Results tagged ‘ Phil Dumatrait ’

Pirates announce Minor League staffs

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates announced the 2010 coaching staffs for all six of their affiliates. There were very few changes from last season as all six managers are returning to their respective clubs. Dean Treanor has been promoted from Double-A to Triple-A, where he will serve as Indianapolis’ pitching coach. That position was most recently held by Ray Searage until Searage was hired to join the Major League staff in October.

Tom Filer has been added to take Treanor’s position in Altoona. The only other new addition is Mike Lum, who will be a coach with the Gulf Coast League Pirates.

Minor League notes: Phil Dumatrait, who became a free agent on Saturday when the Pirates decided not to tender him a contract, has signed a Minor League deal with the Tigers. Eric Hacker signed as a Minor League free agent with San Francisco.

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Capps non-tendered, becomes free agent

Already short on bullpen help, the Pirates are now in the market for more.

In a much surprising move, the Pirates did not tender a contract to closer Matt Capps, thereby making him a free agent and able to negotiate with any club this offseason. The Pirates also opted not to offer a contract to lefty Phil Dumatrait. Starter Zach Duke was tendered a contract, and shortstop Ronny Cedeno has already come to an agreement on a one-year deal with the club.

All teams had until 11:59 p.m. ET to tender contracts to players eligible for arbitration.

As late as Wednesday, general manager Neal Huntington said that the Pirates’ plans were to offer Capps a contract for next year. And on that same day in a session with reporters at the Winter Meetings, manager John Russell emphasized that despite Capps’ struggles last season, the righty would come into 2010 as the team’s closer once again.

Ultimately, however, the Pirates were concerned that Capps’ price tag for 2010 could be too high a cost to pay for a reliever that digressed significantly last year.

In the final year of a two-year contract that bought out his first year of arbitration eligibility, Capps went 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA. He record 27 saves, but he also blew five in addition to those eight losses. Had the Pirates tendered Capps a contract, he would have been due a raise on the $2.3 million he made in 2009.

“We attempted to reach agreement with both Matt and Phil prior to the deadline,” Huntington said. “Each player preferred to explore free agency. We have not closed any doors but will begin immediately to explore other opportunities to improve our bullpen.”

While Capps can still choose to negotiate with the Pirates, it’s most likely that his career in Pittsburgh is now over. Despite his struggles last season, multiple teams have shown interest in the 25-year-old right-hander, believing that he can bounce back and be a successful pitcher in the back end of a bullpen again.

In the meantime, the Pirates now have even more work to do to construct a bullpen that had already lost Jesse Chavez in an offseason trade. One thing the Pirates do seem confident in, though, is that their next closer could come in-house, as both Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek are likely to garner consideration for the role.

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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.

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September 20: Padres (67-82) @ Pirates (56-90); Jones, Young, LaRoche still out

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Those looking for some reading material on this gorgeous Sunday in the ‘Burgh (you really should be outside instead), let me direct you to this piece on 16-year-old Bryce Harper. You might have heard of Harper, who Sports Illustrated labeled as “The Chosen One” in a cover story about the baseball prospect earlier this year.

What does this have to do with the Pirates? Well, if the season were to end with the standings as is, the Pirates would make the second selection of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Washington, which currently has seven more losses than the Pirates, is in position to pick first.

Harper has been deemed a can’t-miss-prospect, but as colleague Jonathan Mayo points out in the above piece, Harper is not a finished prospect. Pirates scouting director Greg Smith weighs in on this in the story.

