May 23: Pirates (19-23) @ White Sox (18-23)

Figured all the attention would be on the Penguins game tonight, but for anyone who has stopped here first, here’s what I’ve got pregame…

  • Andy LaRoche is back in the lineup and is joined by Delwyn Young (RF) and Craig Monroe (DH). Brandon Moss is out for the same reason he usually is — a left-handed starter is on the mound.
  • Facing lefties both games this weekend doesn’t portend well for second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who has scuffled as of late. Sanchez has just five hits in his last 36 at-bats, which has dropped his average from .336 on May 14 to .295 heading into Saturday’s games. Sanchez is hitting just .229 against southpaws this year.

So I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to see Tom Gorzelanny still around the clubhouse now a week after he was called up. My assumption was not based on anything to do with results, but on the fact that the Pirates continue to emphasize that they want Gorzelanny to remain in a starting role. And now with the bullpen pretty fresh, it would seem to be a pretty ideal time to send Gorzelanny back to Triple-A.

So why hasn’t that been done yet? Well, my best guess is that with Jeff Karstens going tomorrow, the Bucs want to keep Gorzelanny around for one of two reasons. First, he could step in and pitch multiple innings should Karstens not be able to pitch deep into the game. Second, depending on how Karstens fares, there’s always the possibility that the Pirates could move Gorzelanny into a starting role. Karstens hasn’t solidified that fifth spot in the rotation by any means.

It could also just be that the Pirates really don’t have a candidate on the 40-man roster to call up and fill that seventh bullpen spot, so a roster move would have to be made to do so. So maybe this supposedly short stint for Gorzelanny will actually last until Tyler Yates comes off the DL at the end of the month to give the Pirates the luxury of not having to make any such move.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Craig Monroe (DH)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (RF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Jack Wilson (SS)

RHP Ross Ohlendorf

White Sox lineup:

  1. Scott Podsednik (CF)
  2. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
  3. Jermaine Dye (RF)
  4. Jim Thome (DH)
  5. Paul Konerko (1B)
  6. Carlos Quentin (LF)
  7. A.J Pierzynski (C)
  8. Josh Fields (3B)
  9. Chris Getz (2B)

LHP Clayton Richard



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