PHOENIX Left-hander Phil Dumatrait remember him? will make a rehab start Sunday for Class A State College. Dumatrait has been out all year recovering from shoulder surgery. Tuesday, Dumatrait made his first rehab outing for the GCL Pirates and threw 56 pitches in 4 innings.
• It’s a solid show of faith that the Pirates assigned shortstop Argenis Diaz, who yesterday arrived in the Adam LaRoche trade, to Triple-A Indianapolis. That’s a promotion for Diaz, 22, who had been playing for Boston’s Double-A team.
GM Neal Huntington seemed to be high on Diaz’s potential as a big league player. Huntington insisted the fast-track approach has nothing to do with the trade rumors/impending free agency of shortstop Jack Wilson. “(Diaz) wasn’t meant to be a replacement for anybody,” the GM said.
Diaz was ranked No. 17 among the Red Sox’s prospects by Baseball America. Hunter Strickland, the right-hander who also was included in the trade, was not ranked.
According to Huntington, Diaz instantly becomes the best defensive shortstop in the Pirates’ system not exactly high praise, considering the lack of talent at that position which only recently has begun to be addressed.
However, Diaz offensive shortcomings he doesn’t get on base much and lacks flash on the basepaths might slot him into a backup role in the majors.
Strickland has a decent strikeout-to-walk ratio (51-13) this season in A ball, but he’s not a strikeout pitcher. He likely projects as a reliever in the majors. For now, he’ll pitch for Class A West Virginia, at the same level he was at before the deal.
• Seventh-round draft pick Trent Stevenson, a right-handed pitcher, signed today. The size of Stevenson’s bonus was not immediately available.
• Left-hander Zac Fuesser, the 34th-round draft pick, turned down a scholarship from Tennessee and signed for a $125,000 bonus plus $45,000 toward college. The Pirates ramped up their efforts to sign Fuesser over the weekend, and finalized the deal Tuesday. He will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League team.
• The Diamondbacks are coming off a 2-4 road trip, which was capped by a blunder-filled, 4-3 loss Wednesday against the Rockies. After that game, D’backs pitcher Jon Garland called out his teammates: “To me, we’re going out there and playing like a last-place team. I don’t see any fight. I don’t see anybody that wants it.”
• The Pirates should have their hands full tonight against Dan Haren, who is 3-0 with a 3.56 ERA in five starts against them in his career. The right-hander has not allowed more than two earned runs in a game since May 28. He leads the league in first-pitch strike percentage. He goes 0-1 against 68 percent of batters.
• Lineups for tonight’s game:
PIRATES 1.Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Freddy Sanchez 2b, 3. Garrett Jones lf, 4. Ryan Doumit c, 5. Steve Pearce 1b, 6. Delwyn Young rf, 7. Andy LaRoche 3b, 8. Jack Wilson ss, 9. Charlie Morton (2-2, 3.21) rhp
DIAMONDBACKS 1. Stephen Drew ss, 2. Parra lf, 3. Upton rf, 4. Mark Reynolds 3b, 5. Montero c, 6. Young cf, 7. Whitesell 1b, 8. Ojeda 2b, 9. Dan Haren (10-5, 1.96) rhp