April 20: Brewers (5-7) @ Pirates (7-5)
The All-Star Game is just a little less than three months away, but ballots were revealed on Tuesday. That’s the green light to start voting away. In-stadium balloting at PNC Park will run from May 4 – June 17, but you can get a head start now online. This link will take you to the ballot, which you can fill out up to 25 times.
Today’s news and notes….
- Andy LaRoche (back spasms) said that he was going to try and convince manager John Russell to let him into the lineup on Tuesday, though that doesn’t appear to have happened. Right now Bobby Crosby is in there at third. However, Russell did say that LaRoche would likely be available to pinch hit and enter during the game, if needed. Regardless, he should be back in there on Wednesday.
- Bobby Crosby was initially slated to play third, but he was scratched after BP due to left shoulder stiffness. Delwyn Young is now your third baseman du jour.
- Ross Ohlendorf (back spasms) threw off flat ground again on Tuesday. He still has not pitched off a mound and if the Pirates know when that’s going to happen, Russell didn’t divulge it. The plan is still to have Ohlendorf make a Minor League rehab start before coming off the DL. He is eligible to come back April 27.
- Right-hander Vinnie Chulk has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with what farm director Kyle Stark described as arm soreness. Stark said it was the same injury that forced Chulk to miss some time in Spring Training.
- First-round pick Tony Sanchez has been hampered by some shoulder soreness the last few days, which has forced him to DH and not catch. Stark said Sanchez should be returning behind the plate soon.
- Remember when it seemed like the Pirates NEVER beat the Brewers. Well, that’s kinda still the case at Miller Park. But you might have forgotten that the Pirates actually went 5-3 against Milwaukee here at home last year. We’ll get to that Miller Park thing next week.
- Tuesday’s game will not be televised on FSN as the schedule has it. FSN Pittsburgh has picked up this hockey game that I guess is being played tonight. There appears to be some interest in it around here.
- Jeff Clement (hitless in his last 18 ABs) is back in the lineup. I focused my off-day story on him yesterday, and Russell reiterated again that the team still sees him as the regular first baseman. Said Russell: “Nobody’s giving up on him. He’s going to be fine. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back. It also allows us to get some other guys in the game, though we don’t always want to do it at Jeff’s expense. We look for him to be a big part of the team. If that means breaking him in a little slower until he gets his feet on the ground then that’s OK. I think he’s going to respond very, very well. We’ll keep giving him the opportunity.”
- The Pirates still haven’t named a starter for Saturday’s game against the Astros, though they’ll need someone. GM Neal Huntington named four possibilities on Sunday — Brian Burres (already with the team), Brad Lincoln, Kevin Hart, Chris Jakubauskas. Saturday is Lincoln’s day to pitch in Triple-A, though that might not necessarily mean anything.
- I’ll put in another call for Inbox questions for anyone wanting to submit one. You can email me at Jenifer.Langosch@MLB.com with your question, first name, last initial and hometown listed. If you could put Inbox in the subject line, that would be fantastic.
- Aki Iwamura (2B)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Jeff Clement (1B)
Bobby Crosby(3B) Delwyn Young
- Charlie Morton (RHP)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Rickie (2B)
- Jim Edmonds (CF)
- Ryan Braun (LF)
- Prince Fielder (1B)
- Casey McGehee (3B)
- Corey Hart (RF)
- Gregg Zaun (C)
- Alcides Escobar (SS)
- Dave Bush (RHP)
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