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Pirates designate Jake Elmore for assignment

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

To clear space for Jung-Ho Kang on their 40-man roster, the Pirates have designated infielder Jake Elmore for assignment.

Elmore was the obvious choice to come off the roster. The Pirates had a small army of infielders on their 40-man. Elmore lacks Sean Rodriguez's experience and isn't as good a shortstop as Pedro Florimon or Justin Sellers. Elmore is also right-handed like both Kang and Rodriguez, so Kang's addition meant Elmore had only the most remote routes to big-league playing time.

Unlike Florimon, Elmore had an option remaining, and he can hit a little, so the Pirates are giving up a bit of flexibility and offense here, but at least Florimon (a good fielder and a legitimate shortstop) has a good shot at winning a big-league job if someone gets hurt. Elmore didn't have that anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if he were claimed -- his on-base ability is unusual for a bench infielder. (His lowest OBP in his three seasons in Triple-A was .376.) But the Pirates, somehow, have gotten to the point where Elmore still isn't good enough to play for them, which is no knock on Elmore and which says a lot about how much the Pirates have improved their depth.