Game 45: Tigers (22-22) @ Pirates (21-23)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

At this point, the Pirates have not made a roster move today. As I tweeted earlier this morning, Pedro Ciriaco left his Indianapolis teammates to make his way to Pittsburgh. There’s a direct correlation between that and Pedro Alvarez’s lingering quad injury. The four games that Alvarez missed earlier this month with the same injury didn’t do enough to alleviate the problem. As a result, it looks like the club is going to give Alvarez two more weeks to make sure he is healed.

Asked when a decision would be made about Alvarez’s status, manager Clint Hurdle said, “possibly today.”

Now for an interesting twist to the story…

The Pirates have kept plenty of secrets in the past… and that is most certainly the organization’s prerogative. And really, some things should be kept under wraps. But there is a difference between not giving out information and giving out false information. It appears the latter happened with Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, as someone from the organization made up a story to hide the fact that the club believed Alvarez was headed to the DL and that it would be Ciriaco taking Alvarez’s place in Pittsburgh.

Ciriaco was scratched from Indianapolis’ lineup shortly before Friday’s game. Those who inquired about a reason were told that Ciriaco had been slacking in drills and that a ball was hit toward him to catch his attention. The ball, as the story went, struck Ciriaco and he tweaked something in his leg. Ciriaco backed up the story, and the injury was discussed at length by Indianapolis’ two broadcasters during the game.

On Saturday morning, Ciriaco was on a flight to Pittsburgh. And that injury from Friday night, well there never was one. The truth — which was that Ciriaco was held out in case he was needed in Pittsburgh — slipped out on Saturday morning, much to the surprise of all sorts of folks who had believed the injury story.

So now Ciriaco is headed here, and Alvarez is likely headed to the DL. And that fabricated story is the only thing that prevented me from reporting the roster move last night, as I initially suspected Alvarez was hurting more than anyone let on when I saw Ciriaco taken out of that lineup. But sometimes you can only go with what you’re told.

As for the rest of today’s news and notes…

  • The next Pirates’ win in Interleague Play will give the club as many Interleague victories as it had in all of 2010.
  • If that win comes on Saturday, the Pirates will also tout their longest winning streak (four games) of the season. The last time the Pirates won at least four in a row was from September 17-22, 2010.
  • It’s Neil Walker bobblehead night at the park, and I’d anticipate that it will be a pretty full house at PNC Park as a result. That’s not the only reason — but it’s certainly one of them. Pittsburghers love them some Neil Walker.
  • Speaking of Walker, this is some proof of how good he has been: Walker leads all Major League second baseman with 29 RBIs and has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh native is batting .328 in Pittsburgh this season.
  • Right-hander Evan Meek needed just five pitches to throw a scoreless inning in a rehab outing with Indianapolis on Friday. Meek is scheduled to throw another inning tonight and will then travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Pirates plan to activate him by Tuesday.
  • Kevin Hart has returned to Florida, where he is pitching in extended Spring Training. Hart, who is rehabbing from right shoulder surgery, had been with the Pirates for a few weeks while continuing through his rehab program.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), G. Jones (RF), N. Walker (2B), L. Overbay (1B), R. Doumit (C), B. Wood (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

TIGERS: A. Jackson (CF), R. Santiago (2B), A. Dirks (LF), M. Cabrera (1B), B. Boesch (RF), J. Peralta (SS), A. Avila (C), B. Inge (3B), M. Scherzer (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

4 Comments

If what Jennifer reports is true, and the Pirates lied to her and other reporters, that’s crap. If you don’t want to say why Ciriaco’s out of the lineup, then don’t say. “Internal matter, manager’s decision, day off” … any of that’s fine. But don’t make stuff up.

Reporters are trying to do their job, and part of that job involves building trust with their readers. If Jennifer reported someone that wasn’t correct because she was lied to, that damages her credibility, and explains why she’s trying to get this out in the open.

If I were her, it would be a long time before I took anything the Pirates told me at face value. (As a Pirates fan, and one who has generally given the current management team the benefit of the doubt, I will consider their comments and explanations with a more jaundiced eye in the future.)

Bob Nutting owns a bunch of newspapers, for Christ’s sake. He ought to put a stop to this.

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