Harper is represented by Scott Boras. And though he is just 16, Harper is working to get his GED and play a season at junior college so that he will be eligible for the ’10 Draft. If the Pirates do finish with the second Draft pick in hand, this will be a kid to keep an eye on over the next year.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Manager John Russell had some wishful outloud thinking on Saturday when he expressed hope that he’d slowly start getting some of his injured players back, maybe as early as Sunday. Obviously, that wasn’t to be. Garrett Jones, who underwent an MRA on Saturday, remains out with a sore right shoulder. Delwyn Young is available to pinch hit, but his back still bothers him when he bends over (which doesn’t allow him to play in the field). Andy LaRoche is still quite sick.
  • Russell will also be without right-hander Joel Hanrahan on Sunday. Hanrahan has been bothered by an achy right elbow now for a while, and the Pirates wanted to give him a few days off to rest it. He was not available out of the bullpen on Saturday either.
  • It’s been a rough go for lefty Phil Dumatrait since he returned from the DL and joined the bullpen. In 6 2/3 innings, Dumatrait has allowed eight earned runs and four home runs. He has struck out three and walked six.
  • In the last eight games, the Pirates’ starters have posted a 2.90 ERA. The glaring problem, though, is that the Pirates are just 2-6 during that stretch. In only two of those games have the Pirate scored more than two runs, and one of those was in a game that went 13 innings. In the team’s 3-13 month of September, the Pirates have averaged just a hair over three runs per game.
  • Reaping the benefits of something they targeted heavily during Spring Training, Pirates pitchers have caught 13 runners attempting to steal this season. That total is tops in the National League.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  3. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Brandon Moss (RF)
  6. Steve Pearce (1B)
  7. Neil Walker (3B)
  8. Luis Cruz (2B)
  9. Paul Maholm (LHP)

Padres lineup:

  1. Everth Cabrera (SS)
  2. David Eckstein (2B)
  3. Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
  4. Chase Headley (3B)
  5. Oscar Salazar (LF)
  6. Edgar Gonzalez (RF)
  7. Will Venable (CF)
  8. Henry Blanco (C)
  9. Kevin Correia (RHP)

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August 29: Pirates (53-73) @ Brewers (62-66); Doumit remains out of lineup

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Preferring to stay at Marriott properties for the sake of building up my points, I don’t often stay at the same hotel as the team when we’re all on the road. But I have to admit that the team’s local abode here in Milwaukee certainly has me intrigued.

For those of you who haven’t heard the stories before, the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is believed, by many, to be haunted. With no personal experience to back up these claims, I obviously can’t come to my own conclusion. But Major League players have claimed for years that they are joined by ghosts, shadows and unusual noises during their stays here. The main spirit spotted is said to be Charles Pfister, who founded the hotel in 1893.

The stories — and I won’t vouch for their veracity — range from Los Angeles’ Adrian Beltre taking a bat with him to bed, to various Marlins players sharing rooms with the hope that combatting a spirit with two people would be better than doing so solo.

So I asked bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade, who, on a side note, is diligantly trying to teach me Spanish with little success so far, what he thought…

Andrade started off by making it clear that he didn’t really believe in ghosts, spirits and the like. But he said he’s starting to rethink that position. Early Friday morning while watching SportsCenter, Andrade claims he heard what sounded like heavy breathing right around his shoulder. He turned the TV volume up. Still heard it. Turned the volume up again. Later on, he said he saw a shadow pass by on the reflection of a hanging picture.

If nothing else, this all makes for some good stories and good laughs in the clubhouse. And that’s certainly needed consider the Pirates haven’t won here in years. 

