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Pirates promote Kevin Kramer, five others

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MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Toronto Blue Jays Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have promoted second baseman Kevin Kramer along with five other players: catcher Ryan Lavarnway, outfielder Jordan Luplow, and right-handers Tanner Anderson, Michael Feliz and Clay Holmes. Kramer and Lavarnway both had to be added to the 40-man roster. To create the needed space, the team designated left-handed reliever Buddy Boshers for assignment.

The closest thing to a surprise among these players is Lavarnway. He’s had a very nice year for Indianapolis, with an .860 OPS that interrupts five years of struggles at the plate. It’s questionable whether Lavarnway has a future beyond this year in Pittsburgh, because he’s out of options. The move addresses an immediate need, though. With Elias Diaz gimping on a hammy and the ever-present risk of a Francisco Cervelli injury, adding Lavarnway now removes the risk of having to locate a catcher on a golf course somewhere in the event the team finds itself down to Jacob Stallings ten days from now. To that extent, Indy’s failure to reach the post-season probably worked in Lavarnway’s favor.

The noteworthy non-callups here are infielder Max Moroff and right-hander Alex McRae. The latter isn’t really all that noteworthy. I’ve tended to lump him together with Anderson as pitchers who really shouldn’t be holding down roster spots. Anderson is the better of the two, though, and there’s only so much white flag time to go around. With Pablo Reyes getting called up, Moroff’s roster spot is probably in jeopardy. He didn’t hit in his time with the Pirates. He did hit a lot better than Jose Osuna, but unlike Osuna he didn’t do especially well in AAA.