May 5: Cubs (13-14) @ Pirates (11-15)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

For all the terms laced upon baseball players these days — hero, superstar, larger than life, etc. — sometimes it is nice to be reminded that at the core, these guys are just like anyone else. Being around them so much, I see that. But I know that the public has a tendency to put athletes on a pedestal.

Maybe that’s why I felt inclined to share something Octavio Dotel told reporters after Tuesday’s win. After Dotel was asked a few baseball-related questions, someone asked the closer about his new baby boy, Eduardo, who was born on Sunday. Dotel lit up as any proud papa would do:  

“It’s been great,” he said. “Every hour that I wake up, I see my little one and it makes me really excited and happy. Now I live for someone who needs me. That’s really nice to see my boy every morning when I wake up.”

Baseball isn’t everything to these guys, so maybe we should all make sure not to define them solely by that. Just my thought for the day.

Onto your news and notes for Wednesday…

  • Center fielder Andrew McCutchen is back in the lineup (insert collective sigh here) after missing Tuesday’s game with a mild right ankle sprain. He tested the ankle out this afternoon and was cleared to return. Watching him from this vantage point, McCutchen seemed to be running just fine.
  • Expected to be an everyday player coming into the season, Lastings Milledge has been given his fair share of days off to this point. He’s not in the lineup on Wednesday, marking the fifth time he’s been out of the starting lineup. Manager John Russell’s explanation continues to be that he wants his bench guys (i.e. outfielder Ryan Church) to stay active. But with Milledge hitting just .171 since April 21, Milledge is going to have to start proving that he belongs as a regular.
  • Recently recalled first baseman Steve Pearce will get his first start tonight. As I mentioned yesterday, don’t be surprised if you slowly see a platoon situation develop between the right-handed hitting Pearce and the left-handed hitting Jeff Clement, assuming Pearce fares well. Pearce is 3-for-7 lifetime against Cubs starter Ted Lilly.
  • Clement is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.
  • In case you missed it, Double-A lefty Rudy Owens tossed six no-hit innings and notched 11 strikeouts on Tuesday. You can read his thoughts on the outing here.
  • Ross Ohlendorf will make his Minor League rehab start with Double-A Altoona tonight. First pitch is at 7:05 pm. There will be an update on the outing later tonight, but obviously it wouldn’t be until much later. The club is still hopeful that Ohlendorf will be ready to make a May 10 start in Pittsburgh.
  • Andy LaRoche spent a good part of BP visiting with two local children as a part of his Down Syndrome initiative. LaRoche is involved in all sorts of outreach to local children with Down Syndrome and that includes 6-7 visits that he has set up where he invites kids with Down Syndrome to the ballpark. This was the first of those visits.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Bobby Crosby (2B)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Ryan Church (LF)
  7. Steve Pearce (1B)
  8. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Cubs lineup:

  1. Ryan Theriot (SS)
  2. Kosuke Fukudome (RF)
  3. Derrek Lee (1B)
  4. Marlon Byrd (CF)
  5. Alfonso Soriano (LF)
  6. Aramis Ramirez (3B)
  7. Mike Fontenot (2B)
  8. Koyie Hill (C)
  9. Ted Lilly (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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