The Pirates have promoted Gregory Polanco, Jeff Locke, Casey Sadler, Bobby LaFromboise and John Holdzkom. They've also selected Chase d'Arnaud's contract and designated Michael Martinez for assignment to clear space.
The Polanco, Locke and Sadler additions were likely easy calls, and neither LaFromboise or Holdzkom are too surprising, given that the Bucs recently added Holdzkom to their 40-man. LaFromboise will give the Pirates another lefty, albeit one of questionable quality; Holdzkom could potentially become a very interesting relief option, although it's unclear if he'll be able to do that right away.
The interesting move here is the d'Arnaud/Martinez swap. Some folks asked why I didn't include d'Arnaud on my list of potential September call-ups. He hasn't hit much since all the way back in Class A+, and he's completely flatlined at Triple-A. On top of that, Neal Huntington recently said almost flat-out that he didn't care for d'Arnaud as a player, and the Bucs have shown a bizarre fascination with Martinez despite his obvious offensive ineptitude. And on top of that, d'Arnaud has been caught stealing 13 times against 30 steals this year, indicating that his speed, which is pretty much his only source of value at the big-league level right now, might not be what it once was.
That said, y'all were right, and I was wrong. I'm kind of glad, too, in that I'm hopeful Clint Hurdle won't mistake d'Arnaud for anything more than a good pair of wheels. D'Arnaud almost certainly won't make more than one or two starts down the stretch, and hopefully not even that. I'm not sure that would have been the case if Martinez had been promoted instead.
This list of call-ups, by the way, does not include Vin Mazzaro, Jaff Decker or Ernesto Frieri. I don't think anyone will worry much about Decker or Frieri, but Mazzaro's absence is surprising. He's clearly not a great reliever, but he's gotten results in both the minors and the majors, and one would think he'd be worth having around purely for depth reasons.