Results tagged ‘ Anthony Claggett ’

Day 39: Pirates @ Twins; Bucs cut seven

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Arrived at the McKechnie Field clubhouse at 7:45 this morning only to find out the Pirates were reassigning seven players to the Minors. That list includes: RHP Brian Bass, RHP Jeff Karstens, RHP Jeremy Powell, RHP Steven Jackson, RHP Anthony Claggett, RHP Vinnie Chulk and C Luke Carlin.

Now that I’ve got the nearly two hour drive to Fort Myers out of the way, it’s time to note the significance of all this…

  • With the roster moves, the Pirates now have 30 players remaining in camp. Of those 30, two — Joel Hanrahan and Jose Ascanio – are expected to start the year on the DL.
  • Both relievers Jack Taschner and D.J. Carrasco are sitting pretty with less than a week until Opening Day. Barring a trade or waiver claim, they’ll both be in the bullpen. Keep in mind that the two have to be added to the 40-man roster, so the Pirates do have roster moves to make later this week.
  • If the Pirates go with a six-man bullpen, Taschner and Carrasco would fill it out. If they stick with a traditional seven-man one, Hayden Penn could step in as that last guy. Penn arrived at the McKechnie Field clubhouse this morning and is pitching in a Minor League game at Pirate City this afternoon. GM Neal Huntington will be there to watch.
  • Cutting Carlin means that the back-up catcher’s job will go to Jason Jaramillo or Erik Kratz. I still get the impression that management is leaning toward starting Jaramillo in the Minors where he can play every day, but that has not been definitively determined.
  • The club still has three position players — John Raynor, Steve Pearce and Ramon Vazquez – left to fill one (or maybe two) bench spots. Don’t expect this decision to be made until the weekend. The Pirates would still like to be able to trade Vazquez, who is owed $2 million this season, before potentially releasing him.

And in other news…

  • Part of the wave of Pirates Opening Day content hit pirates.com this morning. In case you missed today’s items there is a mainbar highlighting what to look forward to in 2010 (answer: Pedro Alvarez), a list of 10 prospects to keep an eye on, and an organizational review.
  • Ryan Church (fractured left middle finger) returns to the lineup on Tuesday. He’s hitting in the cleanup spot and playing center.
  • Ronny Cedeno (lower back tightness) is still out, though he’s a day-to-day situation.
  • Hanrahan is scheduled to throw two innings (40 pitches) in a Minor League game at Pirate City. Hanrahan will continue to throw in Minor League games so the team can backdate him onto the DL.
  • Young outfielder Robbie Grossman gets a start today in centerfield. This is what happens when you have fewer and fewer players in camp.
  • Zach Duke will make his final start of the spring on Wednesday and will be limited to 60 pitches to keep him fresh for his Opening Day start Monday. He’s scheduled to be followed by Brendan Donnelly, Evan Meek and Taschner

Pirates lineup:

  1. John Raynor (RF)
  2. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  3. Bobby Crosby (SS)
  4. Ryan Church (CF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (2B)
  7. Robbie Grossman (LF)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Pitchers: Morton, Javier Lopez

Twins lineup:

  1. Denard Span (CF)
  2. Orlando Hudson (2B)
  3. Joe Mauer (C)
  4. Justin Morneau (1B)
  5. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
  6. Jim Thome (DH)
  7. Jason Kubel (LF)
  8. J.J. Hardy (SS)
  9. Nick Punto (3B)

Pitchers: Francisco Liriano, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Clay Condrey

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

Red Sox 3, Pirates 2

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

You can read more on Paul Maholm’s start on the pirates.com shortly, so we’ll leave him out of the post-game blog pitching rundown. Let’s break the rest of the day’s pitchers into three Spring Training-centric categories for the heck of it:

Helped his cause: Javier Lopez.

  • He breezed through his one inning of relief and has now made four scoreless appearances this spring. As the only lefty reliver on the 40-man roster, Lopez was already expected to be in the Opening Day bullpen before Spring Training began. At this point, that seems like a lock barring any unexpected step back.

Hurt his cause: Chris Jakubauskas.

  • Jakubauskas has had two strong relief appearances and two very rocky ones. On Saturday, he faced five hitters and was only able to get one of them out. The final total: three runs, three hits, one walk. The Pirates were eyeing Jakubauskas as a long-relief candidate, but his start-to-start inconsistency is probably room for concern. And there are other possible long relievers who have done better.