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Ryan Doumit, who was benched for disciplinary reasons in the fifth inning of Friday’s game, is not in the lineup again on Saturday. However, manager John Russell said that his decision to start Jason Jaramillo was already predetermined. Asked if Doumit would be back in the lineup on Sunday, Russell answered: “We’ll see.”
  • There will be more details on pirates.com later, but here is a taste of what GM Neal Huntington had to say on the issue: “It’s something that JR and Ryan are handling and I’m supportive of what JR feels is appropriate going forward. There is really nothing more to talk about than that. This isn’t going to be the first time that one of our players experiences a disciplinary issue. It’s not going to be the last time. The response isn’t always going to be to get him out of here. It’s not in this situation. It’s a situation that happened. JR and Ryan are going to handle it and we expect to move beyond it, move forward, learn from it and expand beyond it and grow beyond it.”
  • There has still not been a starter named for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Reds, though Phil Dumatrait is still a candidate for the start. He is, however, available to pitch out of the bullpen on Saturday, and if he does that could take him out of the possibility of starting Monday.
  • Paul Maholm will start the night cap on Monday. That much is known.
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio (right shoulder tendinitis) threw light toss on Saturday for the first time since going down with the injury. Though the Pirates do expect to have him back before the season ends, it’s still very unlikely he’d be stretched out enough to pitch in a starting role.
  • Ronny Cedeno (right pinky fracture) continues to improve. Russell said they are shooting for Cedeno to return to the lineup on Sunday.
  • Though Luis Cruz had a nice lump on his head, he insisted that he is feeling no ill effects of being hit in the head during BP on Friday. Brian Bixler is starting in Cruz’s place on Saturday.
  • Lefty Donnie Veal continues to work through his Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona. So far, Veal has logged eight innings in four games. He has allowed one run on three hits, four walks and has struck out 10.
  • The Brewers’ 19-game home winning streak against the Pirates is the longest home winning streak by one team over another since the Orioles defeated Toronto 19 consecutive times from 1978-81.

Pirates lineup:

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

Brewers lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez (2B)
  2. Craig Counsell (3B)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Mike Cameron (CF)
  6. Frank Catalanotto (RF)
  7. Jason Kendall (C)
  8. Alcides Escobar (SS)
  9. Yovani Gallardo (RHP)

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August 28: Pirates (58-72) @ Brewers (61-66)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

OK, we’re going to keep this short and sweet since I’ve been dealing with computer issues for the last four hours and am still working with IT to get everything fixed.

Today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Manager John Russell said he has not yet determined who will start Monday’s extra doubleheader game in Cincinnati. Paul Maholm will obviously start one of the two (since it’s his normal day to pitch), though it hasn’t been decided if that will be the day game or the night cap. Phil Dumatrait is still a candidate to start the second game, though his availability will depend upon if he is needed in the bullpen this weekend. The Pirates would like to avoid having to call someone up from Triple-A to make the start knowing that rosters expand the next day
  • Ronny Cedeno remains out of the lineup with the pinky injury. Though the Pirates were most concerned about how it would affect his ability to grip a bat, it’s actually bothering him fielding and on short throws more than anything else. Obviously, he’s hitting just fine, evidenced by the two pinch hits in as many at-bats during the Phillies series.
  • No word yet from Russell about when Jose Ascanio (right shoulder injury) will resume tossing again.
  • Luis Cruz got hit in the head with a line drive off Garrett Jones’ bat during batting practice this afternoon and had to come off the field briefly. Fortunately, a few minutes later Cruz was up and bouncing around as normal, joking that he was just practicing his soccer skills. He remains in the lineup.
  • While I was off the last few days, Team USA announced its World Cup team. Both third baseman Pedro Alvarez and right-hander Daniel McCutchen were selected from the squad and will be participating. This eliminates any possibility that McCutchen will be a September call-up. He’ll have to wait until next spring to fight for a big-league rotation spot, and yes, he’ll certainly be in the mix. Double-A right-handed reliever Dustin Molleken has been selected to play for Team Canada. The Pirates also expect that Lynchburg righty Tom Boleska (Canada), Lynchburg right-hander RJ Rodriguez (USA) and GCL Pirates shortstop Gift Ngoepe (South Africa) to also be on their respective country’s final rosters. 
  • The Pirates have decided to stick with a five-man rotation in September, even as Kevin Hart and Ross Ohlendorf creep closer to what managment has deemed their maximum innings counts. GM Neal Huntington, who made the trip to Milwaukee with the team, said that once Hart and Ohlendorf hit their innings count, they will be shut down. That likely won’t be but one or two starts before the end of the season. 
  • Huntington listed Virgil Vasquez and Dumatrait as the most likely candidates to spot start when needed. Eric Hacker was an outside possibility, but not the most likely.
  • Huntington said that third baseman Neil Walker is still being considered for a call-up in September based on merit. The concern, though, is finding him enough at-bats to make it worthwhile. Regardless, spending September with the Major League team would at least allow Walker the chance to work with infield coach Perry Hill.
  • Oh yeah, and in case anyone forgot — which I doubt you have — the Pirates haven’t won here at Miller Park since  May 3, 2007. I started covering the team less than two weeks after that, so no, I have never seen the club win in Milwaukee. Altogether, the Pirates have lost 18 straight.
  • And I guess that wasn’t too short afterall. Oh well.. had to get all the news in.

