Pregame: Lincoln on deck, Walker ready


WASHINGTON — As you probably know by now, righty Brad Lincoln has been called up from Triple-A and will start the second game of today’s doubleheader. The Pirates will have to make a roster move — probably, they’ll send Tim Wood to Indy — between games of the doubleheader to get Lincoln on the roster.

I found out late last night that reliever Chris Leroux also is on his way here from Indy. To get him onto the roster, the Pirates could wait until after the second game tonight, send Lincoln back to Indy and add Leroux.

Leroux went 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 24 outings. He’s tossed 45 innings, meaning his capable of giving the Pirates some length out of the bullpen.

»»» Neil Walker will start at second base in the first game today. He missed the past two games due to lower back pain.

»»» Jose Tabata (strained quad) had a bat in his hand in the clubhouse this morning, an indication his recovery is going well. He’s been throwing on flat ground but hasn’t yet been cleared to run.

»»» Xavier Paul (hamstring) will NOT have to go on the disabled list. “He’s able to move and he’s pretty much fit for duty,” manager Clint Hurdle said this afternoon. “Is he 100 percent? I don’t think so, but he’s close enough (to play).”

»»» The Pirates signed Columbian outfielder Harold Ramirez, 16, for a $1.05 million bonus. It’s the second-highest bonus the team has paid to an international free agent. Right-hander Luis Heredia got $2.6 million last summer.

»»» Today will be the Pirates’ first doubleheader in Washington since May 19, 1899.

Lineups for today’s first game:

Pirates (41-40) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Chase d’Arnaud ss, 3. Garrett Jones rf, 4. Andrew McCutchen cf, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Lyle Overbay 1b, 7. Brandon Wood 3b, 8. Mike McKenry c, 9. James McDonald rhp (5-4, 4.52)

Nationals (41-41) – TBA. 9. Livan Hernandez rhp (5-8, 3.81)