-- Steve Pearce got the call to the big team today. Pearce, 27, hit .349 with two home runs, eight RBIs, and 17 walks, with a .452 OBP and .605 slugging percentage at Indy.
He's shown the ability to hit lefties in the show, with a .306/.358/.561 line against them in limited appearances, has a decent glove, and should be in line to platoon with Jeff Clement.
To clear a spot, the Pirates are expected to shed a pitcher - Brian Burres or Brian Bass could be sent down, or Brendan Donnelly could be back-dated on the 15-day DL - and return to a traditional seven relievers, five bench players, roster configuration. (EDIT - Jen Langosch tweeted that the Bucs put Donnelly on the DL)
-- Ross Ohlendorf will make a rehab start tomorrow at Altoona. If all goes well, Ohlie could rejoin Pittsburgh's staff and take his turn in the rotation early next week.
-- Kevin Hart will have surgery today to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The procedure will be done by Dr. James Andrews. There's generally an 8-12 month recovery period, and it's often longer. At best, he'll be ready for camp next year, and it's possible he could miss all of the 2011 season, depending on the severity of the tear.
Sure makes that fifth spot competition interesting again. Daniel McCutchen could work himself back into good graces with some steady performances at Indy, and if Brad Lincoln keeps on track, he'll be in Pittsburgh sooner rather than later this summer.
-- Just thinking out loud: Aki Iwamura went from Golden Glove third baseman to second base. If he keeps playing like he is, GW wonders if the same move is due for Andy LaRoche, as often speculated? The last time he played the spot was in 2008, when he got in a handful of games at AAA Las Vegas and a few innings for the Dodgers before being traded to Pittsburgh.
To compare: Iwamura's UZR/150 this year is -21.2 with a range factor of 4.5 (-8.9/4.5 in 2009); Delwyn Young's numbers in 2009 were -12/4.7, and LaRoche's in 2008 were -2.4/6.2, according to FanGraphs.
The UZR/150 represents how many runs per 150 games a fielder allows (-) or saves (+) compared to the norm, and the range is how many put outs and assists a player averages per game. Every ten runs worth of UZR translates into a win if positive, or loss if negative.
-- Four remains the Pirate batter's Rubicon. When they score four or more runs, they are 9-1. When they tally three runs or less, they're 1-14. They're also undefeated (6-0) when leading after six innings. It seems like the hitters feed off the pitching.