Results tagged ‘ Craig Monroe ’

July 1: Cubs (36-38) @ Pirates (36-41); Wilson apologizes for comments

Shortstop Jack Wilson sought out the media on Wednesday so that he could publically apologize for some of his comments made on Tuesday afternoon, just minutes after hearing that teammates Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan had been traded. For those who may have missed it, here is what Wilson said yesterday.

Wilson was understandably frustrated, having seen the Pirates trade away teammates over and over again during his tenure here. But it was the tone he used and what could be perceived as negativity toward Pirates management that he wanted to step away from after reading what he had said the day after…

“I really didn’t sleep last night. I think some of my comments were pretty harsh,” Wilson said. “When you’re here and you’re in the moment and you’re talking to guys and everyone is bummed out, you tend to maybe lose your head a little bit and vent. A lot of things I said, I thought about last night when talking with my wife and they were pretty inaccurate I would say. I definitely don’t want to be that guy who is butting heads with the organization or causing any type of negativity. I apologize for that. I haven’t talked to Neal [Huntington] or anything like that, but that’s not the player I want to be. That’s not the person I want to be for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’m definitely passionate about winning, about being a Pirate and sometimes it comes out in a negative way. For that, I apologize for going against the organization.”

Other news and notes for the day:

  • Jeff Salazar has arrived at PNC Park, but he has not been added to the roster yet because of what is being described as extenuating cicumstances. Manager John Russell said he couldn’t comment on the situation, but we are expected to be notified closer to game time what’s going on and when/if Salazar will be added. Salazar said he’s under the impression that he’ll be available tonight. UPDATE 6:20 pm: Salazar has been activated and is available to play on Wednesday.
  • Craig Monroe has cleared waivers and been given his unconditional release.
  • The Pirates have signed third-round Draft pick Evan Chambers. He has been assigned to begin his professional career with short season State College. Chambers, 20, is a center fielder drafted from Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College.
  • The Pirates have also signed SS John Gourley (13th round) and RHP Ryan Beckham (18th round). Gourley was drafted out of high school. The Pirates have now agreed to terms with 15 of 51 players. 
  • Joel Hanrahan arrived in the clubhouse at about 3:45 pm today, only to be greeted with a bear hug from Delwyn Young. Hanrahan’s transition should be a bit smoother considering he already knows Young, both LaRoches and John Grabow.
  • Russell is wasting no time getting Garrett Jones into the lineup, putting him in left and in the No. 3 spot on Wednesday. Russell emphasized that Jones will get plenty of opportunity to show that he could be an everyday player, which suggests that he will likely be a more regular starter than Eric Hinske was.
  • Three players from Double-A Altoona have been selected to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game. Those include LHP Daniel Moskos, SS Brian Friday and OF/1B Jason Delaney
  • Andy LaRoche is out of the lineup for nothing more than just a day to rest.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (LF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Brandon Moss (RF)
  6. Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  7. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Virgil Vasquez (RHP)

Cubs lineup:

  1. Sam Fuld (LF)
  2. Ryan Theriot (SS)
  3. Derrek Lee (1B)
  4. Milton Bradley (RF)
  5. Jake Fox (3B)
  6. Kosuke Fukodome (CF)
  7. Geovany Soto (C)
  8. Andres Blanco (2B)
  9. Randy Wells (RHP)

June 30: Cubs (36-37) @ Pirates (35-41)

So I know this is way late, but hopefully you can excuse the tardiness knowing that I have been diligently writing up trade-related stories for the main site. There will be more trade-related items on here later, but a few other general daily news bits that I wanted to pass along in the meantime since the games do still go on…

  • As noted on the blog before the Morgan/Burnett trade became official, Jeff Salazar left his Triple-A Indianapolis teammates on Tuesday afternoon to head to Pittsburgh. He will be added to the Pirates’ 40- and 25-man roster on Wednesday, taking Nyjer Morgan’s place. 
  • Ryan Doumit was in the clubhouse this afternoon, but was preparing to leave town later this evening to head to Bradenton, Fla. He’ll begin his rehab work there on Wednesday and said that he will then join Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday to continue his Minor League rehab stint. He’s still shooting for a July 17 return date.
  • The Pirates have placed Craig Monroe on waivers in order to give him his unconditional release. The Pirates had 10 days to try and trade Monroe, but with no takers, he’s expected to clear waivers and become a free agent.
  • Pirates bullpen coach Luis Dorante has been asked by Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols to be his personal pitcher during for the Homer Run Derby on Monday, July 13. Pujols will certainly be the popular pick to win considering the game will be held at Busch Stadium.
  • With a win on Tuesday night (and it currently looks like it is going that way), the Pirates would seal a winning month of June (14-13). The club also finished April above .500 (11-10). If the team can hold on and win on Tuesday, it would have two winning months in one season for the first time since 1994. Yes, it’s been that long.
  • With Tuesday being the 100th anniversary of Forbes Field, the Pirates revealed the top three moments in Forbes Field history, as voted on by the fans. Those are: 1. Bill Mazeroski’s home run to win Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. 2. Roberto Clemente’s Major League debut on April, 17, 1955. 3. The Pirates’ winning their World Series game back on Oct. 8, 1909.
  • Oh, and no need to post lineups now that the game is in the seventh. Tune in if you’re that desperate to know…  

