Morton to DL, Cruz activated.

Moments ago on twitter:

@Pirates: RHP Juan Cruz has been reinstated from the Restricted List and RHP Charlie Morton goes on DL with right elbow inflammation (retro to May 30)

Monday’s off day means the team can skip Morton’s turn in the rotation and still keep everyone on normal rest. Jeff Karstens is expected to return from his rehab after another start or two.

Reds Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 4-1 Win vs Cincinnati. McDonald is the ace. Box score.
Tuesday: 8-1 Loss vs Cincinnati. Morton, Hughes not sharp. Box score.
Wednesday: 2-1 Win vs Cincinnati. Hague’s double supports Burnett. Box score.

Season Record: 25-25, 3rd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Notes: A 6-3 homestand gets the Bucs back to the .500 mark. Charlie Morton may get pulled from the rotation when Jeff Karstens comes off the DL. Doug Slaten threw a perfect inning in his Pirates debut. New SS Jordy Mercer had a hit in his first start. Rod Barajas went 3 for 7 and had three walks.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Alvarez, 3B 11 2 2 1 1 2 3 0.182 0.250
McCutchen, A, CF 11 0 2 0 0 2 5 0.182 0.182
Tabata, LF-RF 11 0 1 0 1 0 6 0.091 0.167
Hague, 1B 10 1 3 2 0 1 3 0.300 0.300
Jones, G, RF 10 1 3 1 0 3 1 0.300 0.300
Walker, 2B 10 2 2 1 2 3 4 0.200 0.333
Barajas, C 7 0 3 1 3 0 0 0.429 0.600
Mercer, SS 5 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.200 0.200
Barmes, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 3 1 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 1 0 1 0 2 0.500 0.667
McGehee, 1B 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 0.500 0.500
Hernandez, Go, LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
Morton, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 93 7 19 7 8 15 33 0.204 0.267

Batting
Doubles (5): Alvarez 2 (9), Walker (8), Hague 2 (2)
Triples (2): McCutchen (2), Jones (1)

BaseRunning
SB: Hernandez, Go (1)

Fielding
Errors: Harrison (1), Alvarez (10), Walker (3)
Double Plays: (Alvarez-Walker-Hague), (Harrison-Walker-Hague), (Mercer-Walker-Hague)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H     R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
McDonald, J (W, 4-2) 8.0 5 0 0 1 5 0 0.00 0.75
Burnett, AJ (W, 4-2) 7.0 2 1 0 2 3 0 0.00 0.57
Morton (L, 2-6) 4.0 6 4 4 1 0 0 9.00 1.75
Grilli (H, 12) 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 0.50
Hanrahan (S, 12,13) 1.3 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.50
Lincoln 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Resop 1.0 1 1 1 2 1 0 9.00 3.00
Hughes, J 1.0 5 3 3 0 1 0 27.00 5.00
Watson 0.7 1 1 1 1 1 0 13.50 3.00
  Totals 27.0 22 10 9 8 16 0 3.00 1.11

Transactions: Placed RHP Juan Cruz on the Restricted List. Called up LHP Doug Slaten from AAA. Optioned IF/OF Yamaico Navarro to AAA. Recalled IF Jordy Mercer from
AAA.

April Recap

The Pirates finished April with a 10-12 record. They got there by winning two in a row twice, losing five in a row once and alternating wins and losses the rest of the time.

The story of the month was pitching, both for the Pirates and their opponents. Pirates pitchers held the Phillies, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Rockies and Braves to 66 runs in 22 games, or 3.0 runs per game. Similarly, the Pirates bats were also held in check. Pittsburgh hitters scored only 58 runs in the month: 2.64/game.

One place the pitching was noticibly better is in striking out opponents. Bucs’ pitchers struck out 7.1 batters per 9 innings in April. Last season they struck out 6.4/9 innings in March/April and had a high mark of 6.9 K/9 in July. Newcomers Erik Bedard (8.1 K/9) and A.J. Burnett (10.1) have a lot to do with the higher number, as does Jeff Karstens‘ injury keeping him off the mound (3.8).

Pirates’ April opponents had a combined .570 winning percentage (90-68). That’s like playing a playoff team every game for a month. The only team on the schedule under .500 was 11-12 Philadelphia. May’s schedule should be easier. The teams on the docket combined for only a 113-110 record (.507) in April.

Other Notes:

The Pirates won three series, lost three series and split one.

Record vs
NL East: 4-3, 24 RS, 21 RA (3.43 RS/G, 3.0 RA/G)
NL Central: 1-2, 4 RS, 9 RA (1.33 RS/G, 3.0 RA/G)
NL West: 5-7, 30 RS, 36 RA (2.50 RS/G, 3.0 RA/G)

Home: 5-4, 22 RS, 22 RA (2.44 RS/G, 2.44 RA/G)
Away: 5-8, 36 RS, 44 RA (2.77 RS/G, 3.38 RA/G)

1 Run games: 5-6
2 Run games: 2-0
3 Run games: 1-2
4 Run games: 1-2
5 Run games: 0-2
6 Run games: 1-0

Summary: The Pirates are probably an average team and in April they played like one; sometimes good, sometimes bad, usually somewhere in between. Theoretically, the upcoming easier schedule should allow them to get a few extra wins and go back above .500.

Karstens to DL, Lincoln called up

Jeff Karstens lasted just one inning in last night’s 5-4 win over Arizona. Today he was placed on the 15-day DL with what was called “shoulder inflamation” last night. Brad Lincoln has been called up from AAA.

