Pirates Notebook: Rotation In Flux, Phillies GM Talks Deadline

Jeanmar Gomez

Jeanmar Gomez was not available to start Tuesday after throwing aggressively Sunday. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pirates finally announced their starting rotation for this week’s series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Brandon Cumpton was re-called Tuesday to pitch the first game of the series and the season’s second half tonight.

Jeff Locke will start Wednesday, and Jeanmar Gomez will pitch out of the bullpen. Gomez and Locke both threw aggressive bullpen sessions Sunday, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, taking both out of the running for Tuesday’s start. Gerrit Cole will take the mound Thursday night.

Cumpton was “probably” 13th on the team’s starting pitcher depth chart to start the season, but Hurdle noted the right-hander gave the team a chance to win in each of his first two starts even though Cumpton did not earn a “W.”

“He wasn’t out of place. His pace and rhythm were good,” Hurdle said. “He’s learned some lessons in just two starts.”

Phillies GM Not Dealing Just Yet

Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro said he hopes to be in “buy mode” for the July 31 trade deadline when he spoke to reporters Tuesday afternoon. The Phillies are currently 9.5 games back in the NL East and 8.0 games back in the Wild Card. All-Stars Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz are back playing after being out with injuries for one month apiece. The team needs more contributions all around, Amaro said.

“If they play well, then chances are we’ll be buyers,” Amaro said.

Money is not an issue with either adding salary or shedding salary, the general manager added, which is important in considering the more than $62 million owed to trade candidate pitcher Cliff Lee after this year.

“We haven’t played well enough, not to this point,” Amaro said. I think they’re a better club than they’ve shown.”

Other Notes from PNC Park:

  • The rehab for outfielder Jose Tabata “has gone as well as we could have hoped,” Hurdle said. Tabata has been able to bat, field, run, bunt and so on. The smart bet would be for Tabata to join the roster for this Phillies series. But if you have a bookie that takes wagers on roster moves, either you or he or both of you have a gambling problem.
  • Vin Mazzaro is not a candidate to start in the near-future, even after his impressive five perfect innings Sunday, though Hurdle called Mazzaro’s Sunday outing “as efficient a five innings as I’ve seen pitched. Ever.”
  • Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett threw a 40-to-50-pitch simulated game Tuesday afternoon, facing hitters Clint Barmes, Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snider. The simulation tested Burnett’s ability to cover first base on his injured right calf. Hurdle did not say what the next step will be.
  • Reminder that surgery is not on the table for starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. He received a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection and will be rested through at least the end of July.
  • Reliever Jared Hughes pitched a bullpen session today and said he “felt good.” He aid this weekend that he is pitching without pain for the first time since his injury.
  • Clint Hurdle‘s father, Clint Sr., was by his son’s side for batting practice this afternoon. While Clint Jr. hit ground balls to his infielders, Clint Sr. caught the throws and flipped them to his son. The father and son will be together for the next 10 days.

Starting Lineups (AVG/OBP/SLG)

Philadelphia Phillies (39-44, 9.5 games back in NL East)

  1. 3B Michael Young (.287/.344/.409)
  2. 2B Chase Utley (.284/.348/.517)
  3. SS Jimmy Rollins (.263/.327/.362)
  4. 1B Ryan Howard (.264/.317/.462)
  5. LF Domonic Brown (.274/.321/.545)
  6. RF Delmon Young (.256/.311/.433)
  7. CF Ben Revere (.289/.330/.331)
  8. C Carlos Ruiz (.261/.316/.295)
  9. RHP Jonathan Pettibone (4.17 ERA/43 K/23 BB in 73.1 IP)

Pittsburgh Pirates (51-30, Baseball’s best record)

  1. LF Starling Marte (.288/.343/.466)
  2. C Russell Martin (.248/.341/.416)
  3. CF Andrew McCutchen (.292/.360/.462)
  4. 1B Garrett Jones (.256/.306/.419)
  5. 3B Pedro Alvarez (.241/.304/.510)
  6. 2B Neil Walker (.246/.353/.388)
  7. SS Jordy Mercer (.284/.333/.448)
  8. RF Travis Snider (.229/.302/.343)
  9. RHP Brandon Cumpton (3.60 ERA/8 K/2 BB in 10 IP)

Author: James Santelli

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

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