Pirates lineup:

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

Brewers lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez (2B)
  2. Jason Bourgeois (RF)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Mike Cameron (CF)
  7. Jason Kendall (C)
  8. Alcides Escobar (SS)
  9. Manny Parra (LHP)

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Meek moved to 60-day DL, season over

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

In order to clear a space on the 40-man roster for Phil Dumatrait, the Pirates moved injured reliever Evan Meek from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Meek suffered a left oblique strain on Aug. 11. Initially, the right-hander was expected to be out for at least a month, though moving him to the 60-day DL effectively ends his season. Meek became one of the Pirates’ more reliable relievers this season after being called up in late April. He finished 1-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 41 appearances. He walked 29 and struck out 42.

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August 21: Reds (51-69) @ Pirates (49-70); Dumatrait recalled; Karstens to bereavement list

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Phil Dumatrait is back with the club — well, he’s currently in transit after enduring some flight delays — but he’ll be here in time for Friday’s game. The Pirates will activate Dumatrait off the 60-day disabled list before the game. It’s been an extremely long road back for Dumatrait, who has not pitched in the Majors since July 7, 2008. That “minor shoulder surgery” he had a little over a year ago has kept him out much longer than the expected 4-6 months.

Regardless the road back, Dumatrait will be joining the Pirates as a reliever for the time being. He remains a candidate to start one of the team’s doubleheader games on Aug. 31, but in the meantime will serve as the bullpen’s only left-handed option. After working through his Minor League rehab assignment as a starter at first, Dumatrait did make two rehab relief appearances to get him back used to warming up quickly and entering mid-game.

Last season, Dumatrait made 27 appearances (17 starts) for the Pirates before going down with the injured left shoulder. He finished 3-4 with a 5.26 ERA.

The Pirates’ second roster move of the day was to move reliever Jeff Karstens to the bereavement list. He has left the team and flown out to San Diego to be with his ailing grandmonther.

Players can be on the bereavement list a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven days. Players on the list also do not count against a team’s 25-roster, meaning the Pirates could add Dumatrait to both without having to drop anyone. However, the Pirates have to add Dumatrait onto the 40-man roster and since Karstens does not come off the 40-man roster, there will be a corresponding move made. That has not yet been announced.

When Karstens does return — which manager John Russell said is expected to be for Tuesday’s game — a spot will have to be opened up on the 25-man roster for Karstens to be added back. That would likely be sending Denny Bautista back to Triple-A, though that’s just my guess. 

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • The Pirates are honoring the 1979 World Championship team all weekend with various ceremonies and events. For the next two nights, both the Pirates and Reds will be wearing uniforms from 1979. For the Pirates that includes gold tops, black pants and gold pill-box hats on Friday and white tops, gold pinstripes, black pants and black pill-box hats on Saturday.
  • Those yellow jerseys sure had a way of brightening up the clubhouse this afternoon. However, I was struck (and no, it’s not because I am really into fashion or anything) by the fact that the yellow color of the hats and the yellow color of the jerseys were so different. I’m honestly not sure if that was the case in ’79, but boy, the two don’t match.
  • In an oddity in the schedule, the Pirates play the Reds seven times in the next 13 days after not having faced each other since May 3. In all, the teams have 13 games remaining against each other to determine who finishes 5th and who finishes 6th in the Central division.
  • If the Pirates take all three of these games against the Reds, Pittsburgh would jump ahead of Cincinnati in the standings.
  • Lefty Daniel Moskos (No. 4 overall pick in 2007) continues to look like he’ll finish the season strong with Double-A Altoona. After pitching a career-best eight innings on Aug. 14, Moskos tossed seven shutout innings on Thursday night. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out six.
  • Charlie Morton takes the mound on Friday and will be attempting to rebound from that disastrous outing last Friday in which he allowed 10 earned runs in one inning. That is not a typo, unfortunately. Asked about Morton, Russell had this to say: “I haven’t seen it to where he looks like he is worried. Obviously with a young pitcher trust and feel with your command is very important. But I’ve seen very good signs of that. I really believe he’s going to throw well today.”
  • Forgot to metion this on Wednesday, but reliever Joel Hanrahan has been nominated for the national Jefferson Award fo Outstanding Public Service by an Athlete. The list of finalists for the award can be found here. Voting for the award begins on Friday and continues through Nov. 15. You can vote at the www.allstarshelpingkids.org site. 

