Harrison continues tour of Pirates' infield

Harrison continues tour of Pirates' infield

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the day Matt Hague was optioned to Indianapolis, Clint Hurdle's starting lineup offered evidence why he went, and not someone like Josh Harrison.

While general manager Neal Huntington talked about Hague's assignment in Triple-A allowing him to alternate series at third and first base because "switching every day does not make a whole lot of sense," Harrison made his third consecutive start at a third different position.

Harrison was at third base against Giants lefty Barry Zito. He had started at second Thursday, then at short in Friday's series opener here.

"Completing my tour of the infield," Harrison said with a smile.

Harrison, as well as Yamaico Navarro, offer more defensive flexibility than Hague, primarily a first baseman during four seasons in the Minors who is still trying to get adjusted to third.

"Right now, Matt would be our fifth-best defender at third," Hurdle said, "and that means you aren't going to get a lot of reps."

The depth chart thus had Hague behind Pedro Alvarez, Casey McGehee, Harrison and Navarro. McGehee also mixing it up at first with Garrett Jones seriously narrowed Hague's possibilities, and the Pirates did not want to limit him to pinch-hitting duties.