Notes: Milledge, Church, Russell, Kratz, Heredia, Penn, Moreno

Catching up on the weekend notes…

-The platoon is over between Lastings Milledge and Ryan Church.  I posted about a week ago that Church shouldn’t be stealing playing time from Milledge.  I’m glad to see that platoon is over.

-Also in that link above, Tony Sanchez could return this season, but no more than a week or two, and Jeff Inman has been shut down with elbow discomfort.

-The heat is on John Russell.  I’ve mentioned this many times, but I don’t really have a big interest in the manager of a team, mostly because I think the impact is over-stated.  I’m going to expand on this further tonight.

-As we know, Erik Kratz got his first start last night, and from everything I heard (listening via MLB At-Bat, and following on Twitter, as I was on the road) the start went well.  I think it says a lot that the debut of a 30-year old catcher is such a big deal for the Pirates this year, or at least the fan base.  It really shows how disappointing Ryan Doumit has been this year.

-The Yankees are joining in on the bidding for Luis Heredia.  The Pirates and Blue Jays are still believed to be the front runners, although it seems like the only thing that will matter in this case is money, as Heredia’s rights are owned by his Mexican League team, which will likely sell those rights to the highest bidder.

-Indianapolis broadcaster Scott McCauley reports that Hayden Penn has been sent to Japan, something we’ve been hearing about for a little while now.  McCauley also mentions that another pitcher could be going for a similar deal.  My guess would be Jeremy Powell, since he pitched in Japan from 2005-2008, before signing with the Pirates in January 2009.  McCauley also mentioned that Brian Friday should return this week. UPDATE: Dejan reports that Vinnie Chulk is the other pitcher about to make this move.

-Dejan Kovacevic reports that pitching prospect Diego Moreno has been suspended for “unprofessional behavior”, and that he is currently working out in Bradenton with the rookie league team.

-Mel Rojas Jr has been added to the State College Spikes roster.  Andy Vasquez has been demoted to the GCL Pirates to make room.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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