June 13: Tigers (34-27) @ Pirates (28-33)

First some photos…

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The Stanley Cup is already making its way around town. After arriving in Pittsburgh in the middle of the night and carefully being buckled into the front seat of coach Dan Bylsma’s car, the Cup was spotted in the downtown Marriott hotel early this morning. Thanks to my MLB.com colleague and Tigers writer, Jason Beck, for the photo. Little did Jason know that when he went down for breakfast this morning, the Cup would be there to greet him.

IMG00063.jpgFound this sign walking from the parking garage to the ballpark. There are no shortage of Penguins jerseys and shirts around town, and the signs/billboards are popping up everywhere. Interestingly enough, the Penguins became the first team in MLB, NBA or NHL to win a Championship Game 7 on the road since the Pirates did so in 1979.

“We’re extremely excited for the Penguins,” manager John Russell said. “It’s a great thing for the city. It just shows what type of atmosphere this city is about and how proud they are of their sports teams. We want that same here. Pretty soon, hopefully we’ll be battling for three Championships.”

***

Clubhouse news and notes…

  • Still no final word on whether RHP Charlie Morton (strained right hamstring) will be able to start on Tuesday. He did throw a bullpen session today, with Russell watching, and did some running. He’ll do some more work on Sunday, after which the Pirates will determine whether he can go as scheduled. If Morton can’t start on Tuesday, Paul Maholm would move up a day as would the rest of the rotation. With the off day on Monday, they’d all still be pitching on normal four days of rest.
  • Brandon Moss is out of the lineup today and will be as well on Sunday with lefty Dontrelle Willis pitching. Moss is hitless in his last 15 at-bats and has gone just 4-for-28 in June. There’s no question he’s fighting himself at the plate and that’s he lost whatever progress he had made in mid-May with his approach at the plate.

“He’s fighting himself and it’s tough for him to get in the position he wants to be in to hit,” Russell said. “When you’re not getting hits, you start to press and try to do too much and you’re not free and easy at the plate. He needs to relax a little bit. Hopefully he can regroup a little bit and can get back to swinging the bat the way he’s capable of.”

  • Delwyn Young makes the start in place of Moss today. (Craig Monroe likely will tomorrow agaisnt the left-hander.) Young is the only Pirate to homer since June 2 (yikes!) and has hit .351 with eight RBIs in his first nine starts in right field.
  • Spoke with RHP Jeff Karstens, who said he felt good after not throwing for the last two days. Even as a starter, Karstens was throwing almost every day in between starts, making a few days off now quite beneficial. He seems plenty content with his role right now and pleased that he’s finally found delivery mechanics to stick with. It seems like he’s been changing and tweaking things ever since the start of Spring Training, but on Wednesday, Karstens went back to not putting his hands over his head during his delivery, liked how that felt and is not going back. 

***

The College World Series kicked off on Saturday with Arkansas and Cal State Fullerton meeting in the first game. The game, which Arkansas is winning 10-4 in the eighth right now, was on inside the Pirates’ clubhouse, much to the pleasure of Eric Hinske, a former Razorback himself.

“It’s cool,” Hinske said of Arkansas’ appearance in Omaha. “I never made it to the World Series. Back when I was in college, they only had the Regionals, there were no Super Regionals. We went to the Regional every year but lost. But when you’re in college, it’s definitely your dream to get to the World Series, for sure. I never got to get there, but I’m happy for the Razorbacks.”

