ARLINGTON, Texas — This morning, reliever Dana Eveland was designated for assignment. By doing so, the Pirates raised the white flag on the trade which netted Eveland (who was awful in three outings) from the Bue Jays in exchange for hard-throwing reliever Ronald Uviedo.
Right-hander Steven Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Lefty Justin Thomas was selected from Indy. One of them will be sent back to Indy after Friday’s game, so the Pirates can bring up a spot starter for Saturday’s game against the A’s.
Jackson, 28, began the season with Indianapolis, then joined the Pirates May 28. He made one relief appearance with Pittsburgh and was optioned back to Triple-A on June 2. In 22 games with Indy Jackson went 1-0 with a 2.90 ERA. He did not allow a run in his last 10 Triple-A appearances (11 2/3 innings).
Thomas, 26, went 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in 24 relief appearances for Indy. He ranks third among International League relief pitchers with a .157 batting average against. Since the start of May, Thomas has been charged with just two earned runs in 19 appearances.
Thomas made his major league debut with Seattle in 2008 and went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in eight relief appearances. He spent 2009 with Triple-A Tacoma and was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh on Oct. 29.
• The Rangers radio broadcasters were all over Ryan Doumit last night for getting a sluggish jump on a foul pop-up. The ball landed on the warning track and bounced into the lap of Nolan Ryan’s wife, who was seated in the first row near the Rangers’ dugout. Doumit and first baseman Garrett Jones both gave chase, but the announcers were critical of Doumit for what they said was a lazy approach. Doumit is in the starting lineup tonight at catcher.
• What a tough break — literally — for catcher Tony Sanchez, who was doing so well with High-A Bradenton. He had surgery today to repair his fractured jaw and should be out for quite a while.
Sanchez was injured Tuesday when he was struck in the face by a pitch. He also was hit in the head by a pitch June 3 and sat out five games (Bradenton went 1-4 in that stretch with him on the bench).
His defensive performance has been a teeny bit disappointing, but GM Neal Huntington said that was mostly due to a mild shoulder injury early in the season and some ineffective jobs by pitchers of holding runners on base.
Sanchez was performing well above expectations offensively, and earned a spot on Team USA for the All-Star Futures Game. It seemed just a matter of weeks before Sanchez would be promoted to Double-A Altoona, as he stayed on a fast track toward the majors.
Russell, a former catcher in the majors, said he had an inkling Sanchez would excel after seeing the 2009 first-round pick up close during spring training.
“He was everything you’d like to see,” Russell said. “Good setup. Energy. A lot of energy behind the plate. Received well, threw well. Attentive. He loves the position. He had everything I was looking forward to seeing. He’s going to be a very good catcher. I hope this (injury) doesn’t set him back too far.”
Lineups for tonight’s game:
Pirates (25-46) — 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones 1b, 5. Ryan Church dh, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Ryan Doumit c, 8. Lastings Milledge rf, 9. Bobby Crosby ss. Jeff Karstens (2-2, 4.72) rhp
Rangers (43-28) — TBA. Scott Feldman (5-6, 5.16) rhp