Mercer Called Up

AAA infielder Jordy Mercer has been called up to the big leagues for the first time. Mercer is mainly a shortstop but has played second and third as well. In 48 games this season he is hitting .303/.379/.417. It is expected the Mercer will see regular playing time, with Clint Barmes going to the bench.

To make room for Mercer on the roster, IF/OF Yamaico Navarro was sent to AAA.

Series Preview: The Reds

Please forgive the lateness of this post. I hope you all enjoyed this Memorial Day weekend as much as I did. All numbers are from before Monday’s game. 

Current record: 23-24, 4th place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Cincinnati Reds, 27-20, 1st place in NL Central, 1.5 games ahead

Season Series: 1-2, Cutch was out with the flu and the Bucs only scored four runs in the three games.

Notes: The Reds are in first place, having won eight of their last nine games.

Familiar Faces: Ryan Ludwick, Bronson Arroyo,

Probable Pitchers
Monday: RH Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 58.2 IP, 44 K, 3.22 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (3-2, 57.2 IP, 58 K, 2.51 ERA, 0.99 WHIP)

Tuesday: RH Homer Bailey (3-3, 53.2 IP, 40 K, 4.19 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
vs. RH Charlie Morton (2-5, 46.1 IP, 25 K, 4.27 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)

Wednesday: RH Johnny Cueto (5-2, 64.0 IP, 41 K, 2.53 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (3-2, 43.0 IP, 39 K, 4.19 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Cruz on Restricted List, Slaten Called Up.

RHP Juan Cruz was placed on the restricted list this morning so that he could return to his home in the Dominican Republic to attend a personal matter. Cruz is expected to return in time for this weekend’s games.

To take his place, the Pirates selected LHP Doug Slaten from AAA and added him to the roster. Slaten has been exceptional as Indianapolis’ closer this season with 2 wins, 8 saves and a 0.36 ERA in 25 1/3 IP.

Cubs Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 1-0 Win vs Chicago Cubs. Pitching makes one run hold up. Box score.
Saturday: 3-2 Win vs Chicago Cubs. Hague walk-off HBP. Box score.
Sunday: 10-4 Win vs Chicago Cubs. First time scoring 10 runs this year. Box score.

Season Record: 23-24, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Notes: Finally, some hitting and pitching in the same series and the Pirates sweep the Cubs. The Bucs’ .348 OBP for the series was their highest this month and first time over .300 since the Cardinals series May 1-3 (.319). Gorkys Hernandez got his first major league hit.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Alvarez, 3B 12 2 3 5 0 3 8 0.250 0.231
Tabata, LF-RF 11 2 3 0 0 0 0 0.273 0.333
McCutchen, A, CF 10 3 4 1 3 3 5 0.400 0.538
Harrison, RF, SS-2B 10 2 1 0 2 3 2 0.100 0.250
Walker, 2B 9 1 3 2 3 3 2 0.333 0.462
Hague, 1B 9 1 3 1 2 1 5 0.333 0.500
Barmes, SS 8 0 1 0 0 2 7 0.125 0.125
Jones, G, RF 6 1 2 2 0 2 2 0.333 0.333
Barajas, C 6 0 2 1 2 0 4 0.333 0.500
McKenry, C 3 1 1 0 1 1 1 0.333 0.500
Correia, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.000
Hernandez, Go, LF-CF 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
McGehee, PH-1B 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
Navarro, LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
  Totals 95 14 24 14 13 20 44 0.253 0.348

Batting
Doubles (2): Walker (7), Jones (7)
Triples (1): Tabata (3)
HomeRuns (3): Alvarez (8), McCutchen (8), Jones (5)

BaseRunning
SB: Harrison 2 (2), Walker (2), McCutchen 2 (10)