Pirates lineup:

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

Reds lineup:

  1. Chris Dickerson (LF)
  2. Drew Stubbs (CF)
  3. Joey Votto (1B)
  4. Laynce Nix (RF)
  5. Adam Rosales (3B)
  6. Drew Sutton (2B)
  7. Ryan Hanigan (C)
  8. Paul Janish (SS)
  9. Micah Owings (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

August 19: Brewers (58-61) @ Pirates (48-70)

So with another two home runs against the Brewers on Tuesday, the Pirates have now hit 10 in their last three games against the Brewers. Broaden that scope a little bit and Pittsburgh has gone deep 14 times in the team’s last seven games against Milwaukee. That accounts for a little over 15% of the team’s season home run total (92), which ranks just 14th in the NL.

It should be noted, though, that everyone has gone homer crazy against the Brewers this year. Milwaukee has allowed 161 long balls, most by any pitching staff in the Majors.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Rain is still coming down at PNC Park as I type, though certainly not as heavily as it was earlier. The radar seems promising for a game to be played at some point later this evening. I’ll update as necessary if there is a delay…
  • Before lightening struck close to the ballpark this afternoon, outfielder Lastings Milledge was out (as he is every day) doing extensive work with outfield coach Gary Varsho. Any defensive struggles he might be having are not due to a lack of effort, I’ll attest to that.
  • Spoke with Charlie Morton, who said he felt real good during his two side sessions since his last start. He’s at the point, too, where he was able to laugh, at least a little, about how bad his last start (the 10 ER, 1 IP one) was.
  • Phil Dumatrait is scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen this evening for Indianapolis, after which a determination will be made as to whether he’s ready to rejoin the Major League club.
  • Manager John Russell did name Dumatrait as a likely candidate to start one of the two games the Pirates have against the Reds during an Aug. 31 doubleheader.
  • The Pirates are sure to have another doubleheader (against the Cubs) later in the season as well, though Chicago still has not announced on which day. The two teams play at Wrigley Field from Sept. 29 – Oct. 1.
  • Donnie Veal (sprained left index finger) made his first rehab start for Double-A Altoona on Tuesday. Veal pitched two scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out three.
  • RHP Jeff Sues has been promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis. Sues, who is on the team’s 40-man roster and who participated in big-league Spring Training earlier this year, made 40 appearances for Altoona this year. He finished 2-6 with a 4.46 ERA. He struck out 74 and walked 37.
  • The Pirates officially announced on Wednesday that the team’s home games during the upcoming G-20 Summit will take place as scheduled. More information about parking, closed roads and security will be released closer to the Sept. 24-25 dates.
  • Oh, and Brandon Moss just receieved a new bow for deer hunting. That’s not at all important or really relevant, but he asked that I throw the exciting news in here, so I obliged.

