Some notes before the game:
-- Dewey is expected to return behind the plate during the next home stand, which begins on Tuesday. He may pull on the tools of ignorance tomorrow during the get-away matinee, but a couple of extra days to clear the cobwebs would be a better plan.
-- Steve Pearce is on track to begin his rehab next week, and to be back in Pittsburgh the week after that if his ankle cooperates.
-- The Pirates have given up 56 stolen bases in 66 tries going into tonight's game, an 85% success rate. Ryan Doumit has been the major offender, throwing out just 4 of 51 runners; Jason Jaramillo has gunned down six of fifteen, but his .185 average trumps his arm.
But we're not hanging Dewey out to dry; after all, he did have 31% and 27% throw-out rates in 2009-08. The biggest problem is the long deliveries of the staff. Pick-offs are nice (and the Pirates are decent at that aspect), but not worth much at stopping the running game.
A little deception and a quick release are the keys to giving the catcher a chance at throwing out a runner bent on larceny. It's hard to fault the catchers for falling into bad habits when the runners are off to the races on the first move.
Joe Kerrigan better get crackin' on his boys mastering the slide step unless he plans to watch every walk and single turn into a double. Again, just learn to play some fundamental baseball; there are a lot of little things that ultimately make a pro.
-- Chris Jakubauskas is beginning his rehab stint at Class A Bradenton.
-- Hey, guess who's number one on Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet list - yep, it's Pedro. As they say, "...we will find out soon enough how the slugger who has drawn comparisons to Willie Stargell fills out the middle of Pittsburgh's lineup."
-- Tony Sanchez returned to action with Class A Bradenton this week after sitting out for five games. He'd been held out of the lineup as a precautionary measure after being beaned by a pitch on June 3rd.
-- Michael Huang of The Sporting News graded the NL Central drafts; he gave the Bucs a C+. The Pirates haven't announced any signings yet; we assume they'll release who they've inked so far on Monday.