Results tagged ‘ Jack Wilson ’

Jack Wilson to stay in Seattle

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

For any of you Pirates fans (and I know there are a lot of you who fit in this category) who were holding out hope that shortstop Jack Wilson would make a return to Pittsburgh, I’m sorry to squash those hopes.

On Friday, Wilson and the Mariners agreed to a deal that will keep the shortstop in Seattle through 2011. The two-year deal is worth $10 million.

Wilson, who was traded to Seattle on July 29 in a seven-player deal, left Pittsburgh with the door still open for a possible return. In fact, he confirmed with me on Friday that if he had become a free agent, he would have strongly considered returning to the Pirates if Pittsburgh had shown interest in resigning him.

As it turns out, though, Wilson’s offer from the Mariners was too good to pass up. The deal that Wilson signed with Seattle was worth $2 million more than the two-year extension the Pirates offered the shortstop back in July.

Wilson hit .244 in 31 games with Seattle, but was plagued by injuries during his two-month stint there.

With Wilson’s deal, now both he and Freddy Sanchez have signed multi-year deals with the clubs that acquired each in July.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

Freddy Sanchez will stay in San Francisco

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Anyone who was still hoping that the Pirates could somehow bring second baseman Freddy Sanchez back to Pittsburgh, I’ve got some not-so-good-news for you. The Giants and Sanchez agreed to a two-year contract extension on Friday, meaning that Sanchez will stay right where the Pirates traded him.

Sanchez was traded to the Giants on July 29 for RHP Tim Alderson on a day in which the Pirates dealt away both of its middle infielders.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Sanchez’s deal is worth $12 million total over two years. You’ll remember that the Pirates offered Sanchez a two-year, $10 million extension in mid-July. Sanchez turned down that initial offer and was traded soon after. At the time that Sanchez rejected the offer, though, he was still on pace to trigger an automatic $8 million option for 2010. As it turned out, though, Sanchez ended up falling short of the plate appearance threshold he needed to guarantee that option because of late-season injuries.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash: While we’re on the subject of former Pirates infielders, I might as well note here that shortstop Jack Wilson won the 2009 Fielding Bible Award for all Major League shortstops. Winners of the award are determined by a panel of 10 and is announced in Bill James’ 2010 Handbook. He led all shortstops in James’ “runs saved” category with 27. St. Louis’ Brendan Ryan was second with 19.

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A defining day for the Pirates organization

I don’t know how you can call it anything but a defining day for the organization.

I was in the process of turning my computer on after having just arrived at AT&T Park on Wednesday morning when the first press release came through. Jack Wilson, Ian Snell gone. That was only the beginning of what is now a more than 12-hour day.

For those overwhelmed with all the content, here it is laid out hopefully in an orderly fashion:

  • Here is a look at the goodbyes from Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, both of whom were sincerely sad to be leaving the organization. As you will read, both contacted the Pirates on Tuesday with counteroffers because both wanted to stay. On a personal note, I’m going to miss watching the two play defense. It had become one of my favorite parts of the job.
  • Here is a look at all the prospects the Pirates received in return on Wednesday. I’ll point out that my colleague and Draft guru Jonathan Mayo was extremely high on RHP Tim Alderson, who the Pirates received straight up for Sanchez. It may not be of solace to you all who are emotionally torn to see two fan favorites go, but a member of the Giants media corps just came up to me and told me he had already begun receiving all sorts of emails from San Francisco fans who believe the Giants gave up too much for Sanchez in parting ways with Alderson. Take that for what it’s worth, but remember, many years ago both Sanchez and Wilson were “prospects” in Trade Deadline deals.
  • Here are some final thoughts from Snell, who was dealt to Seattle along with Wilson. I got Snell on the phone while he was sitting in the Norfolk airport. He was flying back to Indianapolis on Wednesday to gather his stuff and then heading to join his new team on Thursday. It wouldn’t shock me at all if Snell finds his way and becomes a solid Major League starter again. And I sincerely hope he does. However, no matter how successful he might become, I don’t think he ever would have again in Pittsburgh if for nothing more than he had mentally already left this team.
  • And here is the today’s game recap on a game that I will admit I did not see any of. I wish I was exaggerating when I say I didn’t see Duke throw a single pitch. From the look of the box score, though, he must have been darn good. Huge thanks to the Giants MLB.com intern, Andrew, for stepping in and taking care of Wednesday’s gamestory so I could devote all my time to trade-related items. 

