* We're not sure just exactly what it is that Tom Gorzelanny does to get under the suits' skin, but whatever it is, it sure works.
Shortly after setting him up to work the same day as Jeff Karstens and in effect staging a head-to-head battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, the Bucs shipped Gorzo to Indy. End of debate.
The Pirates' cited inconsistent mechanics, the same line they used to ship Romulo Sanchez out of camp as the first cut. We're not sure what all is involved in this fall from grace, but Tom Gorzelanny sure better figure it out, and soon.
That leaves the Pittsburgh starting five looking like Paul Maholm, Ian Snell, Zach Duke, Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Karstens coming out of Bradenton. If somebody implodes or gets hurt, Virgil Vasquez is hovering, Jason Davis is stretching his arm out, and either would be delighted with a shot as a Bucco back-ender.
And it does make us think they'll have Phil Dumatrait back sooner rather than later.
The move will also cause some decisions to be made at Indy. Right now, they have starters Gorzo, Dan McCutchen, Jimmy Barthmaier, Ty Taubenheim, Yoslin Herrera and Corey Hamman on the roster, with a couple of more arms to join the fray shortly.
* Neil Walker and Dave Davidson were sent to Indy today, Jose Tabata was assigned to Altoona, and Brian Slocum was posted to minor league camp. By our count, there are 40 guys left in the hunt for 25 spots. Now it's getting interesting.
* The Bucs took a 4-3, 10 inning decision from the Twins this afternoon. Anderson Machado banged out a walk-off single into right, bringing home Jeff Salazar with the game winner. Andrew McCutchen added a pair of hits, including a double, raising his spring average to .280.
Eric Hinske made his first showing since February, playing right field and going 0-for-2 with a whiff and a walk.
Zach Duke went the first five innings, giving up two runs on a pair of solo shots. He surrendered five hits and a walk, and struck out four while getting nine outs on the ground. So far this spring, he's put together a nifty little 2.45 ERA.
Matt Capps gave up a run, while Denny Bautista, Jason Davis, and Craig Hansen, who got the win, put up goose eggs.
The Pirates are off tomorrow, and return to action Friday to play the Red Sox on in Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m. Jeff Karstens will start for Pittsburgh.
* Duquesne grad and ex-Bucco Joe Beimel, from St. Marys, PA, signed a one year, $2M deal with the Washington Nats today.
* The USA scored three times in the ninth, keyed by a walk-off, two run Texas League single by David Wright, to earn a spot in the one-and-out round of the WBC. Ramon Vazquez came in late in the game to play the hot corner, and was 1-for-1 with an RBI. Ian Snell got to camp today; Vazquez is expected tomorrow.