May 18: Pirates (16-22) @ Phillies (24-13)
It’s cold and it’s overcast, but maybe we can get this game in tonight without any significant delays. The players certainly don’t want to get home at 3-4 am. And those of us who have to wait until tomorrow morning to fly out would appreciate some sleep. So hopefully the rain cooperates.
You’d have to think, too, that if this game starts, the Phillies are not going to want there to be any sort of delay since Roy Halladay is on the mound. Worst-case scenario for them is to send Halladay out and then have a lengthy delay shortly after that takes him out of the start.
This isn’t the first time Zach Duke and Halladay have matched up. The last was a dandy one, too. You can revisit it here.
TODAY’S NEWS AND NOTES:
- Forgot to note this yesterday, but with all the questions I get about when Pedro Alvarez, Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata will be up, I felt it appropriate to write a story on the subject. If you missed it on Monday, here’s that piece. While I know Alvarez is the biggest name in the bunch, my guess is that he won’t be the first up. My guess is that it will be Lincoln. The right-hander is meeting the organization’s development goals consistently these days, and Brian Burres’ hold on the fifth spot in the rotation isn’t exactly firm. If Burres slips up on Wednesday or in the start after that, I can see the Pirates making the move.
- As mentioned on Monday, the Pirates are still looking for their first winning road trip under manager John Russell. No easy task with Halladay on the mound, but Pittsburgh can clinch that with a win tonight.
- Reliever Brendan Donnelly threw a pain-free side session indoors on Tuesday. His simulated game couldn’t happen because of the crummy weather. All went well, Donnelly said, and the Pirates plan to activate him off the DL on Thursday or Friday.
- Who is the most likely to go when Donnelly returns? My guess is it would be either Jeff Karstens or Burres. If the Pirates want to make a change in the rotation, Burres could be sent out and the club would have a few extra days before making a decision about the rotation. That might be why the Pirates aren’t planning on activating Donnelly until after Burres’ start on Wednesday. Just thinking outloud here…
- Delwyn Young is back in the leadoff spot on Tuesday for the second straight night. And why not? He had as much success last night as anyone. And again, the Pirates really don’t have a prototypical leadoff-type hitter with Aki Iwamura out.
- Take away his absence with a bruised wrist, and Ryan Church has now started 10 straight games. I asked Russell if Church is going to be a regular in the lineup moving forward. Russell said it won’t necessarily be every day, but he does like having Church flexible to play in left and right so Russell can play the best matchups with everyone else.
- Third baseman Andy LaRoche has just three hits in his last 34 at-bats. This comes after a 20-for-53 stretch he had right before.
- The Pirates announced the signings of six Latin American players on Tuesday. Those players include LHP Angel Sanchez, OF Willy Garcia, RHP Oderman Rocha, RHP Brayan Almonte, RHP Jose Luis Acosta and 1B Jose Roman.
- The Pirates announced that OF Starling Marte had successful surgery on Tuesday to remove the hamate bone in his left hand. No tendon damage was found, so Marte should be ready to return in 8-10 weeks.
- Delwyn Young (2B)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Garrett Jones (1B)
- Ryan Church (RF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Zach Duke (LHP)
- Shane Victorino (CF)
- Placido Polanco (3B)
- Jimmy Rollins (SS)
- Ryan Howard (1B)
- Jayson Werth (RF)
- Ben Francisco (LF)
- Carlos Ruiz (C)
- Juan Castro (2B)
- Roy Halladay (RHP)
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