***

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  3. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Delwyn Young (RF)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Tigers lineup:

  1. Ryan Raburn (CF)
  2. Placido Polanco (2B)
  3. Marcus Thames (LF)
  4. Miguel Cabrera (1B)
  5. Magglio Ordonez (RF)
  6. Brandon Inge (3B)
  7. Gerald Laird (C)
  8. Adam Everett (SS)
  9. Armando Galarraga (RHP)  

Morgan ejected by 1B umpire in fifth

Pirates centerfielder Nyjer Morgan was ejected by first base umpire Tim McClelland at the end of the fifth inning in Monday’s game against the Mets. With runners on first and second and one out in the inning, Morgan grounded sharply to pitcher Johan Santana who started a 1-6-3 double play. Only Morgan felt he was safe at first, a claim later backed up by TV replays.

Immediately after being called out by McClelland, Morgan slammed his helmet into the dirt and apparently said enough to warrant an ejection as McClellan tossed him immediately. Morgan had a few more heated words with the first base ump and had to be pulled away by first base coach Perry Hill before leaving the field.

Pirates manager John Russell also came out to argue the call, but to no avail.

Morgan was replaced in left field by Craig Monroe.

May 31: Astros (19-28) @ Pirates (22-27); Veal goes on DL

The Pirates have placed RHP Donnie Veal on the disabled list with a right groin strain. Veal suffered the injury during his two-inning stint on Friday, specifically on the 3-2 pitch he threw to Hunter Pence in the 7th. Veal said he had been slipping on the mound a bit, but slipped a little further on that pitch and felt a little tightness.

As a result, Pittsburgh will be one man short in the bullpen this afternoon. The Pirates will call up a reliever on Monday to take Veal’s place on the 25-man roster. 

As has been well-documented all season, the Pirates have been hiding Veal (a Rule 5 pick) in the bullpen all season, so not having his availability isn’t a significant loss. In fact, with another reliever in tow beginning on Monday, manager John Russell will have a little more flexibility in how he uses his relievers.

Chris Bootcheck and Steven Jackson, who is already on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, would seem the most likely candidates to be called up from Triple-A.

Boy, is this Pirates bullpen is battered and brusied all around. Tyler Yates and Craig Hansen are both on the DL indefinitely. Matt Capps is just coming back from a scary incident last Monday. This probably also means that Tom Gorzelanny, who the Pirates would like to get back into the Triple-A rotation, is here to stay a while longer.

***

Houston wraps up its season series here at PNC Park with Sunday’s rubber game. The ‘Stros took a series, 2-1, against the Pirates back in early April.  Russell is sticking with Andy LaRoche in the No. 2 spot in the lineup again on Sunday. LaRoche reached base three times from that spot on Saturday, which marked the first time this season that LaRoche had hit higher than fifth. It makes sense, though, right? LaRoche is the team’s hottest hitter at the moment, so why not maximize the number of plate apperances he’s going to get.

Nyjer Morgan gets the day off, as both Craig Monroe and Brandon Moss earned starts. While Monroe went 1-for-5 on Saturday, Moss’ pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth gave the Pirates six pinch-hit RBIs this season.

***

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nate McLouth (CF)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  4. Craig Monroe (LF)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  7. Brandon Moss (RF)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Paul Maholm (LHP)

Astros lineup:

  1. Edwin Maysonet (2B)
  2. Miguel Tejada (SS)
  3. Hunter Pence (RF)
  4. Carlos Lee (LF)
  5. Lance Berkman (1B)
  6. Jason Michaels (CF)
  7. Jeff Keppinger (3B)
  8. Humberto Quintero (C)
  9. Mike Hampton (LHP)

May 30: Astros (19-27) @ Pirates (21-27)

It’s the first of three SkyBlast nights here at PNC Park. In the past, SkyBlast has been three consecutive nights. That has since been changed, and the next two dates come in August and September. Country music’s Zac Brown Band (you might know them for their hit: Chicken Fried) is performing postgame and will be complemented by the usual fireworks show.

***

Speaking of fireworks, manager John Russell is trying to spark something — anything — with his offense by switching around much of his lineup order and stacking it with right-handed bats. It’s safe to say that the ineptitude shown by the offense on Friday certainly encouraged some sort of change.

Getting a night off on Saturday: Nate McLouth, Adam LaRoche, Brandon Moss, Jason Jaramillo

In the lineup: Eric Hinske, Delwyn Young, Craig Monroe, Robinzon Diaz

Russell’s logic has much to do with the season that opposing starter Wandy Rodriguez is having. Rodriguez (5-3, 1.71 ERA) has limited left-handed hitters to a batting average of .125 this year.

