ST. LOUIS -- The departure of right-hander Octavio Dotel, who was traded to the Dodgers prior to Saturday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, has left the Pirates without a defined closer. And according to manager John Russell, it might stay that way.
For now, Russell isn't committing to using Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek as the team's primary closer, saying only that both could see some time in the role.
"We'll see," Russell said. "We've got two pretty good candidates. It gives us two pretty good options."
Hanrahan has previous experience as a closer, having filled the role for a short time with the Nationals. The right-hander has 14 career saves, all coming in late 2008 and early '09. This season, Hanrahan has consistently been used as Russell's eighth-inning option. In his past 42 appearances, Hanrahan has posted a 2.16 ERA and limited opponents to a .176 batting average.
While not lobbying for the closer's role, Hanrahan said he would embrace it if the Pirates lean in that direction.
"Obviously, the opportunity would be great," Hanrahan said. "But we've got two months left and I don't know what's going to happen. If the opportunity is there, I'd love to have the chance and try to get the spot. Dotel has been great for us this year. We're going to miss him."
Meek owns the lowest ERA of anyone in the Pirates' bullpen, with a 1.23 mark in 58 1/3 innings. Used primarily as the seventh-inning reliever, Meek picked up his first (and only) career save on April 29. He also represented the Pirates in the All-Star Game earlier this month.
"The only thing that you can really do is keep doing your job," said Meek when asked about the possibility of closing. "Whether it's the ninth inning or the eighth inning or stays the seventh inning, you still have to get three outs. I know that Joel and I would both like the opportunity and challenge to close. But we're not going to be selfish."
Shortly before leaving to join his new teammates in Los Angeles, Dotel offered his suggestion on a successor.
"I think Hanrahan is the guy that has to have the job," he said. "Nothing against Evan Meek -- he's a prospect here and has great stuff. But the way I see things, Hanrahan should be the closer."
Pirates recall hurler, two fielders
ST. LOUIS -- Amid all the Trade Deadline deals, the Pirates also made three callups on Saturday. The return of Daniel McCutchen from Triple-A Indianapolis was expected all week, because the Pirates needed a starter for Saturday's game against St. Louis.
Pittsburgh also recalled first baseman Jeff Clement and infielder Argenis Diaz to compensate for the departures of Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby. Church and Crosby were sent to Arizona as part of a five-player trade for catcher Chris Snyder.
Diaz will serve as a backup option at all of the infield spots, manager John Russell said. Known primarily for his defensive ability, Diaz was hitting .248 with 22 RBIs in 80 games with Triple-A Indianapolis. He made a brief appearance with the Pirates earlier this season and has primarily played short.
Clement returns to the Pirates after losing his job as the team's everyday first baseman and being sent down in June. Though Clement responded by hitting .305 with 15 doubles, eight homers and 33 RBIs in 40 games since the demotion, his stay with the Pirates this time could be short.
If the Pirates elect to keep a third catcher when Ryan Doumit comes off the disabled list on Friday, Clement is probably headed back to Triple-A. In the meantime, it's unlikely that he'll see substantial playing time.
"I know he's done some pretty good things down there," Russell said. "As far as playing time, I can't sit here today and say he's going to play a ton. He gives us an option off the bench."
Both Diaz and Clement arrived in time to be available for Saturday's game. For now, the Pirates' bench consists of those two, as well as Delwyn Young, Andy LaRoche and Jason Jaramillo.
Pirates' roster will change in coming days
ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates' roster will remain in a bit of flux for the next 48 hours because the club still has a handful of roster moves to make as a result of Saturday's three trades.
Only two of the six players acquired through the trades are headed straight to the Majors, though neither catcher Chris Snyder nor right-hander James McDonald will join the team on this road trip. Because of travel situations, both will meet their new teammates when the Pirates return to Pittsburgh on Monday.
The Pirates played on Saturday with only five available relievers after sending out three veteran members of the 'pen earlier in the day. McDonald will fill one of those vacancies when he arrives, though the Pirates will also look at trying to get him into a starting role. The other opening is expected to be filled by a reliever from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Left-hander Justin Thomas is the only Triple-A reliever already on the Pirates' 40-man roster, so he would seem the likeliest candidate for the callup.
When Snyder arrives, the Pirates will also have to trim down their group of catchers. That appears to be bad news for Jason Jaramillo, who was called up last week when Ryan Doumit went on the disabled list.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.