The bullpen was used extensively last night due to Karstens’ short outing so look for Lincoln to get some work in this afternoon’s rubber match (3:40 start). A.J. Burnett is scheduled to make one more rehab start in the minors before he is activated, but this injury could change that. Expect either Lincoln or Burnett to take Karstens’ turn on Sunday.

Quick Note: Be sure to send well wishes and prayers to Pirates Prospects’ Kristy Robinson, who was in a bad car accident yesterday. Get well soon, Kristy!

Update: Today’s lineup was just tweeted:
Presley 7
Barmes 6
McCutchen 8
Walker 4
McGehee 3
Jones 9
Alvarez 5
McKenry 2
McDonald 1

Clint Barmes batting second? Ugh. Jose Tabata is sitting for the second day in a row. No word of any injury there.

Weekend Wrap Up 4/15/12

Scores:
Friday: 5-0 Loss at San Francisco. Matt Cain dominates. Recap. Box score.
Saturday: 4-3 Loss at San Francisco. Close game falls apart in the ninth. Recap. Box score.
Sunday: 4-1 Win at San Francisco. Finally, a solid game. Recap. Box score.

Season Record: 3-6, 5th place in the NL Central.

Good: Another good start from Kevin Correia breaks the five game losing streak. Charlie Morton looks to be in good health in his season debut. Neil Walker with two two-hit days.
Bad: Two shaky outings from Joel Hanrahan. Chris Resop wasn’t sharp but the defense let him down. Jose Tabata went 0-9 and left 7 men on base.

Combined Box:

Pittsburgh      AB      R      H      RBI      BB      SO      LOB
Presley, LF 13 1 3 1 1 4 2
Walker, 2B 11 1 4 2 0 3 0
McCutchen, A, CF 11 2 2 0 1 1 2
McGehee, 1B 9 2 2 0 0 1 2
Tabata, RF 9 0 0 0 0 3 7
Jones, G, 1B, RF 7 1 2 1 0 4 0
Harrison, 3B, SS 7 0 1 1 0 0 3
Barmes, SS 7 0 1 0 0 1 3
Barajas, C 6 0 0 0 1 0 0
Alvarez, 3B 6 0 0 0 0 5 1
McDonald, J, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 0
Navarro, PH 2 0 0 0 0 1 4
Correia, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 3
Morton, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
McKenry, C 1 0 0 0 3 1 0
McLouth, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Hague, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 97 7 16 5 6 26 29

Batting:
Triples: Harrison (1)
Homers: Jones (1)

Baserunning:
SB: Tabata (2), Jones (1)
CS: McCutchen (2)

Fielding:
Errors: Morton (1), Barmes 2 (2)

Pittsburgh      IP      H      R      ER      BB      SO      HR
Correia(W, 1-0) 6.0 3 1 1 1 2 0
McDonald, J (L, 0-1) 5.7 6 3 3 3 1 0
Morton 5.0 7 3 3 0 2 0
Hanrahan(S, 1) 2.0 2 2 2 2 1 1
Grilli(H, 1) 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0
Watson 1.3 1 0 0 0 0 0
Hughes, J(H, 1) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 2 1 0
Meek 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Resop (L, 0-1) 0.0 2 1 0 1 0 0
Totals 25.0 23 10 9 10 10 1

Transactions: Activated RHP Charlie Morton from the 15-day Disabled List. Optioned 1B Matt Hague to AAA Indianapolis.

Up Next: A three game set in Arizona ends the road trip. Expected matchups: Erik Bedard (0-2) vs. Joe Saunders (0-0), Jeff Karstens (0-1) vs. Ian Kennedy (2-0), and James McDonald (0-1) vs. Daniel Hudson (1-0).

Correia Pitching For His Rotation Spot

With word that both Charlie Morton and A.J. Burnett will be back before the end of the month, the Pirates will be looking at six starting pitchers for five spots. Erik Bedard, Jeff Karstens and James McDonald all did their part in the season’s first three games. Now Kevin Correia, widely viewed as the weakest member of the starting rotation, gets to pitch in Dodger Stadium today to start making his case. How has Correia peformed in Los Angeles over his career?

Year G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA WHIP K/9 OPS
2003 1 1 4.0 6 5 5 4 1 2 11.25 1.75 4.50 1.448
2004 2 0 5.0 6 2 2 1 1 5 3.60 1.40 9.00 0.747
2005   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –
2006 1 0 0.0 1 0 0 0 1 0   –   –   – 2.000
2007 4 1 10.0 8 5 5 1 1 10 4.50 0.90 9.00 0.663
2008 2 1 6.3 8 6 4 0 1 5 5.68 1.42 7.10 0.667
2009 1 1 6.0 4 1 1 0 0 4 1.50 0.67 6.00 0.381
2010 2 2 11.7 11 4 4 0 3 4 3.09 1.20 3.10 0.584
2011   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –
in LA 13 6 43.0 44 23 21 6 8 30 4.40 1.21 6.30 0.712
career 258 131 895.0 947 484 458 111 335 623 4.61 1.43 6.30 0.770

Correia has performed slightly better in LA when compared to his career numbers, but that could be because Dodger Stadium is a park that is kind to pitchers or it could be simple noise in the data. Either way, 43 innings over nine seasons is nowhere near enough evidence to draw conclusions. Yet, his continued presence in the rotation will depend on how well he does over these first few starts. Let’s hope he continues the trend and gives a good performance tonight.

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