Results tagged ‘ Shelby Ford ’

McCutchen progressing/other Tuesday notes

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Andrew McCutchen said that he is feeling much better — better than he expected to feel this quickly — after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder on Sunday. He’s not in the lineup today and is not taking batting practice or throwing. McCutchen is doing some light running on the field now and will catch flyballs during BP.

He’ll continue to be reevaluated each day until cleared to start swinging again. Swinging and throwing will be the last things he can do since those motions rely so heavily on the extension of his shoulder.

Some other stuff to pass along…

  • Ryan Doumit is out of Tuesday’s lineup in order to give him a breather after he was hit in the mask by a foul tip on Monday. He didn’t sustain a concussion, and the Pirates aren’t even labeling him as having concussion-like symptoms. But he wasn’t 100 percent after the game and manager John Russell says he sees no reason to run him out there. Erik Kratz will make his second Major League start. 
  • Infielder Brian Friday (ankle) has rejoined Triple-A Indianapolis after a short Minor League rehab stint with Bradenton.
  • Pittsburgh had two representatives in Monday’s Dominican Summer League All-Star team: LHP Angel Sanchez and C Samuel Gonzalez. Sanchez is 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings pitched. Gonzalez has hit .348 with 15 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs in 38 games.
  • Speaking of All-Star Games, this is old, but I forgot to pass along the link last week. After being a late addition to the Eastern League All-Star team, infielder Chase d’Arnaud hit a grand slam in the game and earned MVP honors. Altoona catcher Hector Gimenez won the Eastern League Home Run Derby as well. The full story on d’Arnaud’s big game can be found here.
  • Infielder Shelby Ford has been placed on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Ford was hitting. 242 in 55 games with Double-A Altoona at the time of the injury.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

August 9: Cardinals (61-51) @ Pirates (45-65)

OK, here’s one for you, thanks to my boyfriend who was evidently bored on Saturday and started crunching numbers:

Albert Pujols — 355 career home runs; 1,077 career RBIs (including nine straight seasons of 100+, a feat he accomplished on Saturday night)

Sunday’s entire Pirates lineup — 104 total home runs, 557 total RBIs. Lastings Milledge leads the group with 25 career home runs. Ramon Vazquez is tops in career RBIs with 173. Pujols had 137 just in 2006 alone.

Just food for thought.

And now on to today’s news, notes and randomness:

  • Zach Duke gets another shot at becoming the team’s first 10-game winner since 2007. Both he and Ross Ohlendorf were unable to reach that plateau in their starts last week.
  • Fresh off being demoted to Double-A, second baseman Shelby Ford had quite the night for the Curve on Saturday. Ford hit the 33rd grand slam in Altoona franchise history and finished with a career-high five RBIs.
  • Not all was good in Altoona, however. Lefty Daniel Moskos came off the DL and lasted only 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the seaosn. And as a whole, the Curve pitching staff walked 10 batters in the 10-6 loss.
  • Shortstop Ray Chang left Altoona’s game on Saturday with an injured left ankle. Farm director Kyle Stark said he expects to know later on Sunday the severity of Chang’s injury.
  • Another Double-A infielder is also out, as Brian Friday missed Saturday’s game after being hit in the head with a pitch on Friday. Stark said Friday is expected to miss only a couple more days.
  • Indianapolis right-hander Eric Hacker took the win for Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday as he pitched seven strong innings. Hacker gave up one earned run and walked seven.
  • For those wanting to keep tabs, former Pirates right-hander Ian Snell made his second start for the Mariners on Saturday and it was a disaster. Snell recorded only four outs before being pulled. He gave up three runs on two hits and six walks.
  • After the Pirates’ off day on Monday, the team begins a six-game road trip that includes stops in Colorado and Chicago. The Pirates have lost five in a row on the road and have won just three of their last 30 road games.
  • One of a few bright spots in the Pirates’ seven-game losing streak: shortstop Ronny Cedeno has homered twice and has seven RBIs while going 11-for-35 since being acquired from the Mariners. He has hit safely in eight of his nine games as a Pirate.
  • This losing streak has put the Pirates 20 games under .500 with 52 games remaining. At this point last year, Pittsburgh was eight games under .500 and on its way to a 67-win season.
  • Oh, and another plug for those who may have missed it earlier this week: Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith wrote a feature on young Pirates infielder and South African Gift Ngoepe in this week’s edition. I got a chance to read the feature in full on Friday and it is absolutely well worth the read.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  3. Delwyn Young (2B)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  7. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Cardinals lineup:

  1. Julio Lugo (SS) Brendan Ryan (SS)
  2. Mark DeRosa (3B) Julio Lugo (2B)
  3. Albert Pujols (1B)
  4. Matt Holliday (LF)
  5. Ryan Ludwick (RF)
  6. Yadier Molina (C)
  7. Colby Rasmus (CF) Khalil Greene (3B)
  8. Brendan Ryan (2B) Colby Rasmus (CF)
  9. Joel Pineiro (RHP)

Note: Mark DeRosa was a game-time scratch with tightness in his upper back.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

August 5: D-backs (48-59) @ Pirates (45-61); McCutchen out of lineup

Thought I’d bring you some comments courtesy of D-backs skipper A.J. Hinch. During his pregame media session on Tuesday, the former farm director-turned-manager made two interesting points about the Pirates recent turnover…

First, despite the fact that these two teams played less than two weeks ago, he noted the difficulty in the advance scouting process coming into the series considering this team has so many new faces since that series in Phoenix.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap where we think we know the other team, but they’ve made a lot of moves since we last saw them which was 10 days ago,” Hinch said. “I think it’s challenging to the extent of having all our scouting reports done and be prepared to come into the series. It probably would have been harder to deal with them over the deadline given how many moves they made.”

Second, he cautioned against jumping to too many conclusions on the organization based upon the omnipresent revolving door for the past two seasons.

“I think they are obviously a team in transition trying to find a balanced team that can be competitive. I don’t have a comment on the moves that they made. They made massive changes. That signals I  think an attempt for them to move in a new direction. I’m not saying they’re easy decisions. The players they traded are good players, but what comes from that when you trade for Minor League players they become Major League players. The patience that an organization has to have when you have to make moves like that, it tests you and it’s tough, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.”

Anyways, what Hinch has to like is the fact that his Arizona staff has shutout the Pirates for the last 28 innings. The Pirates will be trying to break that on Wednesday against lefty Doug Davis, who, you guessed it, shut out the Pirates in six innings on July 25.

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

  • After making 54 consecutive starts since being called up from Triple-A, Andrew McCutchen is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday. He was hit in the head with first baseman Chad Tracy’s glove while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning on Tuesday. McCutchen stayed in the game, but did have some headaches later in the night. Manager John Russell was looking to give him a day off sometime soon, so the consensus was to do it on Wednesday to make sure McCutchen had no lingering affects. He’s expected to return to the lineup on Thursday.
  • With McCutchen out, Ronny Cedeno – the owner of Tuesday’s lone hit — moved up to hit leadoff. This is just Cedeno’s third career start hitting leadoff.
  • Despite coming into the season with some in the organization projecting he could be Major-League ready as soon as Opening Day 2010, Shelby Ford has been one of the organization’s biggest disappointments. He has hit just .188 in his first season in Triple-A and on Wednesday was demoted to Double-A. With Jim Negrych out for the season, Ford can get regular playing time with Altoona.
  • Taking Ford’s place in Indianapolis is infielder Pedro Lopez.
  • Left-hander Phil Dumatrait is making another rehab start on Thursday, this one coming for Indianapolis. It’s one of at least two more that he is scheduled to make before being reinstated from the DL.
  • Anybody seeing what 3B Pedro Alvarez has done lately? After going 3-for-6 on Tuesday, the No. 2 overall pick in 2008 has hit .458 in his last seven games. He is hitting .307 in 35 games since being promoted to Double-A. 
  • Former Pirate Tom Gorzelanny had a nice debut for the Cubs on Tuesday as he picked up his first win as a starter in over a year. Gorzelanny allowed one run on three hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings against the Reds. He struck out six. As things stand now, Gorzelanny is scheduled to make two more starts before Ted Lilly comes off the DL. That next start would be Sunday, followed by one on Friday when the Pirates arrive in town. Could be interesting for sure.
  • Since Zach Duke couldn’t do it on Tuesday, Ross Ohlendorf has his sights set on becoming the team’s first 10-game winner as he takes the mound on Wednesday. No starter reached that win mark in 2008.
  • Major League Baseball’s “Buses for Baseball” event came to PNC Park Wednesday afternoon. Forty underpriviledged children from the area were greeted by players before BP and received all sorts of autographs. Paul Maholm and Duke were among the players sitting in the dugout signing autographs earlier.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  2. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  3. Delwyn Young (2B)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jeff Salazar (CF)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (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. Ryan Roberts (2B)
  7. Chad Tracy (1B)
  8. Chris Young (CF)
  9. Doug Davis (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