Shuffled up in the lineup is third baseman Andy LaRoche, who will be hitting from the second hole for the first time this season. Little explanation needed here since LaRoche is the only one the has hit consistently through all the ups-and-downs of the offense. He’s reached base safely in 13 straight games, hitting .435 during that span.

“We’ve been swinging hot and cold so I figured we’d get one of our hotter hitters up there and hopefully see it if works,” Russell said.

***


0000009099_20060920160602.jpgMcLouth, a die-hard Red Wings fan, will certainly be in line to receive some jabs should the Pens steal Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals from Detroit later tonight. (McLouth has made it no secret who he is rooting for). But any ridicule he might get because of his hockey allegiance was already matched by the jabs he got earlier this afternoon.

Sporting a new hair cut — much much shorter — McLouth walked up to his clubhouse stall to find a picture of Spencer Pratt of MTV’s The Hills reality show (pictured left) taped on his locker. A bit of a resemblance between the two for sure.

Maybe the laughs can loosen McLouth back up at the plate as well. He has just one hit in his last 25 at-bats and nine strikeouts during that span.

“Nate’s going through a little bit of a struggle,” Russell said. “He’s a guy we’re going to count on tremendously. He’s going to be out there tomorrow to give him a break to regroup mentally. He’s swinging the bat much better. I think he’s getting closer. I think giving him a day off will be good for him.”

***

Spoke with Tyler Yates, who was quite relieved with the results of recent tests on his right elbow. Yates went to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., to get a second opinion on his elbow and Andrews confirmed that there is no structural or ligament damage. Just inflammation. Yates said he expects to start long toss again soon and then will progress based on how he feels.

He admitted to also having feared the worst — season-ending surgery — earlier this week.

***

During his pregame session with the media, Russell also gave props to reliever Donnie Veal for the job that he did in relief on Friday. It wasn’t all pretty — two innings, 50 pitches, three hits, one walk, one run — but considering Veal hadn’t pitched in 21 days, it wasn’t all that bad.

“It shows he has an idea of what he’s doing,” Russell said. “I think his mechanics have come a long way and give him a chance to compete. To not pitch in three weeks and do what he did last night, that’s pretty phenomenal.”

Russell also said that he expects Veal to be looked at seriously as a starting pitcher in the organization after the Pirates get him through this season as a Rule 5 pick in the bullpen.

***

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (CF)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  4. Craig Monroe (LF)
  5. Eric Hinske (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (RF)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Jeff Karstens (RHP)

Astros lineup:

  1. Michael Bourn (CF)
  2. Miguel Tejada (SS)
  3. Lance Berkman (1B)
  4. Carlos Lee (LF)
  5. Hunter Pence (RF)
  6. Ivan Rodriguez (C)
  7. Jeff Keppinger (3B)
  8. Edwin Maysonet (2B)
  9. Wandy Rodriguez (LHP) 

 

 

May 24: Pirates (19-24) @ White Sox (19-23)

After another hitter’s meeting this morning (the third of the series), the Bucs have the task of doing to Mark Buehrle what they have not been able to do off any White Sox pitcher this series — score. The Pirates carry a 20-inning scoreless streak heading into the game.

Sure has been a different series here this year as opposed to last. The results — all losses — have been the same, but the method quite different. It’s hard to forget last year’s offensive onslaught by the White Sox. Frustrating as that was to handle, these last two games might have been even more trying. Nearly two complete games from their starters and the Pirates have no win to show for it.

Maybe a little lineup shuffle will get it down for the Pirates. Delwyn Young, Eric Hinske and Craig Monroe are all in there today. Freddy Sanchez has been bumped to the No. 3 hole, despite his 6-for-40 skid. Adam LaRoche gets the day off even though he’s 3-for-7 in his career against Buehrle. Nate McLouth also gets the day off.

Oh and one positive note out of the last few days, manager John Russell’s bullpen has finally had time to rest. See, you can’t say that all has been bad.

Not much in terms of news today. Tyler Yates (right elbow inflammation) threw from 90 feet this morning, his longest distance yet, and said he felt better than he did when he first threw again two days ago.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (RF)
  3. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  4. Craig Monroe (DH)
  5. Eric Hinske (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Brandon Moss (LF)
  8. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  9. Jack Wilson (SS)

RHP Jeff Karstens

White Sox lineup:

  1. Scott Podsednik (CF)
  2. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
  3. Jim Thome (DH)
  4. Paul Konerko (1B)
  5. AJ Pierzynski (C)
  6. Carlos Quentin (LF)
  7. Brian Anderson (RF)
  8. Chris Getz (2B)
  9. Josh Fields (3B)

LHP Mark Buehrle     

May 23: Pirates (19-23) @ White Sox (18-23)

Figured all the attention would be on the Penguins game tonight, but for anyone who has stopped here first, here’s what I’ve got pregame…

  • Andy LaRoche is back in the lineup and is joined by Delwyn Young (RF) and Craig Monroe (DH). Brandon Moss is out for the same reason he usually is — a left-handed starter is on the mound.
  • Facing lefties both games this weekend doesn’t portend well for second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who has scuffled as of late. Sanchez has just five hits in his last 36 at-bats, which has dropped his average from .336 on May 14 to .295 heading into Saturday’s games. Sanchez is hitting just .229 against southpaws this year.

So I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to see Tom Gorzelanny still around the clubhouse now a week after he was called up. My assumption was not based on anything to do with results, but on the fact that the Pirates continue to emphasize that they want Gorzelanny to remain in a starting role. And now with the bullpen pretty fresh, it would seem to be a pretty ideal time to send Gorzelanny back to Triple-A.

So why hasn’t that been done yet? Well, my best guess is that with Jeff Karstens going tomorrow, the Bucs want to keep Gorzelanny around for one of two reasons. First, he could step in and pitch multiple innings should Karstens not be able to pitch deep into the game. Second, depending on how Karstens fares, there’s always the possibility that the Pirates could move Gorzelanny into a starting role. Karstens hasn’t solidified that fifth spot in the rotation by any means.

It could also just be that the Pirates really don’t have a candidate on the 40-man roster to call up and fill that seventh bullpen spot, so a roster move would have to be made to do so. So maybe this supposedly short stint for Gorzelanny will actually last until Tyler Yates comes off the DL at the end of the month to give the Pirates the luxury of not having to make any such move.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Craig Monroe (DH)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (RF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Jack Wilson (SS)

RHP Ross Ohlendorf

White Sox lineup:

  1. Scott Podsednik (CF)
  2. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
  3. Jermaine Dye (RF)
  4. Jim Thome (DH)
  5. Paul Konerko (1B)
  6. Carlos Quentin (LF)
  7. A.J Pierzynski (C)
  8. Josh Fields (3B)
  9. Chris Getz (2B)

LHP Clayton Richard

 

     

May 22: Pirates (19-22) @ White Sox (17-23); Hansen shut down; Yates throws

Chicago is always one of my favorite cities to travel to and thanks to the schedule makers (who haven’t always been so friendly to the Pirates), the club gets to stay here for six straight days. Three against the Sox. Three against the Cubs. Such a set-up would seem to make sense, though one of the White Sox folks said he can’t remember another team every playing both the Northsiders and the Southsiders back to back. How’d we get so lucky…

Friday’s news and notes edition:

  • Craig Hansen has been shut down again after feeling some more neck pain on Thursday. He was throwing what was supposed to be his second of three side sessions in Bradenton, Fla. Manager John Russell said that Hansen will return to Pittsburgh on Monday so that he can undergo further tests. A course of action will be determined based on those test results. Not promising news.
  • Just spoke with Tyler Yates, who is on the DL with right elbow inflammation. Yates threw light catch earlier this afternoon, which marked the first time he had thrown since being shutdown. Yates, though, expressed frustration that he didn’t feel any better than he did: “It’s not as far along as I thought it would be. But it is definitely better than when I was pitching.” For now, Yates’ continued progression back to the mound will be determined by his symptoms.
  • Eric Hinske earned the nod as the team’s DH on Friday. Makes sense since the Pirates are facing a right-handed starter (Gavin Floyd) tonight. Hinske has never faced Floyd. At US Cellular Field, however, Hinske has a career .327 average in 18 games.
  • With the Sox using southpaw starters in each of the weekend games, I’d expect Craig Monroe will get DH duty in the series’ final two games.
  • Russell gave Andy LaRoche the night off, though it was a schedued night off and nothing having to do with any sort of injury. LaRoche has had only one day off in the last 34 games, and Russell wanted also to get Ramon Vazquez some at-bats. It was ideal to do so with a right-hander on the mound. Losing LaRoche is a bit of a blow to the lineup, however. He is riding a seven-game hitting streak, during which he’s hit .423. 
  • The Dodgers have chosen RHP Eric Krebs as the player to be named later in the trade that brought Delwyn Young to Pittsburgh in mid-April. Krebs, a 16th-round selection in 2005, pitched in Single-A Lynchburg last season and was with Double-A Altoona this year. In 10 relief appearances for the Curve, Krebs went 2-4 with a 4.86 ERA. He had 17 walks and 15 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.
  • Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen will manage the White Sox tonight but will then fly to Venezuela because of a family matter. He will not be with the club at least through Sunday. Chicago coach Joey Cora will handle managerial duties.

