With two guys coming off the DL and on a pitch count working the next pair of games and JVB the next, a rested bullpen would be just what the doctor ordered.
Well, forget the doc. Zach Duke gave up 6 runs in 2-1/3 very forgettable innings and the Pirates used up 4 relievers in their 11-6 lathering at Milwaukee. And Duke didn't even get the loss. That honor would go to Denny Bautista, who had a four run meltdown in the fourth inning.
And no matter how much Pittsburgh prides itself on the "bounce back Bucs" tag, they're staggering home to face Houston. We wonder at what point Neal Huntington and the suits decide that maybe this team isn't competitive, and get to work on putting one together that is?
On the Pirate front: Congrats, Nate McLouth. He was chosen to the All-Star team by players' ballot, the same way Jack Wilson made the team in 2004. It's a nice way to be recognized.
McLouth is part of a class of 25 first-time All Stars. The Cubs and Red Sox each had 7 players selected to their squad.
> It'll be interesting to see how (or if) the Pirates toy with the roster, considering Phil Dumatrait and Ian Snell will almost certainly be on a short pitch count leash when they come off the DL on Monday and Tuesday and JVB, ostentatiously the long reliever, is slated to go Wednesday.
They're working with a short staff now, though if Steve Pearce is sent down as expected, it'll be back to twelve when the pair return without any more tinkering.
> Dejan Kovacevic of the Post-Gazette brings up the "200 inning, 20 innings over the prior year" theory in his article today. Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny each topped 200 innings pitched last year for the first time in their careers. Snell exceeded his previous high by 22 innings, Gorzo by 40 1/3.
> Sending Gorzo down to Indy wasn't a spur of the moment decision, but has been simmering on the back burner for a while. On his June 1st radio show, GM Neal Huntington said the Pirates would consider shipping Gorzelanny to Class AAA Indianapolis if didn't straighten up and fly right.
"As hesitant as we would be to do something like that, yes, we would," Huntington said then. "I'd say we're still a ways away from that, but the reality is that we have to help Tom Gorzelanny."
It seems like everyone but Gorzo understood that he was on a short tether.
> Who knew? The Post Gazette found that Doug Mientkiewicz, who played for the New York Yankees last season, was a teammate of Alex Rodriguez way before that. The two played football together at Westminster Christian HS in Miami.
Mientkiewicz was a tight end and A-Rod the QB. Both had D-1 scholarship offers, too.
On the hot stove front: A bit more on the possible return for Jack Splat if he dons the Dodger blue: in an interview with MLB.com, LA GM Ned Colletti said the tight market for shortstops means the Dodgers might have to swing "a bigger deal, rather than a one-for-one type deal."
If so, Colletti may be willing to part with an everyday player, such as Matt Kemp, 23, (OF, .284, 7-44) James Loney, 24, (1B .299, 7-44) or Andre Ethier, 26, (OF, .281, 10-38.) Whether the Bucs are looking for help at those positions and who the side players involved in the discussions are unknown.
This much is known. For once, the Pirates are holding the trump card for a possible deal. We'll see how they play it.
On the minor league front: RHP Mike Thompson, 27, made his first start since missing 2 1/2 months to knee surgery. He pitched five scoreless innings, giving up 1 hit, 1 walk, and K'ing a pair. His record is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA. Thompson was signed as a minor-league free agent this year from the Padre organization.
RHP Evan Meek pitched two scoreless innings of relief, but has been spotty at AAA, as his 4.85 ERA will attest.
> Ty Taubenheim's first outing after his return to Indy on Friday was a complete disaster. The RHP gave up 8 runs on 7 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
> The Curve won 3-2, in 10 innings. RHP Luis Munoz went five scoreless innings and allowed three hits, but still has control issues after his demotion, walking 4. RF Brad Corley went 3 for 5, including the walkoff RBI single in the 10th. 1B Jason Delaney went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs and is batting .300.
> RHP Yoslan Herrera, 27, has a 0.81 ERA over his past five starts with Double-A Altoona. Much of his improvement is credited to throwing his changeup more often. He should be in line to move up to Indy soon.