April 8: Pirates (1-1) @ Cardinals (1-1)

Busch Stadium.jpgJust finished watching third baseman Andy LaRoche take about 30 minutes of fielding/throwing practice under the watchful eye of almost the entire coaching staff (manager John Russell, base coaches Perry Hill and Tony Beasley and bench coach Gary Varsho). LaRoche’s three errors in the first two games of the season certainly dictated the need for the extra work. And it comes as little surprise that LaRoche was out of the lineup in favor of Ramon Vazquez to give LaRoche a day to regroup. LaRoche will be back in the lineup on Thursday.

The main point of emphasis during the extra infield work was to try to rid LaRoche of a bad habit that Hill just noticed creeping up. The desire is for LaRoche to stop flipping his glove — meaning that it’s facing toward him before the ball is hit and then flips open and down to field a ground ball. It’s something that LaRoche did very minimally during Spring Training, but has done without knowing it these last two days.

Other news and notes for the time being:

  • Catcher Ryan Doumit starts Wednesday’s game still looking for his first hit of the season. He’s 0-for-8 so far. But he has to be pleased to see St. Louis starter Todd Wellemeyer on the mound. Doumit is 5-for-11 against Wellemeyer in his career with a double, homer and three RBIs.
  • Some Minor League notes: Shelby Ford will likely miss the first few games for Triple-A Indianapolis, as he is still recovering from that sprained right wrist he suffered during Spring Training. He shouldn’t be out long, though. … Indianapolis, which starts play on Thursday, has set its rotation through the weekend. Jason Davis will make the Opening Day start and will be followed by Jimmy BarthmaierTom Gorzelanny and Daniel McCutchen.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Brandon Moss (RF)
  7. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Cardinals lineup:

  1. Colby Rasmus (LF)
  2. Khalil Greene (SS)
  3. Albert Pujols (1B)
  4. Ryan Ludwick (RF)
  5. Yadier Molina (C)
  6. Rick Ankiel (CF)
  7. David Freese (3B)
  8. Todd Wellemeyer (RHP)
  9. Brendan Ryan (2B) 

Pirates cut eight

The Pirates had their second wave of cuts this spring on Monday afternoon as eight players were told that their days in Major League camp are over for this year…

  • 3B Pedro Alvarez – optioned to high Single-A Lynchburg, which is where he will start the season. Alvarez, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 Draft, was participating in his first big league camp.
  • RHP Jimmy Barthmaier – optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. As expected, Barthmaier’s bid to dent the Pirates’ starting rotation has ended.
  • RHP Jeff Sues – optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • C Steve Lerud – optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • RHP Ronald Uviedo – optioned to high Single-A Lynchburg
  • 2B Shelby Ford, RHP Juan Mateo and RHP Daniel McCutchen were all reassigned to Minor League camp. Ford is expected to start the season as the starting second baseman for Triple-A Indianapolis. McCutchen will pitch in the Triple-A rotation. Mateo has a shot at beginning in Indianapolis as well.

The Pirates now have 45 players left in big league camp.

You’ll find more details about these cuts and their significance on the main site in a bit. But this gets you the necessary information in the meantime.

Yankees 13, Pirates 10

Walker, Neil 2.jpgRoss Ohlendorf was certainly pleased with his results — four innings pitched, no hits, no runs, two strikeouts — but he owed much credit to the defense that played behind him. Both Nyjer Morgan and Neil Walker (pictured to left) made tough running catches on pop-ups, and Walker also made a stellar back-handed grab at third. And not to be left out, Jeff Salazar contributed with a diving catch in right field.

