Saturday, May 3, 2008

deja vu all over again

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Bucs lose, 9-8. A pulsating game to the casual fan; an exhibition of poor pitching and fielding to the purist. That's what happens when a pair of last place teams get it on. Good drama, bad baseball.

Our only thought on the game is how can a MLB franchise not have anyone to play shortstop adequately on the bench or somewhere in the pipeline? We're really beginning to miss ol' Abe Nunoz. Jack Wilson is still hobbling, and one wonders how long the team can carry on without a true SS.

On the injury front: Tom Gorzelanny will miss a turn in the rotation because of a strained lower back. He's now scheduled to go next Saturday against the Atlanta Braves. The Bucs say the move is cautionary.

Jack Wilson won't leave Bradenton for Altoona quite yet, and his expected return to the lineup has now been pushed back to next weekend. He experienced pain in his left calf while working out yesterday at Pirate City.

Wilson, who has been inactive since April 3 with a left calf strain, had hoped to travel to AA Altoona today to continue his rehab. Instead, he'll sit until Tuesday and won't get rehab work with the Curve in until late in the week at the earliest.

"We're hoping its not a major setback," manager John Russell said. "We don't think it is, but we don't know for sure." That doesn't sound real reassuring.

One thing we're learning is that the new guys don't seem to be exactly forthcoming when it comes to injuries, much like their NHL and NFL counterparts.

On the minor league front:
Moon Area High School graduate Brian Holliday was promoted to AA Altoona from high Class A Lynchburg yesterday.

Holliday, a left-handed pitcher, will make his debut tonight when he starts the second game of a doubleheader against Erie. He was 1-0 with a 1.52 ERA in five starts for the Hillcats. It isn't known if it's a permanent move or if he was just a fresh arm called up to work the twinbill.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Post-Gazette reports "The reason the Pirates released pitching prospect Olivo Astacio was that he attacked another player with a bat earlier in the week during extended spring training in Bradenton.

Pirate management, already wary of his troubled past, promptly released him. Astacio, 23, was an expensive Latin American signing for Boston in 2002, but the Red Sox suspended him for disciplinary reasons in 2005, and he sat out the entire season.

The Pirates signed him the following year, and he rose to Class AA Altoona by the final month of last season. But he pitched only one game for the Curve before breaking his hand during a fight."

Maybe the Marines are looking for a pitcher.

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