September 20: Padres (67-82) @ Pirates (56-90); Jones, Young, LaRoche still out
Those looking for some reading material on this gorgeous Sunday in the ‘Burgh (you really should be outside instead), let me direct you to this piece on 16-year-old Bryce Harper. You might have heard of Harper, who Sports Illustrated labeled as “The Chosen One” in a cover story about the baseball prospect earlier this year.
What does this have to do with the Pirates? Well, if the season were to end with the standings as is, the Pirates would make the second selection of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Washington, which currently has seven more losses than the Pirates, is in position to pick first.
Harper has been deemed a can’t-miss-prospect, but as colleague Jonathan Mayo points out in the above piece, Harper is not a finished prospect. Pirates scouting director Greg Smith weighs in on this in the story.
Harper is represented by Scott Boras. And though he is just 16, Harper is working to get his GED and play a season at junior college so that he will be eligible for the ’10 Draft. If the Pirates do finish with the second Draft pick in hand, this will be a kid to keep an eye on over the next year.
As for today’s news, notes and randomness…
- Manager John Russell had some wishful outloud thinking on Saturday when he expressed hope that he’d slowly start getting some of his injured players back, maybe as early as Sunday. Obviously, that wasn’t to be. Garrett Jones, who underwent an MRA on Saturday, remains out with a sore right shoulder. Delwyn Young is available to pinch hit, but his back still bothers him when he bends over (which doesn’t allow him to play in the field). Andy LaRoche is still quite sick.
- Russell will also be without right-hander Joel Hanrahan on Sunday. Hanrahan has been bothered by an achy right elbow now for a while, and the Pirates wanted to give him a few days off to rest it. He was not available out of the bullpen on Saturday either.
- It’s been a rough go for lefty Phil Dumatrait since he returned from the DL and joined the bullpen. In 6 2/3 innings, Dumatrait has allowed eight earned runs and four home runs. He has struck out three and walked six.
- In the last eight games, the Pirates’ starters have posted a 2.90 ERA. The glaring problem, though, is that the Pirates are just 2-6 during that stretch. In only two of those games have the Pirate scored more than two runs, and one of those was in a game that went 13 innings. In the team’s 3-13 month of September, the Pirates have averaged just a hair over three runs per game.
- Reaping the benefits of something they targeted heavily during Spring Training, Pirates pitchers have caught 13 runners attempting to steal this season. That total is tops in the National League.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Brandon Moss (RF)
- Steve Pearce (1B)
- Neil Walker (3B)
- Luis Cruz (2B)
- Paul Maholm (LHP)
- Everth Cabrera (SS)
- David Eckstein (2B)
- Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
- Chase Headley (3B)
- Oscar Salazar (LF)
- Edgar Gonzalez (RF)
- Will Venable (CF)
- Henry Blanco (C)
- Kevin Correia (RHP)
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