Pregame: Front office shuffle

There are a bunch of Texas fans staying at my hotel in Pasadena. The Longhorns play UCLA on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
There are a bunch of Texas fans staying at my hotel in Pasadena. The Longhorns play UCLA on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

LOS ANGELES — When GM Neal Huntington was hired in 2007, there was talk right away about hiring an assistant GM or two. It never happened, though, giving the first-time GM time to consolidate his power and forge his identity in the industry.

Huntington got a three-year contract extension last week. With his position established, Huntington today handed out promotions and elevated three of his top lieutenants — farm director Kyle Stark, scouting director Greg Smith and director of baseball operations Tyrone Brooks — to assistant GM status.

Brooks, 38, will lead the professional and international (non-Latin) scouting departments. Smith, 45, will be in charge of all levels of professional and amateur scouting. Stark, 33, will handle all elements of the medical, physical, mental, personal and player development departments at the major and minor league levels.

Other promotions: Joe DelliCarri was moved up from assistant scouting director to director of amateur scouting. Larry Broadway was moved up from area scout to director of minor league operations. Kevan Graves is the new director of baseball operations, a step up from his previous role as an assistant.

The Pirates also retained Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo and special assistant to the GM Doug Strange in their current positions.

“Each of these individuals has played an integral part in our building process,” Huntington said. “We believe each person is ready for new challenges and that each will have an even greater impact on the Pirates organization in their new roles and responsibilities.”

»»» Last night marked the Pirates’ 35th comeback win this season, their most since 2006. The 1997 “Freak Show” team rallied for 41 victories.

»»» When he gets into a game, Matt Pagnozzi will become the eighth catcher used by the Pirates this year — the most in any season since 1953. The Pirates used nine catchers in 1914.

»»» Hiroki Kuroda, who’ll start tonight for the Dodgers, has the 12th-best ERA in the National League. Yet, if the Pirates beat him tonight, Kuroda will become the first Dodgers pitcher with 17 losses since Fernando Valenzuela in 1984. (Thanks to @STATS_MLB via Twitter for that factoid.)

Lineups for tonight’s game:

Pirates (68-82) – 1. Alex Presley cf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Ryan Doumit c, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Garrett Jones, rf, 6. Ryan Ludwick lf, 7. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Jeff Locke lhp (0-1, 5.40)

Dodgers (73-76) – 1. Dee Gordon ss, 2. Justin Sellers 2b, 3. Matt Kemp cf, 4. Juan Rivera rf, 5. Jerry Sands lf, 6. Rod Barajas c, 7. Russell Mitchell 3b, 8. Jamey Carroll 2b, 9. Hiroki Kuroda rhp (11-16, 3.25)