Catcher Ryan Doumit is not in the lineup Tuesday after being hit on the head by a foul tip Monday. “He’s OK, although he’s probably not 100 percent,” said manager John Russell, who added that Doumit does not have a concussion. Doumit did not under go any medical tests and was available last night to pinch hit.
»»» According to a tentative 2011 schedule being reviewed by the 30 clubs, the Pirates will play American League East teams in interleague play. The Boston Red Sox will play a three-game series at PNC Park on June 24-26. The schedule is not yet final and could be altered.
»»» At least five contending teams have inquired about right-handed reliever D.J. Carrasco. The non-waiver trade deadline is in 10 days.
»»» The Pirates signed eight Latin American free agents: catcher Heriberto Figueroa, 21; outfielders Yunior Aquiles, 16, and Miguel De Aza, 17; right-handers Isaac Sanchez, 17, and Yunior Montero, 16; left-handers Melvin Rosario, 18, and Cristian Henriquez, 18; second baseman Rodney Polonia, 17.
Figueroa and Sanchez will play this season for the Dominican Summer League.
Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo’s analysis of Figueroa: “Heriberto has well-above-average overall instincts to play the game and above-average leadership skills. He has solid average major league defensive tools with projection to major league above average (skills) in the future. His release time to second base is between 1.88 (seconds) and 1.93 (seconds). He is a line-drive hitter that uses the whole field. His defense and makeup are his main attributes. He’s a solid addition to our system.”
Gayo’s take on Sanchez: “Isaac is a live athletic right-hander with a power approach to pitch. He has a solid major league average to above-average fastball with an above-average rotation curveball that has power and bite.”
»»» The Venezuelan Summer League Pirates have a league-best 35-16 record and have won nine games in a row. Orlando Castro has a league-best 1.10 ERA. Raul Ruiz leads the league with 13 saves. Jose Ozuna tops the VSL with eight homers.
»»» Outfielder Andrew McCutchen (sprained shoulder) did some running and caught fly balls on the field today, but he is not yet ready to swing a bat or make throws. McCutchen said his shoulder is healing quicker than he thought it would. “I can move it more than I could (Monday),” McCutchen said. “Yesterday, I couldn’t even put my shirt on. Today, I can.”
»»» Triple-A Indianapolis put outfielder Bryan Myrow on the disabled list and activated infielder Brian Friday. Double-A Altoona put infielder Shelby Ford (sprained right ankle) on the DL, but no corresponding move was made.
»»» Short-season A State College infielder Matt Curry was named New York-Penn League player of the week. He has a 16-game on-base streak and hit .571 from July 12-18.
»»» The Pirates and Hiroshima Toyo Carp are ironing out a deal that would allow Indy reliever Vinnie Chulk to join the Japanese Central League club.
»»» Monday, High-A Bradenton outfielder Quincy Latimore homered off Tampa Yankees pitcher John Van Benschoten, who was the Pirates’ first-round draft pick in 2001.
»»» On June 24, Double-A Altoona completed a three-game sweep of Portland and surged to 48-24. Since then, the Curve have not won a series. The problem is pitching. Over their past five games, Altoona’s pitching staff has a combined 8.44 ERA and has allowed 55 hits in 42 2/3 innings. In July, the team’s ERA is 5.57, which is more than two points higher than any other month this season. Righty Jared Hughes, who’s lost three in a row, will start tonight against Akron. Jeff Locke, who was dominant last week in his Double-A debut, will pitch on Wednesday.