***

As for Ohlendorf’s day, there were signs of improvements as well. Ohlendorf worked with all three of his pitches — fastball, slider, changeup — and said he was pleased with how he felt throwing each one by the time his outing ended. His breaking pitch is still slowly coming along, though manager John Russell said that it has been crisper in Ohlendorf’s side sessions than in games. The key is now to bring that into the game.  

He also continued to live on the inside corner against New York’s right-handed hitters (which he always has done with success) and against left-handers (something he’s trying to do more often).

“This was probably the second best one,” Ohlendorf said, when asked how this compared to his three previous Spring Training appearances. Ohlendorf said the best was his two-inning outing against the Red Sox on Feb. 26. He faced the minimum in those two innings and struck out three.

“Compared to last September,” Ohlendorf continued, “I feel like I’ve shown [management] that I can do much better than I did.”

Ohlendorf continues to fight for a rotation spot.

“He’s pitching well,” Russell said. “Obviously he’s got the stuff. It’s just the consistency. He’s got a little bit more of a power arm. It might take him a few more innings to get it the way he really wants. I have seen improvements every outing.”    

***

A total of four hitters were hit by pitches in this game, causing the tension to build just a bit. With all these pitchers fighting for Major League jobs, it wasn’t a case of purposeful retaliation. But it was getting a little out of hand regardless.

Jack Wilson got hit by Ian Kennedy; Luis Cruz by Christian Garcia; John Rodriguez by Donnie Veal; Austin Jackson by Jesse Chavez. Rodriguez sustained a bruised right wrist when he was hit and had to exit the game early.

At least Pirates pitchers showed no hesitancy to pitch inside, something that has been a point of emphasis all spring.

***

Talked with Shelby Ford on Saturday and he reported that his right wrist was feeling much better. Ford sprained his right wrist on the field Wednesday. Ford said that there is the possibility he could be cleared to take part in a full workout — fielding and hitting — as early as Sunday. 

Eric Hinske took batting practice with the team before Saturday’s game, the first time he’s done so since sustaining a left rib cage contusion. He’s not ready to play in a game just yet, but has reported no pain as he slowly works his way back. He’ll take BP again on Sunday and will continue to be evaluated each morning. Expect him back in a game by mid-week.

***

Up Next: The Pirates get to visit the newly located Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Sunday for another 1:05 p.m. contest. It’s the first of two games between the Pirates and Rays in two days.

The Pirates moved Jeff Karstens up a day in the pitching rotation in order to get him off the day that Paul Maholm was pitching. And as things turn out, Karstens and Tom Gorzelanny will now both be pitching on the same day for the rest of the spring. With the way things stand now, I could see Karstens and Gorzelanny competing for the final rotation spot, so what better way to judge who’s ready by having them pitch on the same day.

In addition to Karstens and Gorzelanny pitching on Sunday, Jason Davis and Tyler Yates are also both scheduled to take the mound.

For those back in Pittsburgh, the game will be broadcast on 104.7 FM.   

Pirates 6, Phillies 5


Thumbnail image for Daniel McCutchen 2.jpgZach Duke
had a stellar game, his best yet in what had already been an cumulatively impressive spring.

Fellow starter Daniel McCutchen (pictured to left), however, didn’t fare so well. McCutchen took a step back in his Spring Training progression on Friday — 1 1/3 innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, one walk, one strikeout.

What had McCutchen most disappointed, too, was that this outing came on the heels of his strongest spring showing his last time out.

***

On Thursday, it was non-roster invitee Craig Monroe (three homers) who stole the show. On Friday, it was non-roster invitee Jeff Salazar who hit the headline shot. Salazar’s three-run home run with one out in the ninth sealed the come-from-behind win for the team.

Both Salazar and Monroe are battling for a backup outfield spot that only one of them will be able to get. But the Pirates have to like the fact that both guys, along with a number of others, are going to make those final roster decisions as tough as possible.

“It’s a nice problem to have,” manager John Russell said. “Last year we were trying to search for things a lot, especially when the season got going and we needed help. We felt like we were in a bind. This year, we like the options we have.”

