief appearance back in a Pirate uniform, during which he went hitless in five at-bats.
McCutchen, who took the loss in Tuesday’s walk-off defeat at the hands of the San Diego Padres, is 6-2 in the minors this year with a 3.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 32 relief appearances.
On a related note, the Pirates claimed left-handed pitcher Hisanori Takahashi off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. The 37-year-old Tokyo native went 0-3 with a 4.93 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 42 relief appearances with the Angels this year. He struck out 41 and walked ten over 42 innings.
Tune into the Pirates Preview Show with Dan Zangrilli and Kevin Orie at 5:40 Friday on your flagship home of the Bucs, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan, for all the latest.