September 18: Padres (66-81) @ Pirates (55-89); UPDATE: Andy LaRoche scratched

Jenifer Langosch/

If you’re reading this, you must be a diehard. Well, or else you’re my mom. It’s been a rough two months for the Pirates (the team has won just 12 of 48 games since July 25) and there’s really been little in the way for fans to get excited about. Of course, Andrew McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf and Garrett Jones have given you a hopeful glimmer of the future, but being that this is a game that is ultimately results-oriented, it’s been a trying stretch for all.

Maybe you’re still reading this because you’re eager to see how the player development continues. Maybe you’re curious as to whether this team will hit 100 losses. Maybe you, too, hate the kansas jayhawks and so you feel some sort of attachment to me (my personal thanks to those who fit into this category). Or maybe you’re trying to find a distraction at work and this is the best you can do.

Whatever the reason, hope you can find some nuggets on the blog during these final 18 days to satisfy whatever your level of interest is. Don’t worry, I’ll still be writing. And maybe the Pirates will treat you faithful fans to some wins.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • UPDATE: Andy LaRoche is sick and has been scratched from Friday’s lineup about an hour and a half before game time. As a result, Ronny Cedeno moves up in the lineup and is hitting second. Neil Walker will bat seventh and play third. 
  • Second baseman Delwyn Young remains out of the lineup on Friday since his back is still tight. He’s doing some light work this afternoon to see if he can at least be cleared to pinch hit. It’s just a day-to-day injury right now, but one that manager John Russell did not contribute to the amount of extra work that Young has been putting in with infield coach Perry Hill in recent weeks.
  • Speaking of the Hill-Young duo, Russell said the Pirates have plans to send Young to the coach’s home 2-3 times this offseason to get in some extra work. The organization is also considering sending other infielders to Hill as well, though Young was the only one named on Friday.
  • Even with those plans, Hill has not yet confirmed that he is actually returning to the organization. On Friday, Russell reiterated that he would like both Hill and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan to return next season, though neither coach has yet to commit.
  • Jose Ascanio threw another side session on Friday and looks to be about a week out from throwing to live hitters in a simulated game. The Pirates are then hopeful of getting him back for the final week of the season. Whether or not Ascanio will pitch somewhere this winter has not yet been determined. But it is being considered.
  • Evan Meek is back in Pittsburgh and will be with the team at least through this homestand. He has resumed throwing and will continue to pitch bullpen sessions.
  • In case you missed it, the Pirates’ high-A affiliate in Lynchburg took home the Carolina League Championship on Thursday. A full recap of the final game can be found here.  
  • Pedro Alvarez’s three-homer game for Team USA in a World Cup game on Thursday set a USA Baseball World Cup record. Prior to Alvarez’s day, 12 USA baseball players had homered twice in a World Cup game.
  • Paul Maholm will be honored prior to Friday’s game for being the club’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B) Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  3. Garrett Jones (1B)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  6. Brandon Moss (RF)
  7. Ronny Cedeno (SS) Neil Walker (3B)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (2B)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Padres lineup:

  1. Everth Cabrera (SS)
  2. David Eckstein (2B)
  3. Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
  4. Chase Headley (3B)
  5. Will Venable (RF)
  6. Drew Macias (LF)
  7. Nick Hundley (C)
  8. Tony Gwynn Jr. (CF)
  9. Tim Stauffer (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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