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In-game: Beimel has a setback

BRADENTON, Fla. — Suddenly, there is reason to doubt whether lefty reliever Joe Beimel will be ready for Opening Day.

Beimel was scratched from his scheduled outing today against the Red Sox. Via email, team spokesman Jim Trdinich described the injury as “discomfort in his left elbow.” The Pirates did not reveal the injury until about an hour after the game had begun. GM Neal Huntington turned down an interview request, saying “there is nothing much to speculate on nor discuss due to gray areas on the injuries” to Beimel and lefty Scott Olsen (hamstring).

A few minutes ago, after emerging from the trainer’s room, Beimel spoke about his status:

»»» On the injury: “It’s a little frustrating. It felt pretty good for quite a while. It felt good the other day when I threw. I came in yesterday and had a little soreness. It got more sore through the night, and we decided it’d be best not to push it too hard and go out there today and try to throw through it. I definitely don’t want to take any steps back and have something serious happen. I’m just going to rest today and tomorrow and see how it feels.”

»»» Has he been given a specific diagnosis from the team’s medical staff: “Not really. Not yet. It’s not the same spot that was hurting before. It’s a little different. I think they’re probably connected to each other. Yesterday, my bicep got tight. I went home and iced it a couple times. When I woke up this morning, it was a lot tighter.”

»»» Will he seek a second opinion from a private doctor: “Not yet. From what they’re saying and what they said a couple weeks ago, it’s not like it’s a ligament or anything. It has more to do with swelling, things like that.”

»»» Will he be ready for Opening Day: “I’m not sure what to say about that at this point. It’s definitely frustrating. I want to be out there pitching. But at the same time, I don’t want to push it too hard to get ready for Opening Day and have a setback and be out for a lot longer. It’s better to take care of it now and go from there.

»»» Beimel added that currently there are no tests scheduled for his injury. He said the only prescription so far is rest. “I’ve been icing and did three rounds of treatment to try to kick it out of there,” he said. “Hopefully, that will work and everything will be fine very shortly.”

»»» Baseball America ranked middle infielder Jodanel Carvajal among the top 20 prospects who played last year in either the Dominican or Venezuelan summer leagues. Last season, Carvajal, 20, hit .304 with 23 stolen bases. He led the DSL with 58 runs scored. He was signed in 2008

»»» I bumped into chief marketing officer Lou DiPaoli outside the pressbox. He told me season-ticket sales continue to run ahead of last year’s pace and he hopes to see growth of 5 percent or more. (When I pressed him for some actual digits of season-ticket holders, he smiled and of course declined.)

The Pirates are held a ticket sell-a-thon during today’s FSN broadcast of the game against the Red Sox. DiPaoli said ticket packages are an easier sell among folks who watch the spring games. (Makes sense.) The interleague series against the BoSox at PNC Park surely will net three sellouts and also should push a few full- and partial-season plans.

»»» Gotta give a big shout to the Penn State wrestling team, which is in the process of winning the NCAA tourney in Philly. Take that, Iowa! It’s the Nits’ second national crown this year (the women’s volleyball team won its fourth straight title in December) and the wrestling team’s first since 1953. Kudos, too, to the women’s hoops team for knocking off Dayton today in the first round of the NCAAs. As for the men’s team, well …

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