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Pirates making changes to bench

MLB: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates appear ready to shake up their unproductive bench. They’ve placed Alen Hanson on waivers and are sending Gift Ngoepe back to Indianapolis.

The corresponding moves haven’t yet been announced. Max Moroff was a late scratch (sub. req’d) from Indy’s game tonight, so it seems likely that he’ll get called up. Danny Ortiz could be a candidate, but he’s actually playing in the Indy game, so hopefully that’s a sign that it won’t be him. Austin Meadows and Chris Bostick also are in the game, although there’s no particular reason that they couldn’t make it to New York by Friday anyway. Phil Gosselin is not in the game. It’s also possible that the Pirates will continue their quantity-over-quality approach to the bullpen and call up Antonio Bastardo. That would allow Clint Hurdle to go with his preferred short bench.

Hanson, of course, is out of options. He did little during his time with the Pirates, other than show good speed. He’s batting 193/220/263 in 59 plate appearances. He could be lost on waivers, but it hardly seems a certainty. Ngoepe has been a little more productive, batting 222/323/296 and figuring in a few key rallies. His K rate of 41.9%, though, makes it pretty clear that he’s overmatched by major league pitching.

Moroff, to everybody’s surprise, is currently tied for the International League lead in HRs with 13, and he’s done it in nine fewer games than the other guy. (Nobody else has more than 10.) He’s batting 269/385/569, although he’s still striking out in a third of his ABs. Gosselin is hitting 310/337/405 since the Pirates optioned him to AAA.

UPDATE: It appears Moroff and Gosselin are the additions.