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Eldred to Pittsburgh

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The Pirates have promoted Brad Eldred to the majors. Bobby Hill was optioned to AAA.

If Eldred plays - a big if, no matter how many times the Pirates promise he will - I like this move. Daryle Ward has been bad this year, particularly in the last month or so, and Eldred has finally seemed to figure out AAA pitching. Hill is a decent but very limited player, and Lloyd McClendon understandably had trouble finding uses for Hill's skill set - mediocre infield defense and a bit of on-base ability. He's an okay guy to have around, but he won't really be missed. (You could say that about any number of current Pirates, of course.)

Eldred started slowly at AAA this year, and a month or so ago his OPS there was a shade over .700, if I remember correctly. It will be interesting to see what happens if he has another adjustment period in the bigs, which I'll bet he will. Let's hope the Pirates don't turn this into another J.J. Davis situation. If Eldred's in Pittsburgh, he should play, and the Pirates should be prepared to wait out a bad couple of months while he gets his bearings.

Another interesting aspect of this transaction is its timing. Assuming the Pirates don't use Eldred in a bench role, his presence should mean less playing time for Daryle Ward, who has been mentioned repeatedly in trade rumors over the past week. I wonder if this means the Pirates weren't able to find a taker for him.