August 5: D-backs (48-59) @ Pirates (45-61); McCutchen out of lineup

Thought I’d bring you some comments courtesy of D-backs skipper A.J. Hinch. During his pregame media session on Tuesday, the former farm director-turned-manager made two interesting points about the Pirates recent turnover…

First, despite the fact that these two teams played less than two weeks ago, he noted the difficulty in the advance scouting process coming into the series considering this team has so many new faces since that series in Phoenix.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap where we think we know the other team, but they’ve made a lot of moves since we last saw them which was 10 days ago,” Hinch said. “I think it’s challenging to the extent of having all our scouting reports done and be prepared to come into the series. It probably would have been harder to deal with them over the deadline given how many moves they made.”

Second, he cautioned against jumping to too many conclusions on the organization based upon the omnipresent revolving door for the past two seasons.

“I think they are obviously a team in transition trying to find a balanced team that can be competitive. I don’t have a comment on the moves that they made. They made massive changes. That signals I  think an attempt for them to move in a new direction. I’m not saying they’re easy decisions. The players they traded are good players, but what comes from that when you trade for Minor League players they become Major League players. The patience that an organization has to have when you have to make moves like that, it tests you and it’s tough, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.”

Anyways, what Hinch has to like is the fact that his Arizona staff has shutout the Pirates for the last 28 innings. The Pirates will be trying to break that on Wednesday against lefty Doug Davis, who, you guessed it, shut out the Pirates in six innings on July 25.

As for today’s other news, notes and randomness…

  • After making 54 consecutive starts since being called up from Triple-A, Andrew McCutchen is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday. He was hit in the head with first baseman Chad Tracy’s glove while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning on Tuesday. McCutchen stayed in the game, but did have some headaches later in the night. Manager John Russell was looking to give him a day off sometime soon, so the consensus was to do it on Wednesday to make sure McCutchen had no lingering affects. He’s expected to return to the lineup on Thursday.
  • With McCutchen out, Ronny Cedeno – the owner of Tuesday’s lone hit — moved up to hit leadoff. This is just Cedeno’s third career start hitting leadoff.
  • Despite coming into the season with some in the organization projecting he could be Major-League ready as soon as Opening Day 2010, Shelby Ford has been one of the organization’s biggest disappointments. He has hit just .188 in his first season in Triple-A and on Wednesday was demoted to Double-A. With Jim Negrych out for the season, Ford can get regular playing time with Altoona.
  • Taking Ford’s place in Indianapolis is infielder Pedro Lopez.
  • Left-hander Phil Dumatrait is making another rehab start on Thursday, this one coming for Indianapolis. It’s one of at least two more that he is scheduled to make before being reinstated from the DL.
  • Anybody seeing what 3B Pedro Alvarez has done lately? After going 3-for-6 on Tuesday, the No. 2 overall pick in 2008 has hit .458 in his last seven games. He is hitting .307 in 35 games since being promoted to Double-A. 
  • Former Pirate Tom Gorzelanny had a nice debut for the Cubs on Tuesday as he picked up his first win as a starter in over a year. Gorzelanny allowed one run on three hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings against the Reds. He struck out six. As things stand now, Gorzelanny is scheduled to make two more starts before Ted Lilly comes off the DL. That next start would be Sunday, followed by one on Friday when the Pirates arrive in town. Could be interesting for sure.
  • Since Zach Duke couldn’t do it on Tuesday, Ross Ohlendorf has his sights set on becoming the team’s first 10-game winner as he takes the mound on Wednesday. No starter reached that win mark in 2008.
  • Major League Baseball’s “Buses for Baseball” event came to PNC Park Wednesday afternoon. Forty underpriviledged children from the area were greeted by players before BP and received all sorts of autographs. Paul Maholm and Duke were among the players sitting in the dugout signing autographs earlier.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  2. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  3. Delwyn Young (2B)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jeff Salazar (CF)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

D-backs lineup:

  1. Stephen Drew (SS)
  2. Gerardo Parra (LF)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Mark Reynolds (3B)
  5. Miguel Montero (C)
  6. Ryan Roberts (2B)
  7. Chad Tracy (1B)
  8. Chris Young (CF)
  9. Doug Davis (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

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