The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jordy Mercer 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, AJ Burnett P.
First, we'd guess Travis Snider is out against a righty because of that key pinch-hit at bat last night in the eighth when Pittsburgh was down by seven runs. Sanchez will man first and GI is back in right. But the bigger news is that the Pirates made a couple of moves.
The Pirates announced that Jared Hughes has been recalled and Chad Qualls has been placed on the bereavement list, and Yamaico Navarro was swapped out with Jeff Locke. We may have been tempted to make more moves, but these are good starts. Hughes, even if he's due for regression, is an upgrade, and Navarro helps cover the middle infield and adds a stick to the bench in The Kid's absence, however long that may be. Locke needs the regular work; he got two mop-up appearances in Pittsburgh.
Hughes, by the way, wiggled out of the 10-day mandatory stay in the minors because he's replacing a player on the bereavement list.
Now the Bucs are back to a normal balance between position players and pitchers, even if a couple of the guys (Walker & Snider) are dinged. Now let's hope the pitching finds its mojo before the season starts to get away. And no, the season's not shot. St. Louis has the same record as Pittsburgh on August 16th. Their fans are ecstatic; Pittsburgh's are ready to take to the bridge with the same results. Yah, we know - long time since the fever spread, but chill out and let 'em play ball. The road has a long way to go yet.
- Neil Walker's injury puts the Bucs in a quandry. Even if the baseball gods smile on Pittsburgh and The Kid doesn't have to hit the DL, the Pirate pine is already down a man because of the six man rotation, and reducing it to a three player bench is a little radical, even for the Pirates.
- LHP Justin Wilson started again for Indy...wonder if the FO has given up on his short-term move to the pen, or if that move is waiting on Jeff Locke's return to the Tribe?
- Here's some selected Indy performances for guys who we may see in September (or sooner) - Jose Tabata (.304), Alex Presley (.292), Jeff Clement (.284 - 15 HR, 35 2B), Matt Hague (.280), and Yamaico Navarro (.275 - 8 HR).
- Mike Sanserino of the Post Gazette has a feature of Pirate prospect with a bullet, SS Alen Hanson of West Virginia.
- Bob Walk was interviewed by the Tribune Review's JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, and remains as quirky as ever.