Pirates Notebook: Andrew McCutchen Scratched From Lineup

What a two months it has been for Starling Marte. The Pirates left fielder has evolved from a potential-packed-but-raw leadoff hitter to a possible All-Star. Marte was set to have a day off before the team’s scheduled off-day Monday, but Andrew McCutchen is a late scratch due to right knee soreness, so Marte will instead play center field. Let’s look at what Marte has done this season: He is making contact on more pitches,...

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Pirates Notebook: Burnett Takes Mound As NL Strikeout Leader

A.J. Burnett will start Saturday night with the most strikeouts (72) in the National League and 25,000 bobbleheads with his face in the PNC Park stands. While he trails MLB leader Yu Darvish (86 strikeouts), Burnett faces a Houston offense that has struck out the most times in baseball this season. Burnett’s strikeout rate has jumped to a career-best 31.6%, but manager Clint Hurdle wants to make sure his staff ace is not only...

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Chase d’Arnaud Heading to Altoona For the Next Step of Rehab; Thumb Feeling Good

Chase d’Arnaud spent the last two days with the Bradenton Marauders, starting his rehab from a thumb injury in Spring Training. D’Arnaud torn the ligament in his thumb back in March, and underwent surgery in the middle of the month. At the time it was recommended that he have surgery to make sure everything was put back in place. “It’s a good thing that [the surgery] happened, because it ended up being...

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Prospect Watch: Tony Sanchez Keeps Hitting, Gregory Polanco Homers

Top Pitcher: David Bromberg, Top Hitter: Charlie Cutler, HR: Gregory Polanco

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Minor Moves: Holmes Off DL, d’Arnaud Starts Rehab

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a handful of minor league moves today involving West Virginia and Bradenton. Clay Holmes was activated off the disabled list and will start tonight. He had a minor ankle injury. He last pitched eight days ago. To make room for Holmes, West Virginia assigned reliever Josh Smith to the Jamestown roster. Chase d’Arnaud will make his 2013 debut today for Bradenton. He is on a rehab assignment, as he...

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