Karstens to start Sunday; Hill on video


CINCINNATI — Jeff Karstens will start Sunday’s season finale against the Reds. Karstens threw 61 pitches in five innings Wednesday in the nightcap against the Cubs, so don’t expect him to go too deep into Sunday’s game.

— Manager John Russell wanted righty Kevin Hart to start Sunday, but Hart is bothered by what appears to be a strained rib cage. “He could probably pitch with it, but we’re not going to push it,” Russell said.

— There was a pretty good indication today that infield instructor/first base coach Perry Hill will not be back in 2010. Five hours before the game, Hill was on the field at Great American Ball Park with coaches Gary Varsho, Tony Beasley and Don Long and bullpen catcher Heberto Andreade.

Varsho ran a video camera as Hill went through his coaching techniques at each infield position. The Pirates now have a library of info they can use when Hill is no longer with the team … say, next season.

Hill is the only member of the coaching staff whose status is in limbo. He’s already told the Pirates he does not want to return — he is unhappy with the purge of veteran players from the roster — though the team has tried to persuade him to reconsider. A formal announcement of Hill’s final decision is expected as early as Monday.

— Ronny Cedeno still is bothered by a sore right hamstring, and likely will not play in any of these final three games.

— Follow me on Twitter @RobBiertempfel.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

PIRATES (61-97)

  1. Andrew McCutchen cf
  2. Andy LaRoche 3b
  3. Garrett Jones 1b
  4. Ryan Doumit c
  5. Lastings Milledge lf
  6. Brandon Moss rf
  7. Delwyn Young 2b
  8. Ramon Vazquez ss
  9. Daniel McCutchen (0-2, 4.80)

REDS (76-83)

  1. Drew Stubbs cf
  2. Paul Janish ss
  3. Joey Votto 1b
  4. Brandon Phillips 2b
  5. Scott Rolen 3b
  6. Jay Bruce rf
  7. Wladimir Balentien lf
  8. Craig Tatum c
  9. Justin Lehr (5-2, 5.46)