Some other items to wrap up the day…

  • Ronny Cedeno will get the majority of the playing time at short, while Delwyn Young will make most of the starts at second the rest of the season
  • Lastings Milledge is expected to join the team in Pittsburgh on Friday, though that roster move has not been officially announced as of yet.
  • No cash was included in the deal that sent Sanchez to the Giants
  • The deal also wasn’t made official until after Sanchez underwent another examination by the San Francisco medical staff. He sat out the entire series because of inflammation in his left knee
  • Sanchez, a three-time All-Star, ended his career with the Pirates going 0-for-20
  • Ironically enough, the Pirates had their team photo day just before leaving for this road trip. Might have been wise to have waited until after the July 31 deadline in retrospect.
  • Wilson joined the Mariners in time for their game in Seattle on Wednesday night, but he did not play in the game.
  • In addition to sending Wilson and Snell to Seattle, the Pirates also covered all but $400,000 remaining on the contracts of each player for the rest of the season. If my math is right, that is something around $3 million in total.
  • GM Neal Huntington emphasized during his second press conference on Wednesday that Wednesday’s trades were not salary dumps but good baseball trades considering the contract status of both players.
  • Manager John Russell said that he plans to address the team after Friday’s 4 p.m. Trade Deadline. He said he also expects Huntington to address the team.

So the big remaining question… Will there be any more deals in the next 40 hours and counting? Huntington wouldn’t commit either way, saying: “We continue to have ongoing dialogue. We’re not looking to make any more trades. We weren’t looking to make these trades. We don’t need to make other trades. But if the right baseball opportunity presents itself, it’s certainly something we take a look at. Again, if it’s strong enough, we move forward.”

If there is anything else on the horizon, it would likely involve John Grabow. The Pirates also could very well get swamped with offers late on him after Orioles lefty reliever George Sherill is snatched up by someone.

One other quick personal note (since I know Wilson reads this blog because he has called me “By Gosh” all season): I wanted to thank you, Jack and Freddy, for your professionalism in all my time covering the organization. For those who didn’t have the pleasure of getting of getting both personally, the Pirates are losing two standup people and competitors.

Actually, one other note as well to the faithful readers of the blog. I will actually be completely out-of-pocket for the next three days. I am taking a red-eye tonight to St. Louis to be in a wedding of some good friends of mine. The wedding (fittingly) is Friday afternoon, so maybe in a way I’m lucky all this went down today instead of then. Anyways, you’ll be covered on the main pirates.com site if anything happens, but the blog and twitter will be on a short hiatus. I apologize for the timing, but obviously my friends didn’t consult the baseball calendar when planning their wedding. I’ll be back on the blog on Monday.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB    

Giants still eyeing Sanchez, concerned about knee; Pirates reject Sanchez's counteroffer

General manager Neal Huntington has not ruled out still dealing second baseman Freddy Sanchez before Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline even though the Pirates already traded away their other middle infielder early on Wednesday. Jack Wilson was dealt to the Mariners as part of a seven-player deal.

“They’re really independent entities,” Huntington said when asked if this changed Sanchez’s standing. “We would’ve love to have kept both players. It didn’t work out that way. We’d like to keep Freddy, it may or not work out that way. Again, each individual decision is an exclusive decision in of itself because they all come back to our commitment to trying to build a winner here in Pittsburgh.”

San Francisco seems to continue to be the main suitor for Sanchez, though the Twins and possibly other teams have also expressed interest. The hold up in a deal already being done could very well be Sanchez’s tender left knee. The second baseman has sat for the last three days while nursing the injury.

According to one source, the Giants are reexamining Sanchez’s knee on Wednesday afternoon. San Francisco already did an initial MRI on Sanchez’s knee on Monday but wanted to take another look before agreeing to any deal, the source added.

The source said that if the Giants are content with the medical reports that the framework of a deal is already in place that would send Sanchez to San Francisco and a package of Minor Leaguers to Pittsburgh. Nothing has been agreed to yet, though.

Apparently making one last attempt to stay in Pittsburgh, Sanchez and his agent have sent the Pirates a contract extension offer of three years, $20 million. It was soonafter rejected by the organization. 

Sanchez had rejected the two-year, $10 million extension that the Pirates had offered him almost two weeks ago but had not countered until Wednesday.

Speaking to the media just prior to Wednesday’s game, Sanchez said that he is not flying back to Pittsburgh with the team after the game this afternoon. He’ll instead join his family at his home in Arizona in case he finds out within the next 24 hours that he will be joining a West Coast team.

July 28: Pirates (43-56) @ Giants (53-46); Sanchez out b/c of knee, Wilson gets day off

As promised, here are some pictures I snapped while taking a short (self-guided, of course) tour around AT&T Park yesterday. By the way, the view from the open outfield concourse is fabulous, though freezing. Apparently July is the coldest month to be at the ballpark during the season (go figure…) and you definitely needed a warm coat to sit in those outfield seats last night.

San Fransisco 001.jpg

Willie Mays greets guests at the front gate.

San Fransisco 002.jpg

Loved the mural that is on the facade of the park where the players enter. Not until I was reading some of the panels did I realize the Giants (New York and San Fran) have more players in the Hall of Fame than any other team. But when you start going through the list, it is an impressive bunch.

San Fransisco 003.jpgThis is the view from the press box. The location of where we sit is, along with Houston, the best anywhere.

San Fransisco 008.jpgThat’s Levi’s Landing wall in right, though I have to admit I’m a bigger fan of the Clemente Wall in Pittsburgh. No, that’s not a biased opinion. I ventured behind the wall to see if I’d spot a kayaker, but there was not one to be spotted in the water. Maybe they’ve found other hobbies since Barry Bonds left.

San Fransisco 005.jpgI didn’t realize the Coca Cola bottle had a slide down the middle of it. I also didn’t realize the slide was meant for adults, since that’s the only ones I saw sliding down when I walked by. Poor kids.

San Fransisco 011.jpgLast one — this is the view of the bay from the outfield concourse. This park certainly has one of the most unique settings of any in baseball. This picture was snapped right by some little seafood shack that had a dungeness crab sandwich that was to die for. In fact, that might just be dinner again tonight.

OK, more from the baseball realm…

Don’t pack away those No. 2 and No. 12 jerseys just yet. Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson are not in Tuesday’s lineup, but it is not because a deal is done to send them elsewhere. Sanchez is still bothered by a tender left knee and is expected to sit until Friday at the earliest. Wilson is getting a scheduled day off just to let him rest.

As for today’s other news, notes and randomness…

  • Ryan Doumit will get his first day off since coming off the DL on July 10 on Wednesday. It’s because Russell planned on giving Doumit the day off on Wednesday that he sat Wilson on Tuesday. Russell said he didn’t want both out of the lineup on the same day.
  • Luis Cruz made the start in place of Wilson at short on Tuesday, giving Cruz his first start since being recalled. Wilson was thrilled for Cruz and said he was looking forward to watching him from the dugout. The two have been doing some work together, and apparently, Cruz’s quick hands have Wilson quite impressed. Between working with Wilson and Perry Hill, I’d say Cruz is in good hands.
  • The Pirates have signed fifth-round pick Nathan Baker, a left-handed pitcher out of Ole Miss. He is believed to have signed for around slot, though that hasn’t been definitively confirmed. The Pirates have now signed 18 of 51 Draft picks.
  • For those who missed it, that “catch” by Delwyn Young (the one that hit off Garrett Jones’ glove, knee and foot) was SportsCenters’ top play from Monday. How many times does a ball that is ruled a single earn the #1 spot?

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (RF)
  3. Garrett Jones (LF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Ramon Vazquez (2B)
  8. Luis Cruz (SS)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Giants lineup:

  1. Andres Torres (CF)
  2. Randy Winn (RF)
  3. Pablo Sandoval (3B)
  4. Bengie Molina (C)
  5. Fred Lewis (LF)
  6. Ryan Garko (1B)
  7. Eugenio Velez (2B)
  8. Juan Uribe (SS)
  9. Barry Zito (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB  

July 25: Pirates (43-53) @ D-backs (41-56)

Odd start time for sure, with tonight’s first pitch being scheduled for 5:10 p.m. local time. I’ll have to get back to you once I decide whether or not I’m a fan of the early evening start.

So just how good has Garrett Jones been? Let’s have the numbers and history tell…

  • Jones has 10 home runs in July, a total that ties a club record. And remember, there are still six more games to be played this month. Donn Clendenon (1966) and Ralph Kiner (1950) are the only other two Pirates players to have that many homers in July.
  • Not since Jason Bay hit 12 homers in May 2006 has a Pirates player had at least 10 in a month.
  • Jones is leading the Majors in home runs this month, with two more than Derrek Lee and three more than Alex Rodriguez. Assuming Jones keeps that lead, he’ll be the first Pirates player since Willie Stargell to lead the Majors in homers/month. Stargell’s 11 homers in April 1971 were a Major-League best.
  • Much has been said about Jones struggling a bit with runners on base, but that shouldn’t completely take away from what he’s doing with the bases empty. With no one on, Jones is hitting .447 with 15 extra-base hits. And folks, this is in just 19 games.
  • Jones has gone deep an average of once every 7.6 at-bats.
  • Though he hasn’t even been in the Majors for a full month yet this year, he already ranks second among all NL rookies with 10 homers.
  • He enters Saturday’s game with three straight multi-hit games.
  • Jones has a slugging percentage of .842 and on-base percentage of .398 since being called up.

OK, now that I have completely fed Jones’ ego, let’s get onto today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez are both back in the lineup on Saturday. As expected, Sanchez’s achy knee only cost him one start. And Wilson makes his first start since Tuesday now that he’s no longer bothered by that nagging hamstring. It can’t help but cross my mind that any one of these games could be the last for these two teaming in the middle infield.
  • It’s a good day for both Sanchez and Wilson to return, too, as they have hit Arizona starter Doug Davis quite well in their careers. Sanchez is 17-for-34 against Davis, while Wilson is 15-for-45.
  • Hope this isn’t jinxing anything, but the Pirates enter Saturday’s game with a string of 69 straight errorless innings. That’s a season-long streak.
  • Movie of choice in the clubhouse today: Talladega Nights. Why is that important? It’s not. But every once and a while I have to justify calling this section of the blog “randomness.”
  • With their 10-run output on Friday night, the Bucs have now scored at least 10 runs on nine different occassions this season.
  • Those 10 runs also came at an opportune time, as the Pirates are currently running a ticket promotion based on the number of runs Pittsburgh scores on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found here, but the most important thing to know is that those $24 tickets for the Pirates’ upcoming series against the Nationals were dropped $10 in price based on Friday’s run total.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Brandon Moss (LF)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

D-backs lineup:

  1. Stephen Drew (SS)
  2. Gerardo Parra (CF)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Mark Reynolds (3B)
  5. Miguel Montero (C)
  6. Chad Tracy (1B)
  7. Alex Romero (LF)
  8. Augie Ojeda (2B)
  9. Doug Davis (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

July 24: Pirates (42-53) @ D-backs (41-55)

With all that happened on Wednesday and the fact that I wasn’t 100 percent coherant for much of the day on Thursday after having to wake up at 3 am to catch a flight out here, I failed to pass along some very good news, at least as it concerns those of us who cover the team on a daily basis.

The Orioles and Sarasota County agreed on a 30-year lease earlier this week to move the Orioles’ Spring Training home to Ed Smith Stadium. You’ll remember that the Reds said goodbye to Sarasota this spring and are moving to Goodyear, Ariz.

Those in Pittsburgh might not care, but having a team in Sarasota is a huge benefit to the club. McKechnie Field and Ed Smith Stadium are only about 15 minutes apart, which makes the “away” games in Sarasota virtually home contests. The Pirates will likely play the Orioles three to four times in Sarasota, which is three to four fewer one hour+ drives the club has to make elsewhere. The Pirates are also able to do all their morning workouts, batting practice and fielding work in Bradenton on days where they play in Sarasota. And for those of us who cover the team, any break we can get from having a short drive is critical to our sanity. 

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez both sat out on Friday, and no, it had nothing to do with either packing their bags to join another team. Let’s get that straight. Sanchez has an achy left knee, but is expected to be OK to return on Saturday. Wilson took early batting practice and fielded grounders on Friday and should be ready to return by the end of this series.
  • Even with the middle infielders getting breathers, don’t expect Luis Cruz to get a start soon. With Cruz’s versatility, manager John Russell likes having him on the bench late in games.
  • The Tigers had a scout watching the Pirates in Pittsburgh recently, which could be a sign that Detroit is looking at Pittsburgh as a possible trade partner. The Tigers are looking for a bat, and rumor has it that they have looked at middle infield options as a way to acquire some offense. Could Sanchez be a fit?
  • And on that note, Larry Corrigan is still in Detroit, presumably scouting the Tigers. 
  • Catcher Ryan Doumit still has not taken a game off since returning from the DL shortly before the All-Star Break and there are no plans for him to have one right now. He doesn’t want to come out of the lineup, and Russell doesn’t see a need to give him a day off just yet.
  • The Pirates are 2-8 in their last 10 games at Chase Field. The club is also 16-34 on the road this season. Only the Padres (13-33) and Nationals (10-35) have worse road records in the league.
  • Garrett Jones has seven more days to accomplish something that hasn’t been done by a Pirates player in 43 years. No Pittsburgh player since Donn Clendenon in ’66 has hit 10 home runs in July. Jones currently sits at nine total this month. The last three Pirates players to hit nine homers in July were: Reggie Sanders (2003), Brian Giles (2002) and Willie Stargell (1976 and 1966).
  • Third base coach Tony Beasley is expected to rejoin the team sometime over the weekend. He has missed the last three games because of a family matter. Rich Donnelly has assumed the third base coaching duties in Beasley’s absence.
  • Shortstop Argenis Diaz made his organizational debut on Thursday with Triple-A Indianapolis. Diaz went 0-for-2 with a walk and sacrifice bunt.
  • Catcher Steve Lerud has been placed on the disabled list after suffering a concussion in Double-A Altoona’s game on Wednesday. Lerud was hit by a backswing.
  • In the last two games, the Pirates’ No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters have combined to hit .583 with four doubles, four homers and eight RBIs.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Brandon Moss (LF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

D-backs lineup:

  1. Stephen Drew (SS)
  2. Ryan Roberts (2B)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Mark Reynolds (3B)
  5. Miguel Montero (C)
  6. Gerardo Parra (LF)
  7. Chris Young (CF)
  8. Chad Tracy (1B)
  9. Yusmeiro Petit (RHP)

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July 23: Pirates (42-52) @ D-backs (40-55)

So I know the winters are a plus and I’m sure there are plenty of wonderful things to do around here, but why anyone would want to live here in Phoenix during the summer is still beyond me. Fortunately, things have cooled off to a brisk 103 degrees as of 5 p.m. tonight. The good news is the roof is on tonight and the air conditioning is working. Not much else more matters at this point.