Monroe still likely has the leg up in the competition for that bench spot because the Pirates ideally need a right-handed hitting outfield option. Still, Salazar, who has three home runs this spring, would give the Pirates an intriguing option down at Triple-A if he starts there and then the Major League club runs into a need for another outfielder.

***

No new injury updates today. Eric Hinske (left rib cage contusion), Andy Phillips (lower back stiffness) and Shelby Ford (sprained right wrist) all stayed back at McKechnie Field for the day. As mentioned in the blog this morning, Brandon Moss has also returned to Bradenton and seemed encouraged by decreasing swelling in his right thumb. Now it’s just a matter of how long it will take Moss to get the strength back in his grip.

***

When Salazar’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth ensured a bottom half of the inning, former Expos pitcher Jeremy Powell got to make an appearance before the day’s end. Powell, who was signed by the Pirates to a Minor League deal this offseason, is participating in Minor League camp, but traveled with the team to Clearwater, Fla., in case the need for an extra reliever arose.

This is Powell’s first time back playing professionally in the US since 2000, when he was playing in Montreal. From 2001-08, Powell pitched in Japan.

***

Up Next: The mighty Yankees come to town on Saturday, except for they won’t, uh, be so mighty this time around. New York has a split-squad on the schedule tomorrow, and I’d suspect that most of the Major League players on the team will stay behind for the game in Tampa. Sorry to all of you who bought tickets for the game expecting to see the Yankees’ Major League team.

Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf will get to face his former team for the first time in what will be Ohlendorf’s fourth spring appearance. Denny Bautista, Chris Bootcheck, Sean Burnett, Jesse Chavez, Craig Hansen and Donnie Veal are also scheduled to pitch for the Pirates.

The Yankees will start right-hander Phil Hughes.

For those back in Pittsburgh, the game will be broadcast on 104.7 FM.

Day 28: Pirates @ Phillies

The keystone state rivalry renews its roots again… OK, so it’s still March, but I have to try and get the enthusiasm rolling somehow.

A few notes from my clubhouse stop this morning:

  • Brandon Moss was back in Bradenton after making a quick roundtrip drive to and from GA for a family situation. I also asked about his sprained right thumb and got an encouraging smile. The swelling has gone down significantly, though there is still no specific timetable for his progression back to playing.
  • Spent some time chatting with first base coach and infield guru Perry Hill for a story I’ll be rolling out next week and got some nice extra nuggets as well. Hill lauded the progress Shelby Ford has made this spring, saying that defensively, Ford looks like he’s ready for the Major League level.
  • Hill also talked about the progress made by all sorts of his infielders. He called Brian Bixler one of the most improved (defensively) this spring. He also talked about Freddy Sanchez’s new throwing motion, which is expected to reduce the strain on his shoulder.
  • The emphasis on utility infielders being able to play all five positions is something Hill and I talked about as well. Bixler doesn’t know it yet, Hill joked, but he’ll be getting some work at first base next week, as Hill insists that every utility infielder should be able to play anywhere across the diamond. And — I’ll have to ask John Russell about this sometime — apparently when Russell was a player with the Rangers, Hill (a coach in the organization) required him to come out and take infield practice at all four spots just to make sure Russell could fill in if necessary. Russell, a catcher, wasn’t too pleased, Hill recalled, but Hill wanted Russell to get the experience because he knew Russell would be a manager down the road and would need to understand all positions.

As for today’s lineups…

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  3. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  4. Ryan Doumit (DH)
  5. Steve Pearce (RF)
  6. Garrett Jones (1B)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Brian Bixler (2B)
  9. Luis Cruz (SS)

Pitchers: Zach Duke, Daniel McCutchen, Matt Capps, Brian Slocum, Dave Davidson, Jeff Sues 

Pirates 6, Twins 4

Thumbnail image for Ford, Shelby 1.jpgLet’s go through an injury checklist first. This will all appear in a story on the main site in a bit, but since it often takes quite a while for those stories to get posted after I send them in, here is the update in the meantime…