Somewhere in between: Jack Taschner. D.J. Carrasco. Anthony Claggett. Jeremy Powell.

  • Taschner escaped a precarious bases-loaded jam with the help of a key strikeout of Jacoby Ellsbury. It wasn’t an entirely pretty inning for Taschner, but he got the job done. Carrasco walked two, but still has not allowed a run this spring (six innings). Claggett helped end the inning that Jakubauskas started, though there was nothing spectacular that stood out about his performance. Powell got out of some trouble and pitched a scoreless eighth, but he is not expected to be in the mix for a bullpen spot out of camp.

***

Based on comments from GM Neal Huntington earlier this week, it’s hard to see Delwyn Young not making the team on the bench. But he’s taking no chances.

Young boosted his batting average this spring to .300 with a solo homer in the sixth. The home run was his team-leading second. Young doesn’t have a shot at earning a starting job at the beginning of the year, but his bat is certainly an asset off the bench.

“He’s swinging the bat really well,” manager John Russell said. “He did a nice job for us last year. He’s a dangerous hitter. Having him around, there’s a chance to really solidify our bench. The guy can really hit.”

And in case you missed Huntington’s recent comments about Young, here they are:

On playing second base: “It’s night and day compared to where he was in July when he first started playing the position and even in August. Significantly ahead of where he was. He’s very capable of filling in there if Aki [Iwamura] needs a day here or there.”

On his bat: “His right-handed swing looks better this year. He was very left-handed dominant last year. The right-handed swing looks better this year, which is an intriguing element that he brings. It’s fun to watch him take at-bats. It’s a great option to have off the bench. He’s still got to get to Opening Day and earn that, but he does some things that helps a manager win games.”

That last sentence sure does hint that Young would have to play his way off the team, even though the Pirates maintain he’s in competition.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

Braves 4, Pirates 2

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Morton, Charle 03-04_189.jpgIt was not an especially impressive showing of control by Pirates pitchers on Thursday. There were a total of 10 walks and two hit batters during the contest. The breakdown was as follows: Charlie Morton (3 BB, 1 HBP), Brian Burres (4 BB, 1 HBP), Vinnie Chulk (2 BB) and Anthony Claggett (1 BB).  The latter two pitched just one inning apiece.

Gold stars go to Brad Lincoln and Jeff Karstens for throwing the ball over the plate in their respective innings.

The one silver lining manager John Russell found after watching way too many balls thrown out of the zone was that the majority of those pitches were low. Always less dangerous to miss down in the zone than up, of course. Russell noted that the trend of low pitches could be a byproduct of the pitchers throwing with that low pink string during their side sessions.

Of course remember, too, that all six pitchers that appeared in Thursday’s loss were pitching in a game for the first time since the 2009. So we won’t jump to any conclusions just yet.

***

Don’t ignore the significance of Lincoln’s one-inning appearance on Thursday because he sure wasn’t. Having had his first stop in Major League camp cut (back in 2007) short by an arm injury, Lincoln is quite clearly embracing everything to do with his journey to the big leagues. It’s refreshing, at least for me, to see someone clearly loving what he does and showing such an appreciation for being given a second chance.

Anyways, I’m sure Lincoln wasn’t expecting to face a likely future Hall of Famer in his first Grapefruit League game, but sure enough that’s what he got when Chipper Jones walked to the plate to lead off the fifth.

“And then he swings at the first pitch,” Lincoln noted afterward. “I was like, ‘Come on, man. I’m trying to get my feet wet.’”

Jones laced that first pitch to left for a single. A diving Lastings Milledge came up just short of making what would have been a spectacular catch. After Jones was erased on a double play, Brian McCann took Lincoln’s 3-2 fastball and sent it into the right-center field gap for a double. Lincoln then responded with three straight strikes to fan Matt Diaz and end the inning.

“The adrenaline was definitely flowing,” Lincoln said. “To go out there and face guys like I did was exciting for me. I was having fun out there going out for my first time. Throwing strikes is the main thing. I didn’t want to walk anybody. I’m going to challenge guys and if they hit it, that’s the outcome. I like to go right at them.”

