Pregame: Beimel iffy for opener


BRADENTON, Fla. — Joe Beimel (elbow inflammation) played catch yesterday and will do it again today. He said his elbow feels fine, but there’s still no firm timetable for when he’ll throw off a mound.

“We’ll take it day by day,” Beimel said. “If (the elbow) stays the same, it shouldn’t be too long.”

With one week left in spring training, is there time for Beimel, who’s only pitched twice so far, to get ready for the regular season?

“I’m not going to go out there if I’m not ready,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that to the team. I wouldn’t count myself out for being ready, but I’m not going to do anything stupid.”

Bottom line: If the Pirates have two lefties in the bullpen on Opening Day, it’s starting to look like they’ll be Garrett Olson and Brian Burres.

»»» Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to pitch the first five or six innings Thursday night against the Orioles. He’ll be followed by Evan Meek (one inning), Olson (one or two) and Chris Leroux (one).

Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Astros – 1. Jason Bourgeois cf, 2. Angel Sanchez ss, 3. Hunter Pence rf, 4. Jason Michaels lf, 5. Brett Wallace 1b, 6. Chris Johnson 3b, 7. Humberto Quintero c, 8. Anderson Hernandez 2b, 9. J.A. Happ, lhp

Pirates – 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Lyle Overbay 1b, 5. Matt Diaz rf, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Ryan Doumit c, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Brian Burres, lhp.

Around the fifth inning or so, the Pirates will make these substitutions:

1. John Bowker lf, 2. Pedro Ciriaco 2b, 3. Corey Wimberly cf, 4. Steve Pearce 1b, 5. Garrett Jones rf, 6. Andy Marte 3b, 7. Dusty Brown c, 8. Josh Rodriguez ss.