Fielding
Errors: Correia (1)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-Hague), (Walker-Harrison-Hague), (Harrison-Walker-Hague)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA  WHIP
Correia 6.3 5 2 2 2 2 1 2.84 1.11
Bedard (W, 3-5) 6.0 2 0 0 4 3 0 0.00 1.00
Burnett, AJ (W, 3-2) 5.3 6 0 0 2 6 0 0.00 1.50
Hanrahan(S, 11), (W, 2-0) 2.0 2 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 1.00
Cruz, J (H, 8) 2.0 4 1 1 0 1 0 4.50 2.00
Resop 2.0 3 3 3 0 0 1 13.50 1.50
Lincoln 1.3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Grilli (H, 11) 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J (H, 4) 0.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 0.3 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 6.00
  Totals 27.0 23 6 6 9 20 2 2.00 1.19

Transactions: Designated OF Nate McLouth for Assignment. Recalled 1B Matt Hague from AAA.

Trade Tree: Matt Garza

Today’s mound opponent, Matt Garza, has been a key component of two major trades in his seven-year big league career. His stint in Minnesota was covered in last week’s Johan Santana Trade Tree, but Garza is starting for the Cubs today so let’s look at what the Cubs gave up for him.

Garza’s a good pitcher and it took a lot of talent for the Cubs to get him. Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee were top prospects then and still have plenty of shine left. In addition to that, Ray’s fans were also treated to The Legendary Sam Fuld era.

In summary, the Rays received Garza for Delmon Young, who has not panned out despite all of his talent, had Garza for his age 24-26 season, then as he got expensive spun him for a boatload of talent. The lesson? Beware deals with this Tampa Bay front office. They always seem to come out at least an extra 2% ahead.

Garza tries to help the Cubs avoid a sweep by the Pirates today at 1:35. Erik Bedard goes for the Bucs.

McLouth DFA’d, Hague Called Up

From the Pirates twitter feed:

@Pirates: Matt Hague has been recalled from Indy and Nate McLouth has been designated for assignment.

Desperate for offense, Pittsburgh cut the worst bat on its bench and called up the player who lead the team in homeruns during spring training. Sorry to see you go, Nate. You were really exciting back in 2008.

Update: Lineup is in, Hague doesn’t have to wait for a start like Gorkys Hernandez did.

Jose Tabata LF
Josh Harrison RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Neil Walker 2B
Matt Hague 1B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
A.J. Burnett P

Update 5:37pm: Added links.

Series Preview: The Cubs

Current record: 20-24, 4th place in NL Central, 5.0 games back

Up Next: Chicago Cubs, 15-29, 6th place in NL Central, 10.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: First baseman Bryan LaHair is making the most of his first chance at regular playing time. He leads the team with 10 HR and a 1.020 OPS. Speedster Tony Campana and his twelve stolen bases have taken over CF since Marlon Byrd was traded to Boston. Carlos Marmol was almost removed from the closer role before going on the DL with a hamstring strain. The Cubs top three catchers (Geovany Soto, Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo) are all hurt right now.

Familiar Faces: Paul Maholm

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Ryan Dempster (0-2, 47.1 IP, 44 K, 2.28 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (2-2, 37.2 IP, 33 K, 4.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

Dempster has pitched much better than his 0-2 record. He’s in line to be the Cubs’ All-Star and then traded at the deadline. The trade for A.J. Burnett keeps looking better and better.

Saturday: LH Paul Maholm (4-3, 45.2 IP, 27 K, 4.73 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (1-5, 46.0 IP, 16 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

In his first season for the Cubs, Maholm is pitching as well as he usually did for the Pirates. Correia’s WHIP is pretty good, but that’s the only stat of his that looks nice.

Sunday: RH Matt Garza (2-2, 48.1 IP, 43 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.12 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (2-5, 46.0 IP, 48 K, 3.52 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)

Garza has also been the subject of trade rumors but he’s likely to be kept around unless someone gives the Cubs a real sweetheart deal. Bedard tries to right himself after two shaky starts since his back spasms.

No lineups yet.

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