Game 124: Reds (61-64) @ Pirates (58-65)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole is scheduled to have his introductory press conference in a few minutes, but let me leave you with a few news and notes items before I head down to attend that gathering.

  • The Pirates have not yet announced their rotation plans for Monday (DH game) and Tuesday (Paul Maholm’s rotation spot). Those could be finalized by the end of the day, manager Clint Hurdle said. But you can expect the following to happen… Brad Lincoln is likely to pitch on Monday. That would give the Pirates the flexibility to send Lincoln down after the start and recall Ross Ohlendorf for Tuedsay’s start. Ohlendorf would then be able to stay in Maholm’s rotation spot moving forward.
  • Maholm discusses his left shoulder strain injury this morning and, in case you haven’t already, you can read more on that here. The injury does not sound serious, which means Maholm has a good chance at pitching again before the end of the season.
  • The Pirates recalled lefty Tony Watson from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Maholm’s spot on the roster. Watson obviously will not take a rotation spot, but he will fortify the bullpen.
  •  The Pirates are glad to have Watson back, as he can fill all sorts of roles for the club. A length one, though, might not be an immediate fit. Since being optioned to Indianapolis on Aug. 6, Watson has pitched in just four games and he went more than one inning in only one of those. That was by design, however, as the organization felt what he needed most was some rest.
  • Watson threw 16 pitches in a one-inning outing on Friday night but is still available for the Pirates on Saturday, if needed.
  • Evan Meek is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Bradenton on Sunday. He’ll pitch one inning.
  • Today’s FOX Saturday game is the first at PNC Park since 2004. It’s also interesting to note that, beginning today, the Pirates will play five straight days at home and have five different start times. Saturday: 4:11 pm; Sunday: 1:35 pm; Monday: 5:05 pm + Game 2; Tuesday: 7:05 pm; Wednesday: 12:35 pm. Keeping a schedule handy might be a good idea until the end of the homestand.
  • The Pirates have sold out tonight’s game, making this the eighth straight Saturday sellout at PNC Park. It will be the 16th sellout of the season — three short of the club record set in 2001.
  • With tonight’s figure not yet added in, the Pirates have already drawn 1,556,291 fans to PNC Park this season. With just 57, 108 more the Pirates will match last year’s attendance total. The organization still has a shot at reaching the 2 million mark before the end of the year.
  • Outfielder Alex Presley (thumb contusion) went 4-for-5 with three doubles and two runs scored in a rehab game with Indianapolis on Friday. Rehabbing infielder Chase d’Arnaud (fractured right pinky finger) and pitcher Chris Leroux (left calf strain) also appeared in that game.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (RF), G. Jones (1B), A. McCutchen (CF), R. Ludwick (LF), N. Walker (2B), B. Wood (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), M. McKenry (C), C. Morton (RHP)

REDS: B. Phillips (2B), F. Lewis (LF), J. Votto (1B), J. Bruce (RF), M. Cairo (3B), D. Stubbs (CF), R. Hernandez (C), P. Janish (SS), D. Willis (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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