  • Phil Dumatrait - He has been shut down after experiencing arm soreness while throwing live batting practice earlier this week. GM Neal Huntingon said there is no need to be overly concerned, as this type of soreness is common during the type of rehab work Dumatrait is progressing through. Huntington estimated that it will be about seven to 10 days before Dumatrait can throw live BP again, though depending on how long Dumatrait sits, he may have to first take a few steps back (i.e. play catch and throw side sessions) . Dumatrait is almost certain to start the year on the DL.
  • Andy Phillips - Phillips is sidelined with stiffness in his lower back and will be out at least for another day. Unexplicably, the stiffness started on Saturday and is still bothering Phillips a bit, he said. The Pirates will want Phillips to be able to take part in an entire morning workout before letting him return to the field for a game.
  • Shelby Ford - Ford (pictured above) jammed his wrist while diving for a ball on Wednesday and is going to be out at least a few days. He tried hitting on Thursday, but reported some tenderness in the wrist after taking a few swings. With another round of cuts coming next week, Ford could potentially have seen his last appearance in a Major League Spring Training game. He’s slated to start the year as the organization’s Triple-A second baseman and could be moved to Minor League camp soon.
  • Eric Hinske - Hinske took 60 dry swings on Thursday after taking 30 on Wednesday, and he reported no discomfort in his left rib cage area afterward. Hinske is also slowly increasing his throwing distance. After throwing from 60 feet on Wednesday, he moved back to throw from 90 feet on Thursday. Manager John Russell seemed optimistic that Hinske could be ready to return within a few days.

***

With Craig Monroe’s three-home run day the focus of the game-related story on the main site, we’ll give some props to starter Virgil Vasquez here.

Vasquez made his first spring start (second appearance) and pitched three shutout innings. He allowed just two baserunners and struck out one.

“He attacked the zone, used both sides of the plate,” Russell said. “Made a couple of mistakes up, but when you hit your spots, you can make a couple of mistakes. I thought he threw the ball very well. Overall, using both outings together, he’s shown the ability to attack the zone.”

Vasquez is being listed as a candidate for one of the Pirates’ open rotation spots, though it still seems most likely that he’ll start the season in the Triple-A Indianapolis rotation. Still, Vasquez’s competitveness on the mound has drawn praise already this spring and has opened some eyes for future consideration.

***

Up Next: The Pirates make their only trip to Clearwater, Fla., on Friday to play the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET affair. Scheduled to pitch for the Pirates: Zach Duke, Daniel McCutchen, Matt Capps, Brian Slocum and Dave Davidson. This will be the first appearance for Davidson since he returned from playing in the World Baseball Classic.

Philadelphia is scheduled to start righty Joe Blanton.     
 

Day 27: Twins @ Pirates

Here we are, back at McKechnie Field to play the Twins… again…

Eric Hinske (left rib cage contusion) was in the batting cages when I arrived this morning and afterward said that he took 60 swings off the tee. On Wednesday, Hinske took 30 swings; it was the first time he had swung in two weeks.

Hinske also has begun throwing again. He threw from about 60 feet on Wednesday and was going to try to extend that distance to 90 feet on Thursday. The good news: Hinske reported no discomfort with any of this work.

The Pirates have still not set a timetable for his return.

Also, infielder Shelby Ford is out with a right wrist contusion. We haven’t been informed of the severity of the injury; that’s something I’ll have to find out from Russell post-game. Ford injured his wrist yesterday when he landed awkwardly on it while playing second. He will not play on Thursday.

And the lineups…

Pirates:

  1. Nate McLouth (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Ryan Doumit (C)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Craig Monroe (RF)
  6. Steve Pearce (DH)
  7. Jose Tabata (LF)
  8. Neil Walker (3B)
  9. Jack Wilson (SS)

Pitchers: Virgil Vasquez, Denny Bautista, Tyler Yates, Jesse Chavez, Chris Bootcheck, Sean Burnett

Twins:

  1. Denard Span (RF)
  2. Matt Tolbert (2B)
  3. Carlos Gomez (CF)
  4. Delmon Young (LF)
  5. Danny Valencia (3B)
  6. Brock Peterson (DH)
  7. Matt Macri (1B)
  8. Wilson Ramos (C)
  9. Trevor Plouffe (SS)

Pitchers: Scott Baker

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