ARLINGTON, Texas — Dana Eveland has not pitched in a game since June 11, when he tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He made a start June 7 and went five innings against the Cubs.
Since then …
“You try to keep him as fresh as you can by throwing sides,” manager John Russell said. “He’ll throw every third or fourth day. There are times when we get him up (in the bullpen) and that gives him more work. You’d like to try to get guys in games, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to (with Eveland).”
Russell said the reason Eveland is wasting away on the bullpen bench isn’t because the Pirates lack faith in the right-hander, who has a 3.86 ERA and has allowed eight hits in seven innings. Rather, it’s just that Russell feels more comfortable in tight games — and the Pirates have played in plenty lately — going with proven, veteran relievers such as Javier Lopez, Brendan Donnelly, Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek and D.J. Carrasco in middle- and late-inning situations.
“That’s their roles,” Russell said. “When our starter’s giving us six (innings) that gets us to those roles.”
Eveland is a candidate to make a spot start Saturday in place of Zach Duke, who today went on the 15-day DL with a sore elbow. It’s possible the Pirates could give Eveland the start and call up a long reliever from Triple-A in case Eveland can’t go too deep into the game.
A more likely scenario is Eveland remains in the pen and either Daniel McCutchen, Charlie Morton or Brian Burres is called up to start Saturday. The Pirates are expected to announce their decision tomorrow.
»»» Tonight, Bobby Crosby will start at shortstop for the fourth game in a row and the sixth time in the past seven games. But, Russell did not want to anoint Crosby the new starter over incumbent Ronny Cedeno.
“Bobby’s doing a good job,” Russell said. “He’s a good leader, he’s really swinging the bat well. But, Ronny’s still a very good player, so we don’t want to slight him, either. From what Bobby’s done the past few games, it’s tough not to put him in there. Ronny’s going to get to play. But I’m trying to ride the hot hand.”
Over the past two games, Crosby is 6 for 7 with two RBI. He’s batting .286 in June after hitting .241 in April and .245 in May.