Vargas has only made eight starts this season. He hasn't pitched since June 8th, suffering from a strain of the flexor muscle in his left elbow. The Royals may be rushing him back a bit from rehab; they had six games scheduled in five days and needed another arm. But he has been good when healthy; prior to his DL stint, he went 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA in five outings. He's never started against the Pirates, but has seen them three times as a reliever, the last time in 2006 as a Marlin. The game starts at 8:10 and will be on Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan and ESPN Radio.
- Gerrit is only the third Pirate pitcher to lead the majors in wins at the AS break, along with ElRoy Face in 1959 (tied for the MLB lead with a 12-0 record) and Rip Sewell in 1943 (leading the Majors with a 12-2 record).
- Bill Brink of the PG grinding the rumor mill: After losing Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer, the Pirates have asked about Diamondbacks IF Cliff Pennington, Padres SS Clint Barmes and Athletics utility player Ben Zobrist, according to a major league source.
- Mark the Shark picked up career save #100 last night, with 79 coming as a Bucco. His current 30 lead the MLB. His ERA in Pittsburgh is a teensy 1.60 in 189 appearances.
- Fran Cervelli's injury is described as a bruise and he's out tonight.
- The Pirates 17 hits last night were the most given up in a game this season by KC's pitching staff. The slugfest also earned AJ a little notice: Per Elias Stats, he became the first MLB pitcher this year to win a game allowing 5+ runs and 10+ hits.
- BTW, today's KC pitcher, Jason Vargas, was reinstated from the DL and took last night's pitcher, Yordano Ventura, spot on the roster as Ventura was sent to AAA.
- The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association today announced Tony Watson as the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Heart and Hustle Award winner. Watson will be presented with his award on the field in a pregame ceremony on August 18th.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs lists what he believes are the 50 most valuable trade chips in MLB; the Bucs have three players in the Top 25 with Cutch, Cole & Starling.