September Call Ups

Now that the rosters have expanded, the Pirates called up the following players:

Eric Fryer, C
Fryer will serve as the 3rd catcher, allowing Michael McKenry or Rod Barajas to pinch hit on the days they don’t start.

Justin Wilson, LHP
Wilson has been great as a starter in the minors but will serve as an additional lefty arm out of the bullpen.

Jeff Locke, LHP
Locke will take over for Erik Bedard in the starting rotation. Management wants to get a good look at him so he will presumably stay there for the rest of the regular season.

Chris Leroux, RHP
Leroux can start or relieve and will be an extra long man out of the pen.

Brock Holt, SS
Holt has been killing the ball to the tune of .344/.406/.453 at AA and AAA this year after a down year last season at Altoona. He might see some time at 2B while Neil Walker is hurt.

Bucs Make Roster Moves With An Eye Towards The Playoffs

Only players on the active roster on September 1* can be on a team’s postseason roster. With that in mind, the Pirates made two roster moves today.

Jeff Clement was outrighted to Class A Bradenton. Clement was 0-6 with 2 K’s in his brief time up. The fact that he was outrighted and not simply optioned opens a spot on the 40 man roster and likely shows that the team doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to contribute at the major league level.

Chase d”Arnaud was optioned to AAA. I expect Chase to be added back to the active roster once he is eligible to be called back up and resume his role as a… back up.

Kyle McPherson and Alex Presley were recalled from AAA. McPherson will pitch in the bullpen for now but should get a few starts in Erik Bedard‘s old spot. In 12 starts this year at AA and AAA he has a 3.22 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 8.5 K/9.

Presley will help cover for a banged up outfield. We’ve seen what he can do when he’s on top of his game, and we’ve seen how bad he can be too. Alex gets a start in CF tonight to give Andrew McCutchen an extra night off before the stretch run.

*There are a few exceptions that can be made for players who go on or are currently on the DL. For example: Charlie Morton on the 60-day DL allows the team to add any pitcher that is currently in the organization to the playoff roster.

Bucs Bag Bedard

Reports broke late last night that the Pirates had released LHP Erik Bedard. This morning the team made it official. After starting the season off well, Bedard had become very inconsistent. On the year his number were down (up? They got worse.) to a 5.01 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.

At this time it the plans for the rotation are still unknown. Rosters expand on Thursday so several pitchers could be brought up. The most obvious choice is to start Kevin Correia on a regular basis again, but it’s very possible that Jeff Locke could be chosen for the role.

SS Chase d”Arnaud has been called up to fill the roster spot for now.

Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 65-53, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 64-54, 3rd place in NL Central, 7.0 games back

Season Series: 4-5 (1-2, 1-2, 2-1)

Notes: The Pirates’ poor play in August has allowed the Cardinals to catch up to them in the races for the division and the Wild Card. Pittsburgh is coming off of its first losing homestand (4-7) of the season. St. Louis’ only trade dealine pick up was RHP Edward Mujica for the bullpen. The Cards feature a great lineup, even with 1B Lance Berkman on the DL. Corner outfielders Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday have been their usual stellar selves while sophomore Allen Craig has been even better at 1B than Berkman.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (10-5, 141.0 IP, 126 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
vs. RH Jake Westbrook (12-8, 146.2 IP, 92 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Saturday: LH Erik Bedard (7-12, 116.1 IP, 111 K, 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Lance Lynn (13-5, 138.0 IP, 135 K, 3.65 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Monday: RH Jeff Karstens (4-3, 69.0 IP, 50 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
vs. RH Jaime Garcia (3-4, 66.1 IP, 51 K, 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

No lineup yet.

Tonight’s Lineup
Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Michael McKenry C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Jordy Mercer 2B
James McDonald P

Series Preview: The Padres

Current record: 63-48, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.5 games back

Up Next: San Diego Padres, 49-64, 4th place in NL West, 12.5 games back

Season Series: First time playing

Notes: The Padres are the last team on the Bucs’ schedule that they have not previously faced this season. Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley lead the offense with OPS’s of .912 and .814. Hot hitting rookie catcher is Yasmani Grandal is injured and will miss the series. The Padres chose not to sell at the trade deadline and signed Quentin and closer Huston Street to contract extensions. One thing this Padres team does very well is steal bases. They have been successful on 99/132 attempts (80%).

Familiar Faces: Ross Ohlendorf

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Edinson Volquez (7-8, 135.0 IP, 125 K, 3.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (10-5, 136.2 IP, 122 K, 3.42 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Jason Marquis (7-10, 108.2 IP, 78 K, 5.47 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (14-3, 132.2 IP, 109 K, 3.19 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Eric Stults (2-2, 43.0 IP, 21 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (6-12, 111.1 IP, 105 K, 4.53 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Series Preview: The Diamondbacks

Current record: 61-46, 2nd place in NL Central, 4.5 games back

Up Next: Arizona Diamondbacks, 55-53, 3rd place in NL West, 4.0 games back

Season Series: 2-1

Notes: The D-backs are hanging in the NL West race and have the best run differential (+32) in their division. Their moves at the deadline were trading 3B Ryan Roberts to Tampa Bay, acquiring 3B Chris Johnson from Houston and trading RP Craig Breslow to Boston for RP Matt Albers. They also recently got SS Stephen Drew back from injury. LF Jason Kubel and 1B Paul Goldschmidt have led the offense with OPS’s of .913 and .902.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Monday: LH Wade Miley (12-6, 126.2 IP, 95 K, 2.98 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (5-12, 104.1 IP, 100 K, 4.83 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Miley was an All Star this year and has the numbers to back it up. Bedard starts for the second Monday in a row after having his turn pushed back again.

Tuesday: LH Patrick Corbin (3-4, 45.0 IP, 35 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeff Karstens (4-2, 56.0 IP, 42 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Karstens pitched very well in his last start, but wasn’t very efficient and only went 5 innings. He’ll look to stretch that out farther this time.

Wednesday: RH Ian Kennedy (10-8, 141.0 IP, 123 K, 4.15 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (8-6, 110.1 IP, 52 K, 4.49 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Well, look who’s back. Correia gets a spot start after being bumped from the rotation for Wandy Rodriguez. Kennedy was a Cy Young candidate last year but has returned to his expected level of production this season.

Thursday: LH Joe Saunders (5-8, 113.1 IP, 79 K, 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
vs. LH Wandy Rodriguez (7-10, 143.2 IP, 98 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)

Wandy was okay Friday vs Cincinnati, but Pirate fans are looking for him to step it up and dominate in his third start for the club.

No lineups yet.