August 17: Brewers (58-59) @ Pirates (46-70)
Well, no rain in the forecast fortunately. Though, it’s not like it was raining in Chicago when and after Sunday’s game was called by officials. Trying to explain things is part of what I do for a living, but yesterday’s handling of the rain delay and eventual postponement is something I won’t even attempt to explain. I know there were threats of bigger storms (which never came), and I know the Cubs had to catch a flight to San Diego after the game, but you would think that all involved would still want to get the game in. Manager John Russell did:
“Did we need the day off? I don’t think so,” Russell said. “[Starter] Ross [Ohlendorf] has been throwing really well and I would have liked to have seen him pitch yesterday. He thrives in an arena like that. He loves pitching in front of a crowd and even on the road. I was anxious to see him pitch. I wasn’t really looking forward to a day off. But there’s nothing much we can do about it when we’re on the road and they call the game.”
Since he completely warmed up for the game, Ohlendorf treated the day like he would a normal in-between-start side session. He’s scheduled to pitch on Tuesday now.
Still no word on a makeup game yet. Again, you would have thought that at some point during the course of a three-hour, 15-minute delay, that would have been hashed out…
As for today’s news, notes and randomness…
- Triple-A righty Daniel McCutchen was named the International League’s pitcher of the week for his performances last week. McCutchen went 2-0 and pitched 13 2/3 scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out 12. With McCutchen’s honor, the Indians claimed back-to-back weekly pitching honors. Starter Eric Hacker won the award the previous week.
- Speaking of McCutchen, though nothing is definitive yet, don’t be surprised if he is among a small group of players called up from Triple-A once rosters expand in September.
- GM Neal Huntington said he does not expect any of the call ups to come from the Double-A club. And he said there will not be as many as there were last year.
- Director of Player Development Kyle Stark said that lefty Rudy Owens (11-1, 1.55 ERA in 21 starts at Single-A this season), will be very limited in his innings count from here on out and will also be periodically skipped in the rotation. Owens has pitched 110 innings already this year, after throwing only 58 in 2008.
- Stark also said to expect fall and winter ball assignments to be finalized around the end of the month. We know already that Donnie Veal is set to go to the Arizona Fall League, and Gorkys Hernandez will be playing winter ball in Venezuela.
- Lefty Phil Dumatrait made a rehab appearance out of the bullpen in Triple-A on Sunday, and he continued to struggle as he has through most of his Minor League rehab stint. Dumatrait allowed two earned runs on three hits in two innings. His 30-day assignment is scheduled to end on Wednesday, after which he will have to be taken off the DL.
- Right-hander Jose Ascanio was having further tests done on his right shoulder this afternoon, but the results of those tests have not yet been made known. Ascanio was placed on the DL last week with what was diagnosed as right shoulder tendinitis.
- Pittsburgh has not hit a home run in 52 innings (five straight games). The team has homered in just 56 of 116 games this season.
- At this time last season, the Pirates were 53-63. Their current record of 46-70 has the club on pace to go 64-98 if that pace doesn’t not change.
- After losing 17 straight to Milwaukee, the Pirates have actually won two of the last three. However, the Pirates have gone just 14-31 against divisional opponents this year.
- The Pirates are set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their last World Series Championship during the Pirates’ series with the Reds this weekend. All the ins and outs of the celebration and ticket specials can be found here. There’s all sorts of promotions and events so read through it carefully if you plan to come out or are thinking about it. The highlight will come on Saturday when the organization honors 22 players and staff members from the 1979 Championship team. KC and the Sunshine Band will then perform after the game.
- Tim, who runs a Pirates blog, passed along a link to an interview he did with Lynchburg infielder Chase D’Arnaud, who the Pirates drafted in the fourth round last year. He emailed me this link and I figured I could pass it along to those of you who might be interested.
- Look for more Minor League updates from me over the next week or so. I’ve done a number of interviews with/about different guys and will be slowly putting those out.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Delwyn Young (2B)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Steve Pearce (1B)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Kevin Hart (RHP)
- Felipe Lopez (2B)
- Craig Counsell (3B)
- Ryan Braun (LF)
- Prince Fielder (1B)
- Mike Cameron (CF)
- Frank Catalanotto (RF)
- Jason Kendall (C)
- Carlos Villanueva (RHP)
- Alcides Escobar (SS)
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB