-- Delwyn Young is out again, but the past couple of days it hasn't been because of his minuscule batting of late; he has a balky back, and is day-to-day. Too bad; a series against his old mates - the first of the year - could have been the cure to what ails him.
-- When the Pirates shut down Ross Ohlendorf in a start or two, we expect them to use Donny Veal as one starter and perhaps Virgil Vasquez as the other, backed up by Jeff Karstens and maybe Eric Hacker. They'll try to get three or four innings from each and hand the ball off to the bullpen.
If they close down Kevin Hart, too, expect the four to become a mix-and-match two headed replacement.
Veal, unlike the others, is in Pittsburgh's long-term plans as a potential starter. He's going to the Arizona League as a rotation guy after the season, and he'll join Indy's starters in 2010, when his Rule 5 sentence has ended.
-- The Pirates are carrying a 32-man roster this month; 17 pitchers and 15 position players. Jose Ascanio should also join the pack for the last couple of weeks of the year.
-- Hey, the only Bucco team in the playoffs is up 1-0 in the Carolina League championship series.
Lynchburg is facing the Salem Red Sox in the CLCS for the Mills Cup. LHP Justin Wilson led the Hillcats to an opening victory tonight, 9-2. He went 5-2/3 innings, giving up five hits and two runs, one earned.
Lynchburg banged out twelve hits, primed by CF Jose De Los Santos, 1B Matt Hague and 2B Chase d'Arnaud.
De Los Santos went 3-for-3, and tripled, scored, drove in two runs, stole a base and walked. Hague had two hits and a walk, including a homer, and scored three times while driving in a pair. d'Arnaud also had a pair of hits, a double, stolen base, and three RBIs.
Lynchburg beat Wilmington, 5-2, in Game 5 of the Carolina League's Northern Division championship series yesterday to qualify.
RHP Bryan Morris allowed one run and seven hits in 6-2/3 innings, striking out one and walking one. RHP Ronald Uviedo pitched 1-1/3 innings of perfect relief, whiffing a pair and notching his second playoff save.
The slugging hero was Cubby pick-up 3B Josh Harrison, who went 2 for 3 with a double, walk and four RBIs. 2B Chase d'Arnaud brought home the other run while scoring twice and stealing a sack.
The Hillcats are doing it without their closer, RHP R. J. Rodriguez (6-3-27, 3.08 ERA), and bridge guy RHP Tom Boleska (1-1, 1.60), who are both playing in the World Cup.
-- Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle surpassed Hall of Famer "Wee" Willie Keeler yesterday, when he legged out an infield single that gave him his ninth consecutive 200-hit season. Keeler set the previous record of eight straight from 1894-1901 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Ichiro tied the Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb, with his ninth overall 200-hit season. The most 200-hit years in a career is ten, a record set by Charlie the Hustler, Pete Rose.
-- From Aaron Gleeman of NBC's Circling The Bases: "Conventional wisdom is that strikeouts are a terrible thing. (But) Among all hitters with at least 400 plate appearances this season, the 10 guys who strike out most often have an average OPS of .938 and the 10 guys who strike out least often have an average OPS of .753."
As he asks, would you rather send up Adam Dunn or David Eckstein to bat for your nine?