Russell’s impression: “He was throwing the ball well. He was keeping the ball down for the most part. His emotions were probably a little high. It was a good first outing for him.”

For the record, Lincoln threw one changeup in the inning. He stuck with fastballs and curveballs the rest of the way. I mention this only because the changeup is the pitch that Lincoln is really focusing on as spring progresses.

***

Prize for the first home run in Pirates camp this spring goes to third baseman Andy LaRoche (Sorry Steve Pearce, Erik Kratz and Brandon Moss. We’re not counting Tuesday’s exhibition affair). LaRoche deposited a Juan Abreu pitch over the left-field wall in the seventh.

LaRoche has entered 2010 with the goal of being more aggressive, particularly in hitter’s counts, and this could be a sign of that paying off. He’s never going to be the club’s primary home run threat, but LaRoche seems to believe there is more pop in his bat than he showed in ’09. LaRoche went deep 12 times last year and finished with another 34 extra-base hits.

***

Up Next: Let the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation officially begin on Friday. Daniel McCutchen is scheduled to follow Zach Duke in the Pirates’ game against their new Florida neighbors, the Orioles. The game, which will be played in Sarasota, is scheduled to begin at 7:05 pm ET and will be broadcast on 104.7 FM.

Duke and Maholm are each scheduled to throw two innings in the game. Virgil Vasquez (who served up Wednesday’s walk-off homer), Evan Meek, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Powell, and Claggett are expected to follow.

Don’t expect to see a bevy of regulars in the lineup on Friday because of its late starting time. Playing them on Friday night wouldn’t bode well for also getting starters into Saturday’s home opener, which Russell plans to do.

The Oroles are scheduled to start right-hander Chris Tillman. He’ll be followed by Jim Johnson and Alfredo Simon.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates 6, Manatees 1

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The title of best baseball program in Bradenton is back in the Pirates’ hands after the club avenged its ’09 loss to State College of Florida with a win on Tuesday. The seven-inning exhibition game was highlighted by back-to-back-to-back home runs from Steve Pearce, Brandon Moss and Erik Kratz in the fourth.

Also on an important note, with 1,872 fans in attendance, the game raised $13,104 for charity. That money will be split up to benefit the Manatee Education Foundation, Wakeland Elementary and Rogers Garden Elementary.

***

Bryan Morris, who started the game, got the win after pitching a scoreless inning. He struck out two. Morris is the subject of my feature on pirates.com (should be up later this afternoon), so you can read more about the mechanical changes and mental adjustments that he has made since the end of a pretty ugly 2009 season.

As for Morris’ thoughts on his first outing of the spring: “It was good to get back out on the mound since last year and since the mechanical changes we did during the winter. I might have been a little too excited to start, but I fought my aggression and put it together.”

***

Ramon Aguero was the only other one of the seven Pirates pitchers to record a 1-2-3 inning against the junior college boys. Aguero also struck out two.

Jeff Sues gave up a monstrous home run on the first pitch he threw and walked two more in between striking out the side in the sixth. Anthony Claggett managed to give up three hits without allowing a runner to score in the game’s final frame.

Donnie Veal (1 BB, 2 K), Ronald Uviedo (2 H, 1 K) and Justin Thomas (2 H, 2 K) each pitched scoreless innings.

***

There would be no slow start for third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who had three hits (including an RBI bloop double) in his first three at-bats. He finished 3-for-4.

Jose Tabata drilled a 390-foot double off the center field wall in his 1-for-4 performance. Kratz and Moss each finished with two hits.

“He’s been swinging the bat well,” manager John Russell said of Moss. “It’s tough in the first game no matter who you’re playing. Brandon swung the bat well. We know what he’s capable of doing. It’s just being able to put it all together. Hopefully he can relax enough and let his mind relax enough to where he can do some of the things he’s capable of doing.”

Moss is by no means guaranteed a spot on the 25-man roster. He’s fighting for a bench spot and quite possibly, his future on the team.

***

It was not such a great day for center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left five men on base. Remember, though, that pitchers (even junior college ones) are always ahead of hitters this early in the exhibition season. You’ve still got to love the feistiness this kid exudes.

