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Pirates

Pirates intend to activate Josh Harrison from disabled list for Sunday's game

Chris Adamski
| Saturday, May 19, 2018, 5:15 p.m.
Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison works out on the infield May 11, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison works out on the infield May 11, 2018, at PNC Park.
Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison is hit by a pitch during a game against the Braves Saturday, March 10, 2018, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison is hit by a pitch during a game against the Braves Saturday, March 10, 2018, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.

Josh Harrison is back in town – and barring something unforeseen, he'll back atop the Pirates lineup Sunday.

"Our intent is to put him in play (Sunday)," manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday. "Then we'd have to make a corresponding move at that time."

Odds are, that corresponding move will be sending Nick Kingham back to Triple-A Indianapolis after his spot start Saturday; starter Joe Musgrove also is back in Pittsburgh, he's completed his rehab process and is targeting making his Pirates debut Thursday.

Saturday, the Pirates optioned Max Moroff – a player who profiles similarly to Harrison –to Indianapolis.

In his first action since suffering a broken hand getting hit by a pitch April 16 , Harrison played in three rehab games this week for Double-A Altoona – Monday, Thursday and Friday. He went 2 for 12 with a walk and an RBI.

"It felt really good," Harrison said. "Just excited to be able to progress and get ready to get back in the swing of things. Sitting watching for a couple weeks definitely sucks, but like I said I'm excited to be back.

"The first couple (rehab) at-bats are always like spring training," Harrison said moments later. "Just trying to see as many pitches as I can to make up for the time lost. That's why I was standing in on bullpens, anything I could try to get me ready. As my games progressed I felt like I got better."

Swinging a bat and hitting, of course, can be compromised by a broken hand. But there were other more subtle nuances of the game that Harrison wanted to test in Altoona before being cleared for return.

"I had a chance to make one tag," Harrison said. "A guy tried to go on a dirt ball and that was the only one. Tagged him, got him out. That's pretty much it. I got a couple ground balls. I don't think I had a chance to turn a double play. Some things I didn't really get presented with, but I still got a chance to test it in a game for three games and take it from there."

The Pirates' longest-tenured and second-highest-paid player, Harrison was hitting .263/.328/.351 in 64 plate appearances over 14 games before he was injured during a game in Miami. He had one of his best seasons (.771 OPS) in 2017.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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