GM Neal Nuntington said “a handful of clubs have expressed some level of interest” in trading for Aki Iwamura, though most teams have turned down the Pirates’ overtures. “We’ll put some closure to it, one way or another, hopefully early this week,” Huntington said.
• Saturday, Charlie Morton made his third rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis and allowed three runs on his hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five. “He had very good velocity, up to 96 mph, the four-seamer was explosive in the zone, the two-seamer had a ton of life” Huntington said. The brain trust will huddle this week to decide whether to activate Morton (shoulder fatigue) from the disabled list and then whether to send him to Pittsburgh or Indy. “We want to make the right move for us and for Charlie,” Huntington said. “Not ready to make an announcement about it either way, at this point.”
• In two rehab games Saturday and Sunday with Indy, Steve Pearce (sprained ankle) went a combined 5 for 7 with four runs scored, one RBI, a double, three walks and one stolen base. Pearce started both games in right field.
• Class A Bradenton catcher Tony Sanchez last week was hit in the head by a pitch and as a precaution was held out of the Florida State League all-star game. Sanchez is expected to be back in action this week.
• Hutnington said Bradenton shortstop Brock Holt (knee) will not require surgery. “He took a pretty good shot (June 5 in a collision),” Huntington said. “But all indications are he just needs time to get the bruising out of there and the strength back in.” Huntington said Holt’s MCL is not torn.
• Infielder Jeremy Farrell did not play in the FSL all-star game due to a shin injury and heat exhaustion.
• Garrett Jones on Sunday extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games, the longest active streak in the NL. During his binge, Jones has gone 17 for 41 (.415) with nine RBI.
• Evan Meek’s 0.68 ERA is the lowest by a Pirates reliever at this point of the season since Bill Landrum had a 0.50 ERA on Aug. 3, 1989.
• The Pirates are 4-0 at home this season when the crowd is 30,000-plus. Last year, they went 7-2 at PNC Park with more than 30,000 fans showed up.