***

Up Next: The Pirates kick off Grapefruit League play with a 1:05 pm ET game against the Yankees in Tampa on Wednesday. Paul Maholm is scheduled to start for Pittsburgh and will be followed by Ross Ohlendorf, Brian Bass, D.J. Carrasco, Chris Jakubauskas, Steven Jackson, Jack Taschner and Jean Machi. The Yankees are starting Chad Gaudin.

Most of the Pirates’ projected starting position players will make the one-hour trip north and Russell said that a number of them will see their first bit of game action. “Get ‘em goin’,” he said.

The game will be broadcast on 104.7 FM back in Pittsburgh. It will also be televised on MLB Network and on MLB.TV.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Bucs lay out pitching plans

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have announced their pitching plans for the first week of exhbition games, which begins with a contest against the Manatees of the State College of Florida (formerly known as Manatee Community College) on Tuesday. That is, if it doesn’t rain. Anyways, here’s a look at Tuesday’s pitching plan as well as some of the pitchers lined up through Saturday. In parenthesis, you’ll find how many innings/pitches someone is limited to:

  • Tuesday vs SCF (7 innings): Bryan Morris (1), Donnie Veal (1), Ronald Uviedo (1), Justin Thomas (1), Ramon Aguero (1), Jeff Sues (1), Anthony Claggett (1)
  • Wednesday @ NYY: Paul Maholm (1), Ross Ohlendorf (1); (Brian Bass, D.J. Carrasco, Chris Jakubauskas, Steven Jackson, Jack Taschner and Jean Machi will be available as possible relievers)
  • Thursday @ ATL: Charlie Morton (2/45), Brian Burres (2/45), Brad Lincoln (1)
  • Friday @ BAL: Zach Duke (2/45), Daniel McCutchen (2/45), Virgil Vasquez (1)
  • Saturday vs. PHI: Kevin Hart (2/45), D.J. Carrasco (2/40)

A few notes regarding all this pitching stuff…

  • Manager John Russell downplayed the significance of the order of pitchers. In other words, he said, don’t assume that since Maholm and Ohlendorf are pitching in the first Grapefruit League game that one of them will be the Opening Day starter.
  • Carrasco and Burres are evidently going to be the long-relief candidates, which is why they’ll get some longer work than other relievers early.
  • Don’t read anything into the fact that Maholm and Ohlendorf are only pitching one inning apiece on Wednesday. Russell said it’s being treated just as if they’re getting another side session. They’ll move to a two-inning outing in their second appearance.
  • The Yankees are scheduled to start Chad Gaudin on Wednesday. The Phillies are scheduled to start Joe Blanton on Saturday. Still no word from the Braves or Phillies about who will take the mound on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
  • No, Billy Crystal is not coming to bat against Maholm on Wednesday.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Claggett, Jackson clear waivers

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Right-handers Anthony Claggett and Steven Jackson – both of whom were recently designated for assignment — have cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates will bring both pitchers to Spring Training as non-roster invitees.

The Pirates now have 22 non-roster players prepared to participate in big-league Spring Training. Here is that list.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates sign Dotel, DFA Claggett

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Octavio Dotel.jpgThe Pirates have officially announced the signing of right-hander Octavio Dotel to a Major League contract for 2010. The deal also includes a club option for 2011. The value of the deal was not immediately available.

In order to make room for Dotel on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated right-hander Anthony Claggett for assignment. The club now has 10 days to trade, release or outright Claggett. He would have to clear waivers before being sent to the Minors.

There will be a media conference call with Dotel and GM Neal Huntington shortly, so more details to come on that later.

UPDATE: Huntington confirmed that Dotel will come into the season as the team’s closer. That means that Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek, the two internal options, will slide back into late-inning set-up roles.

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Decisions, decisions…

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

At 11:59 pm ET on Friday, all teams must have 40-man rosters set in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft, which will be held in Indianapolis on Dec. 10. That means the Pirates have some decisions and moves left to make in the next two days.

Currently, the club’s 40-man roster has 36 players on it. Evan Meek and Jose Ascanio are both still listed as being on the 60-day disabled list, but they will both need to be added this week. Once they are, the Pirates will then have 38 players on that roster.

Given GM Neal Huntington’s track record so far, you’d have to believe that the Pirates are planning to go into the Rule 5 Draft with the expectation of making a selection in it. That would mean that the club needs to leave a roster spot available for that Rule 5 pick. In essence, that gives the Pirates the ability to really only protect 39 players.

