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Karstens back on the mound


RHP Jeff Karstens (shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is scheduled to throw another Sunday. Yesterday’s workout consisted of 36 pitches, fastballs and a few changeups. Karstens will accompany the Pirates on their road trip next week to Miami, Washington and Detroit. After that, he’ll likely make his first rehab start with Double-A Altoona, which plays at home May 18-24.

»»» Bedard in limbo: Manager Clint Hurdle will huddle with his lieutenants after batting practice to discuss whether LHP Erik Bedard (back spasms) will make his next scheduled start Monday against the Marlins. Bedard is on the field during bp, doing some light workouts to test his mobility. If Bedard is scratched (which probably would mean a DL stint), look for RHP Brad Lincoln to make a spot start and reliever Daniel McCutchen, who was called up yesterday when Joel Hanrahan went on the bereavement list, to spend a few extra days with the club.

»»» Minor matter: I got a couple of emails to day about an online game tracker that showed RHP Jameson Taillon and reliever Porfirio Lopez combining to throw a mere 67 pitches over nine innings yesterday for High-A Bradenton. It’s simply not true. I checked with the front office, and Taillon actually threw 66 pitches (45 strikes) in six innings — still a very good outing — and Lopez threw 55 (30 strikes). Whoever was doing the game tracker kept good records for the first couple of innings, then either lost count or got lazy and started recording everything as a one-pitch out.

Game 32: Astros @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET

Astros (14-17): 1. Jordan Shafer cf, 2. Jed Lowrie ss, 3. Jose Altuve 2b, 4. Carlos Lee 1b, 5. Brian Bogusevic rf, 6. Chris Johnson 3b, 7. Justin Maxwell lf, 8. Jason Castro c, 9. Bud Norris (2-1, 4.58)

Pirates (13-17): 1. Jose Tabata rf, 2. Alex Presley lf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Garrett Jones 1b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. James McDonald (2-1, 2.70)



  1. Chuck H. says:

    So, Strassberg not only throws hard, but also thinks out his pitches. In other words, you’re saying that the Pirate pitchers that throw hard, do just that without thinking when to throw what. That makes a lot of sense to me. Why can’t our pitching coach impress that upon our pitchers? I can’t remember a time when the Pirates ever could hit good pitching.

  2. Chuck H. says:

    Only the Pirates could open up the inning with a triple, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th men in the order coming up, and not score. Now, that’s scary, because we are playing the Astros, who are almost as bad as the Pirates. I am done with the Buccos this year.

  3. Tony says:

    The blame for last’s night’s pathetic offensive performance falls squarely on the organization and their inability to assess talent and their blind emotional attachment to the selection of Pedro Alvarez as the future of the organization. At the end of last year, I said that the Pirates performance in 2012 would in large part be measured by how they approached the Pedro Alvarez decision. Would they hand him the starting 3B job or make him prove that he merits a major league starting job. The decision was not only important from a lineup perspective, but symbolic of the the baseball IQ of the organization as well as their commitment to winning. So Pedro failed miserably at the ML level in 2011, then at the AAA level, then at Spring Training in 2012. He thumbed his nose at the organization’s request to play winter ball. So what do the Pirates do, they hand him the startng 3B job. So after a one week power surge, management couldn’t resist the temptation to elevate Alvarez to the cleanup spot where he has reverted to being “lost at the plate”. The Pirates also made a major mistake by not resigning Ryan Doumit. They let a much needed bat go to sign an over the hill lug in Rob Barajas. They have regressed at both catcher and shortstop and unfortunately the corner outfield positions have not emerged. They are wasting a superlative performance by the starting pitching staff and Cutch. When I see the fans boo, I can’t help but believe this anger is not directed at the players, but are in reality directed at Nutting, Coonelly and above all Neal Huntington.

    Nutting may be taking a purse string approach to the team, but he is missing the bigger picture. If the Pirates were successful on the field, would his franchise value be worth a lot more? I would think so.

  4. Sadly, the Pirates are clearly wasting their pitching staff, and instead of merely marveling at Josh Hamilton’s offensive power, they ought to be developing an offense of their won.

  5. And furthermore, the Pirates’ offense needs to be coming to life in every game now, not just occasionally.

  6. Chuck H. says:

    Someone said that Pedro should move to first base because he is a terrible 3rd baseman. I would agree with that, except that, would he be any better fielder playing first base? And why does it matter where he plays, he’s still striking out way too much.
    He needs more discipline at the plate. He needs more grooming, and you don’t do that at the major league level. But he’s not the only Pirate who’s striking out a lot. There are many.

  7. If the Pirates’ offensive woes were ever even partially solved, it would then be cause for celebration.

  8. Chuck H. says:

    Even though Hanrahan has had pretty good outings, I cringe at every pitch he throws, because all he throws are fast balls. Instead of mixing up his deliveries with an occasional curve or slider, he almost tells the batter what is coming their way, and they are ready for it. Mix ‘em up a little bit Joel!

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