Pirates lineup:

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

Brewers lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez (2B)
  2. Mike Cameron (CF)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Mike Rivera (C)
  7. Jason Bourgeois (RF)
  8. Yovani Gallardo (RHP)
  9. Alcides Escobar (SS)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

August 17: Brewers (58-59) @ Pirates (46-70)

Well, no rain in the forecast fortunately. Though, it’s not like it was raining in Chicago when and after Sunday’s game was called by officials. Trying to explain things is part of what I do for a living, but yesterday’s handling of the rain delay and eventual postponement is something I won’t even attempt to explain. I know there were threats of bigger storms (which never came), and I know the Cubs had to catch a flight to San Diego after the game, but you would think that all involved would still want to get the game in. Manager John Russell did:

“Did we need the day off? I don’t think so,” Russell said. “[Starter] Ross [Ohlendorf] has been throwing really well and I would have liked to have seen him pitch yesterday. He thrives in an arena like that. He loves pitching in front of a crowd and even on the road. I was anxious to see him pitch. I wasn’t really looking forward to a day off. But there’s nothing much we can do about it when we’re on the road and they call the game.”

Since he completely warmed up for the game, Ohlendorf treated the day like he would a normal in-between-start side session. He’s scheduled to pitch on Tuesday now.

Still no word on a makeup game yet. Again, you would have thought that at some point during the course of a three-hour, 15-minute delay, that would have been hashed out…

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Triple-A righty Daniel McCutchen was named the International League’s pitcher of the week for his performances last week. McCutchen went 2-0 and pitched 13 2/3 scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out 12. With McCutchen’s honor, the Indians claimed back-to-back weekly pitching honors. Starter Eric Hacker won the award the previous week.
  • Speaking of McCutchen, though nothing is definitive yet, don’t be surprised if he is among a small group of players called up from Triple-A once rosters expand in September.
  • GM Neal Huntington said he does not expect any of the call ups to come from the Double-A club. And he said there will not be as many as there were last year.
  • Director of Player Development Kyle Stark said that lefty Rudy Owens (11-1, 1.55 ERA in 21 starts at Single-A this season), will be very limited in his innings count from here on out and will also be periodically skipped in the rotation. Owens has pitched 110 innings already this year, after throwing only 58 in 2008.
  • Stark also said to expect fall and winter ball assignments to be finalized around the end of the month. We know already that Donnie Veal is set to go to the Arizona Fall League, and Gorkys Hernandez will be playing winter ball in Venezuela.
  • Lefty Phil Dumatrait made a rehab appearance out of the bullpen in Triple-A on Sunday, and he continued to struggle as he has through most of his Minor League rehab stint. Dumatrait allowed two earned runs on three hits in two innings. His 30-day assignment is scheduled to end on Wednesday, after which he will have to be taken off the DL.
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio was having further tests done on his right shoulder this afternoon, but the results of those tests have not yet been made known. Ascanio was placed on the DL last week with what was diagnosed as right shoulder tendinitis. 
  • Pittsburgh has not hit a home run in 52 innings (five straight games). The team has homered in just 56 of 116 games this season.
  • At this time last season, the Pirates were 53-63. Their current record of 46-70 has the club on pace to go 64-98 if that pace doesn’t not change.
  • After losing 17 straight to Milwaukee, the Pirates have actually won two of the last three. However, the Pirates have gone just 14-31 against divisional opponents this year. 
  • The Pirates are set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their last World Series Championship during the Pirates’ series with the Reds this weekend. All the ins and outs of the celebration and ticket specials can be found here. There’s all sorts of promotions and events so read through it carefully if you plan to come out or are thinking about it. The highlight will come on Saturday when the organization honors 22 players and staff members from the 1979 Championship team. KC and the Sunshine Band will then perform after the game.
  • Tim, who runs a Pirates blog, passed along a link to an interview he did with Lynchburg infielder Chase D’Arnaud, who the Pirates drafted in the fourth round last year. He emailed me this link and I figured I could pass it along to those of you who might be interested.
  • Look for more Minor League updates from me over the next week or so. I’ve done a number of interviews with/about different guys and will be slowly putting those out.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  8. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  9. Kevin Hart (RHP)

Brewers lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez (2B)
  2. Craig Counsell (3B)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Mike Cameron (CF)
  6. Frank Catalanotto (RF)
  7. Jason Kendall (C)
  8. Carlos Villanueva (RHP)
  9. Alcides Escobar (SS)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB   

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