So who needs to be added before Friday? Members of the 2006 Draft class that were 19 or older when they signed are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this year. You can find the full list of Pirates draft picks from ’06 here if you’re interested. Players who were signed at the age of 18 of younger get an extra year before they are eligible, which means that those signed out of high school or Latin America at 18 or younger in 2005 are now Rule 5 eligible.

The obvious add to the 40-man will be right-hander Brad Lincoln. He’s the top pitching prospect in the system and would be snatched up in a heartbeat if left unprotected.

I think you can put outfielder Gorkys Hernandez in that category, too. While he may still be a bit further from the Majors than Lincoln, he is a prospect that the Pirates will protect.

Though right-hander Bryan Morris took a step back in Single-A this season, he’s a likely addition to the 40-man because of his potential. It’s hard for me to believe that the Pirates would leave one of the main pieces in the Jason Bay trade at risk to be taken. Can you imagine how that would look if he was.

Some of the other players (this is not an exhaustive list) that are Rule 5 eligible include: Shelby Ford, Miles Durham, Jim Negrych, Ramon Aguero, Michael Dubee, R.J. Rodriguez, Jared Keel and Michael Crotta.   

If he’s not protected, Kyle Bloom will again be among those eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. I’m noting him specifically because he was taken in the 2008 Rule 5 Draft by Detroit, but given back to Pittsburgh late in Spring Training.

Now, who is susceptible to being removed from the 40-man to make room for these additions? The Pirates would seem to have a sufficient amount of potential options. I’d list (in no particular order) Anthony Claggett, Phil Dumatrait, Steven Jackson, Brian Bixler and Argenis Diaz as the most likely to be removed. All would seem to be fairly easy to replace if lost.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

October 4: Pirates (62-98) @ Reds (77-84); Season finale

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

It’s hard to believe that it’s been close to eight months since the team descended on Bradenton, Fla., to begin the 2009 season. Now it’s about to end here in Cincinnati in a few hours.

Instead of spending time looking back on the season here (you’ll see end of the season stories coming out on the main pirates.com site throughout the week for that), I wanted to use this forum to let you all know what to expect from me this offseason.

I am actually headed to Los Angeles tomorrow to assist with coverage of the Cardinals-Dodgers NL Division Series. Later in the month, I’ll be helping cover the World Series for MLB.com as well, wherever that might end up being. That said, you can expect to see NLDS and WS related Twitter updates from my account, and I’ll do some blog postings about it as well — likely photos and interesting anecdotes from the postseason. Obviously none of it will be Pirates related, but I hope that as baseball fans, there will be something there for you to appreciate.

My playoff duties, though, won’t stop the Pirates coverage from coming (I just won’t sleep, that’s all). Here’s some of what you can expect this offseason:

  • Through October, you should likely find at least three new Pirates stories on the site every week. That count will likely rise to at least four or five a week after the postseason comes to an end.
  • Obviously, news will always be on there, but I’ve also got some features and series that prepared to for the site. There will soon be a seven-part series that highlights the highs and lows of each Minor League affiliate this season. Also, as everyone starts to look ahead to 2010, I have a number of stories ready to give you regarding position battles, position changes, the free agent market and the overall outlook. Arizona Fall League and winter ball updates will also come out weekly once those leagues get into full swing.
  • I’d like to give you all an Inbox edition every week, assuming I get enough questions to stay afloat. I know your minds wander as the free agent market develops, so this will be a good means for interaction between you all and me. Inbox questions can be sent to me at Jenifer.Langosch@MLB.com. Don’t forget to include your first name, last initial and hometown. Also, it would be a big help if you put “Inbox” in the subject line.
  • This blog will continue to be updated regularly and I’ll use my Twitter account all offseason, too, especially for breaking news. If you are not already a follower, the account name is @LangoschMLB.

I think that hits the most important points for the time being. Thanks to all of you who have stuck around as faithful blog followers through a trying season. Hope this blog was able to supplement the coverage to your liking, and if you have any suggestions on how I continue using it moving forward, I’m always willing to listen.

