May 29: Astros (18-27) @ Pirates (21-26); Capps available tonight

Back home and all sorts of news to run down…

Matt Capps threw a side session at PNC Park on Thursday and has been cleared to pitch in Friday night’s game if needed.

“Scary moment, but it’s good that nothing really happened,” manager John Russell said. “He feels pretty good.”

After what we all saw at Wrigley Field on Monday night, it’s pretty remarkable that Capps missed only two games.

***

Apparently, whatever is going on with right-hander Tyler Yates (right elbow inflammation) must be more serious than the Pirates are letting on. After having a round of tests earlier this week, Yates is going to have some more tests now, according to Russell.

Not much more was said on his status, but it’s not sounding like he’s going to be back pitching real soon. He is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, but there is still no timetable for him to begin his return to pitching program.

***

With Yates out indefinitely, then what about Tom Gorzelanny? Asked Russell if there was an urgency to get Gorzelanny back in the Triple-A rotation and it sounds like the Pirates could make a decision to send the lefty back to Indy pretty soon if there is not an opportunity for Gorzelanny to get some innings in. He last pitched on Monday.

“We’ll look at it,” Russell said. “We don’t want to go too long. He’s done some throwing and it’s been more than one inning, so we feel like he’s been stretched out enough. But at some point we have to make a decision. He’s done a nice job, but I think as an organization we’d like to see him do that as a starter now – take that intensity and start. He hasn’t pitched in three days. If it goes too much longer than we’ll have to get him out to where he can get back on his rotation.”

***

Your update on reliever Craig Hansen will have to wait a bit longer. I’ve been told we’ll be getting work on his latest rounds of test results later this evening. Hansen supposedly had tests done earlier this week as well, but the results of those have not yet been released either.

That said, I’m not sure the prognosis is great. Doctors have had a hard time identifying why Hansen is being bothered by neck/back spasms.

***

And some other odds and ends…

  • Former Pirates manager Jim Tracy is back managing again. The Rockies fired manager Clint Hurdle earlier today and promoted Tracy, who was the Rockies’ bench coach, to the managerial helm.
  • Righty Ian Snell threw a side session off the mound at PNC Park to work specifically on his delivery out of the stretch and at throwing inside to lefties. The side session was more intense than a normal in-between starts one is.
  • The Pirates have traded Double-A infielder Anderson Machado to the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Machado was with the Major League team during Spring Training, but was with the organization solely to provide some Minor League depth.
  • The Pirates have signed RHP Scott Nestor as a Minor League free agent. Nestor has been assigned to Double-A Altoona. Nestor was most recently in the Phillies organization.

***

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Brandon Moss (RF)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

Astros lineup:

  1. Michael Bourn (CF)
  2. Miguel Tejada (SS)
  3. Lance Berkman (1B)
  4. Carlos Lee (LF)
  5. Hunter Pence (RF)
  6. Ivan Rodriguez (C)
  7. Jeff Keppinger (3B)
  8. Edwin Maysonet (2B)
  9. Brian Moehler (RHP)

 

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