Obviously Steve Pearce is happy to be back and ready for an everyday opportunity that he has never had before. More on that later… And as for losing teammate Adam LaRoche, the consensus around the clubhouse seems to be that while he is already missed as a teammate, everyone is thrilled for him to have the opportunity to jump into a pennant race. And that includes his brother, too.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Phil Dumatrait’s next rehab start will come with short-season State College on Sunday. Dumatrait made his first rehab appearance on Tuesday in the GCL.
  • Jack Wilson remains out of the lineup on Thursday with that nagging hamstring tightness. He is cleared to pinch hit if needed, though he’d likely have to be pinch run for. And on a positive note, he was just on the outfield grass running. There didn’t seem to be any issues with that.
  • As he did on Wednesday, Rich Donnelly will be the team’s third base coach on Thursday after Tony Beasley had to leave the team due to a family matter. Donnelly said he was thrilled to be back at “home” as he called it, since he was a third base coach from 1992-2007.
  • There is nothing new on the Freddy Sanchez/Wilson contract extension talks, as conversations have not yet been reopened.
  • The Pirates announced the signings of two Draft picks on Thursday: RHP Trent Stevenson (7th round) and LHP Zac Fuesser (34th round). The Pirates have now signed 17 of 51 Draft selections.
  • In the last nine games, the Pirates have hit 16 home runs. Only the Dodgers (17) have homered more in that period. Even with the sudden spurt of long balls, the Pirates still rank 28th in the Majors in home runs hit this season.
  • Garrett Jones expressed a bit of frustration at the fact that all nine of his homers have been solo shots. But he’s not alone. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first nine homers hit this season by both Mike Cameron and Josh Willingham were also of the solo variety.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (LF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (RF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

D-backs lineup:

  1. Stephen Drew (SS)
  2. Gerardo Parra (LF)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Mark Reynolds (3B)
  5. Miguel Montero (C)
  6. Chris Young (CF)
  7. Josh Whitesell (1B)
  8. Augie Ojeda (2B)
  9. Dan Haren (RHP)

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July 22: Brewers (48-46) @ Pirates (41-52)

So for those dying for something deadline related, chew on this: I got word last night that Larry Corrigan, a special assistant to GM Neal Huntington, was in Detroit to watch last night’s game between the Mariners and Tigers. With the Trade Deadline sitting just over a week away, Huntington’s top advisors are going to go watch the teams that the Pirates are most likely to deal with, so this is definitely something to keep in the back of your mind.

While it’s unknown who Corrigan was in Detroit to watch, my best guess is that it would be the Mariners. The Tigers’ primary need is for corner outfield bat, and the Pirates really aren’t the team to fill that need. Detroit is also looking for another starting option, so there is the chance that Ian Snell could be on their radar. This is pure speculation, however.

Seattle, on the other hand, is known to have been interested in both Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson for a while now, especially Sanchez. The Seattle Times reported earlier this month that another special assistant to Huntington, Marc DelPiano, was scouting a Mariners game on July 9. The Mariners still have to decide if they are sellers or buyers at the deadline, but if they decide to buy and go after the AL West title, the fact that the club dealt Yuniesky Betancourt earlier this month does give them some financial flexibility to take on the salary of say, Sanchez, if they wanted.

Stay tuned….

As for today’s news, notes and randomness:

  • Wednesday marks the final home game before the 4 pm Trade Deadline on July 31. That said, will this be the last time Pirates fans see John Grabow and Sanchez in home white uniforms? Just saying…
  • Neither Sanchez or Wilson have been approached by management concerning those contract extension talks. Both middle infielders said on Monday that they’d be open to continuing the talks if the Pirates were also willing to talk.
  • Wilson is out of the lineup again on Wednesday, though the tightness in his left hamstring has not worsened since Tuesday.
  • The Pirates need a win on Wednesday to claim their first series win against an NL Central opponent since mid-May. The Pirates are 1-9-2 in series against teams in their division this year.
  • Andrew McCutchen is tied for fifth among all NL lead-off hitters with 23 RBIs this season. Those have come in just 41 games. Chicago’s Alfonso Soriano leads the bunch with 32 RBIs in 70 games.