Enjoy game No. 161.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Catcher Ryan Doumit is out of the lineup on Sunday because of that minor concussion he sustained on Friday. Doumit had his mask knocked off on a foul tip, stayed in the game, but was a little woozy afterward. He did not play on Saturday either. Assuming he won’t get in Sunday as a pinch hitter, Doumit finishes the season with a .250 average, 10 homers and 38 RBIs.
  • There has still been no decision made about whether first base coach Perry Hill will return for another season with the team. Expect that decision to be made in the next few days.
  • GM Neal Huntington said that Jose Ascanio, at best, would be able to begin his rehab program from right shoulder surgery in four months. He is not expected to be ready at the start of the season. June 1, Huntington said, would be a more realistic, though still optimistic, date. 
  • The Pirates’ errorless game on Saturday was their 100th such game this season. That sets a franchise record. The previous high was 99 games in 2007. The Pirates also have made the fewest amount of errors (73) in the Majors. That, too, is a franchise low.
  • The Pirates enter this game 62-98, while the Orioles are 63-98. Why is this important? The two are battling it out for Draft picks No. 2 and 3. If the Pirates lose OR the Orioles win, the Pirates will pick second next summer. The only way the Orioles would get that No. 2 pick is if the Pirates win AND the Orioles lose.
  • With Anthony Claggett’s appearance on Saturday (1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER), the Pirates finish the 2009 season with 49 different players used. That ties a club record. The team used 26 pitchers, also tying a club record.
  • The Pirates will hold two conditioning camps (one in November, one in December) this offseason, as well as their January mini-camp. Also, players will have the opportunity to go travel to see Joe Kerrigan, Don Long and Hill (if he returns) this offseason for specialized work.
  • 182: That’s the number of days until the Pirates’ April 5 season opener against the Dodgers at PNC Park. Get your winter coats and ski caps ready, folks.
  • And here are some dates to get you through the next few months: MLB General Manager’s Meetings (Nov. 9-11), MLB Winter Meetings (Dec. 7-10), Pirates Mini Camp (Jan. 12-16), Pirates Caravan and PirateFest (Jan. 24-31).

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Garrett Jones (1B)
  4. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  5. Brandon Moss (RF)
  6. Delwyn Young (2B)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Luis Cruz (SS)
  9. Jeff Karstens (RHP)

Reds lineup:

  1. Drew Stubbs (CF)
  2. Paul Janish (SS)
  3. Joey Votto (1B)
  4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
  5. Scott Rolen (3B)
  6. Jay Bruce (RF)
  7. Laynce Nix (LF)
  8. Corky Miller (C)
  9. Homer Bailey (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB     

September 30: Pirates (59-97) @ Cubs (82-74); Game 1

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Cubs great Ernie Banks once said: “Let’s play two!” So why don’t we since we’re here at Wrigley Field today.

First game is scheduled to start at 2:05 pm. ET and is a makeup of the Aug. 16 game that was “rained” out. Game 2 will commence at 8:05 pm ET.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • In just over an hour Charlie Morton will take the mound at Wrigley for the first time since allowing 10 runs in a one-inning start here back in August. It can’t get any worse than that, though the Pirates are quite confident it will be much better since Morton has shown an improved agressiveness since that start. The one knock on Morton that I heard from multiple people after he was traded to the Pirates was that he lacks some self-confidence and the ability to stay mentally tough. We’ll see if those perceived mental weaknesses play any role today.
  • If right-hander Anthony Claggett makes an appearance for the Pirates during these last six games, he’ll bring the total of players used by the team this season to 49. That would match a club record also reached in 1987 and 2001.
  • This is the second day-night doubleheader the Pirates will play in a month. That’s brutal, for all involved. The Pirates lost both ends of the twin bill in Cincinnati on Aug. 31.
  • The last time Pittsburgh and Chicago played a doubleheader was on May 28, 2004, in Pittsburgh. The Pirates won both of those games.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  7. Brian Bixler (2B)
  8. Luis Cruz (SS)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Cubs lineup:

  1. Ryan Theriot (SS)
  2. Kosuke Fukudome (CF)
  3. Jeff Baker (3B)
  4. Micah Hoffpauir (1B)
  5. Jake Fox (LF)
  6. Bobby Scales (RF)
  7. Geovany Soto (C)
  8. Andres Blanco (2B)
  9. Ted Lilly (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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