A note from Pirates Charities: The Josh Gibson Field in Pittsburgh’s Hill District is set for its Grand Opening on May 26. Money from Pirates Charities, the organization’s philanthropic arm, and a donation by Ian Snell helped to fund renovations and additions to the inner-city field. Pirates owner Bob Nutting and Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl will be among those present at Tuesday’s Grand Opening celebration. 

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Eric Hinske (DH)
  6. Brandon Moss (RF)
  7. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Jack Wilson (SS)

LHP: Zach Duke

White Sox lineup:

  1. Scott Podsednik (LF)
  2. Jayson Nix (2B)
  3. Jermaine Dye (RF)
  4. Paul Konerko (1B)
  5. A.J. Pierzynski (C)
  6. Carlos Quentin (C)
  7. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
  8. Brian Anderson (CF)
  9. Josh Fields (3B)

RHP: Gavin Floyd

April 25: Hansen to DL; Meek recalled; McLouth still out; Wilson scratched

Craig Hansen 3.jpg

UPDATED 9:55 p.m. ET: Jack Wilson was a game time scratch from the lineup because of that left middle finger strain that’s been bothering him now for a week. Wilson missed games on April 15th, 17th and 18th because of the injury, which he sustained while swinging.

Ramon Vazquez took Wilson’s place in the lineup. The lineup below has been updated to indicate the changes.

UPDATED 8:20 p.m. ET: The Pirates have placed right-handed reliever Craig Hansen (pictured left) on the disabled list retroactive to April 20 with neck spasms. Taking Hansen’s place on the 25-man roster will be Evan Meek, who has arrived and can pitch on Saturday.

Hansen said the stiffness started around his right shoulder blade midway through Spring Training. He battled through it and pitched through it, but on Friday he began experiencing neck spasms, too. Hansen has been shut down from throwing for the time being, hopeful that the stiffness and spasms go away on their own.

The fact that the Pirates used five relievers in Friday’s extra-inning game exacerbated the need to put Hansen on the DL and get another reliever out here. Manager John Russell revealed on Saturday that Hansen was not available to pitch on Friday.

***

Meek arrived in the clubhouse shortly before batting practice after getting a 4 am ET wakeup call in Columbus, where the Indianapolis club was playing the Triple-A Clippers. He threw 16 pitches in a relief appearance on Friday night, but Russell said that Meek would be good to throw 30-35 pitches if needed on Saturday.

Meek was in line to make the Opening Day roster until he missed the last two weeks of Spring Training because of a tired shoulder, bronchitis and the stomach flu. As a result, he began the season in Indianapolis, where the righty allowed one run on three hits in 8 2/3 innings. He walked seven and struck out seven.

***

Also, no Nate McLouth in the lineup again on Saturday. He was scratched from Friday’s lineup after suffereing a right oblique strain during batting practice Friday afternoon. Interestingly enough, both Craig Monroe and Eric Hinske are in Saturday’s lineup.

Russell said that McLouth reported feeling better on Saturday, but the team is not going to push him back on the field too quickly. Oblique injuries are among the most lingering and a premature return could do too much damage long term. McLouth is listed as day-to-day right now, but I wouldn’t expect him to start Sunday’s game either.

There is still no talk about the injury being serious enough to land McLouth on the DL. He will not be available to pinch hit on Saturday.

***

Other notes: Russell said he will stay away from using Sean Burnett on Saturday, after Burnett tossed two innings (one quite stressful frame) in Friday’s affair. … Zach Duke is going for a second straight road win this season on Saturday, something he hasn’t done since 2005.

***

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Craig Monroe (LF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Eric Hinske (RF)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jason Jaramillo (C) Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS) Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Padres lineup:

  1. Scott Hairston (CF)
  2. David Eckstein (2B)
  3. Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
  4. Chase Headley (LF)
  5. Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B)
  6. Nick Hundley (C)
  7. Chris Burke (SS)
  8. Jody Gerut (RF)
  9. Shawn Hill (RHP)
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