Pirates lineup

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (1B)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Delwyn Young (RF)
  6. Brandon Moss (LF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  9. Paul Maholm (LHP)

 

Brewers lineup:

  1. Corey Hart (RF)
  2. Mike Cameron (CF)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (2B)
  6. Bill Hall (3B)
  7. J.J. Hardy (SS)
  8. Jason Kendall (C)
  9. Jeff Suppan (RHP) 

July 21: Brewers (47-46) @ Pirates (41-51); Wilson out with tight hamstring

It’s batting practice in the indoor cages today, folks, as the tarp has been on the field for an hour now. It’s just been removed by the groundscrew, however, which has to be a promising sign. Looks like the major storms have passed through the area and that we should be OK for getting out of here without another two-plus hour rain delay. Let’s hope…

As expected, there were still some grumblings in the clubhouse about last night’s on-field skirmish. The Pirates’ main gripe — as it was last night — wasn’t that the Brewers wanted retaliation, but when they decided to do it. The collective feeling was that if Milwaukee didn’t want to hit Jeff Karstens back in April during the game in which he hit Ryan Braun, then the episode was to be let go. Obviously, the Brewers felt differently.

As to whether he expected any disciplinary action from Major League Baseball, manager John Russell responded: “That’s up to people who want to look at it. We won. We pitched a good game. That’s the main thing we’re focusing on.”

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Shortstop Jack Wilson was scratched from the lineup after waking up with some tightness in his left hamstring. He attributed it to that unbelievable play he made in the second on Monday, when he fielded J.J. Hardy’s sharp grounder in the slippery outfield grass and threw him out from his knees with all Wilson’s momentum pushing him backward. He is listed as day-to-day, though with a day game on Wednesday, he very well might sit tomorrow as well. “I felt a little bit of a twitch and not that big of a deal,” Wilson said. “I woke up this morning and it was extremely tight.  We’ve been working on it, stretching it out. I was gonna give it a go in batting practice but they said it has a chance to be wet again tonight so try not to push it. I was hoping to try and get out there but at the same time you gotta be cautious.”
  • On Tuesday, left-hander Phil Dumatrait made a big step forward in his recovery from a left shoulder injury. Dumatrait threw 54 pitches in four innings in a Gulf Coast League game. It was Dumatrait’s first start outside of extended Spring Training. He is reported to being completely healthy, and GM Neal Huntington said the club is currently discussing where Dumatrait will now be sent to continue his rehab work. One thing to note: the clock on his 30-day maximum length rehab assignment started on Tuesday.
  • With his three scoreless innings on Monday, Karstens has now made five scoreless appearances (10 2/3 innings). What’s behind his recent success? Both he and Russell cited Karstens’ use of his two-seam fastball as a reason for his improved midseason consistency.
  • Garrett Jones may have hit his eighth homer of the season on Monday, but interestingly enough all eight have been solo shots. Though Jones has made himself a presence in the middle of the lineup, he is actually still 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position since being called up.
  • Russell did marvel at Jones’ homer from Monday a bit this afternoon, though, noting that other than Jim Edmonds, he had never seen a left-handed hitter connect for a homer to straightaway left field here at PNC Park.
  • Want a key for Virgil Vasquez in his start on Tuesday? How he fares may very well be determined based on how he does early. Opponents are hitting .412 with five extra-base hits against him in the first this year.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (LF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (RF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  9. Virgil Vasquez (RHP)

Brewers lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez (2B)
  2. Craig Counsell (3B)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Mike Cameron (CF)
  6. Corey Hart (RF)
  7. J.J. Hardy (SS)
  8. Jason Kendall (C)
  9. Braden Looper (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

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