Bucs' prospect Lincoln has 'Tommy John' surgery

| Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Right-hander Brad Lincoln, the Pirates' first-round draft pick last year, had "Tommy John" surgery Tuesday and will be out of action for the next 10 to 12 months. Lincoln first felt pain in his elbow after pitching in instructional league last year. He was shut down at the start of spring training after the pain resurfaced when he threw off a mound. He was examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews, who conducted the reconstructive surgery.

"We anticipate Brad will be back sometime during the 2008 season," general manager Dave Littlefield said.

• Reliever Dan Kolb and outfielder Luis Matos, who were released at the end of spring training, are expected to report today to Class AAA Indianapolis.

• The Pirates are in discussions with the agent for infielder Jose Hernandez, but so far they have not come to terms on a minor-league contract. If he signs, Hernandez would be assigned to Indianapolis.

• Manager Jim Tracy's lineup card Tuesday was identical to the one he filled out for the season opener. It's the first time since 2000 the Pirates used the same lineup and batting order for the first two games of the season. That 2000 lineup included Jason Kendall, Chad Hermansen, Pat Meares, Mike Benjamin and Wil Cordero.

• Lefty reliever John Grabow (inflamed elbow) is moving toward pitching in a rookie league game in Florida. After that, he will briefly rejoin the Pirates to be evaluated by pitching coach Jim Colborn and the medical staff before beginning a rehab stint in the minors.

• Freddy Sanchez (sprained knee) will play Thursday in Triple-A Indianapolis' season opener. How he feels after that will determine whether he is activated in time for the Pirates' game Saturday in Cincinnati.

"He'll play Thursday and go from there," Tracy said.

• Xavier Nady had just one hit in the opener, a game-tying homer in the ninth inning. But that's not to say he struggled in his first three at-bats against Astros starter Roy Oswalt. In the fourth, Nady crushed a fly ball to deep center that would have been long-gone at PNC Park.

"When he centers the ball, it comes off his bat in a hurry," Tracy said.

• The Pirates have renamed PNC Park's sports bar from Club 21 to Club 3000, to avoid a conflict with a New York nightspot that has a similar name. The renamed PNC Park bar will honor members of the Pirates who reached 3,000 hits during their careers, such as Roberto Clemente and Honus Wagner.


10-1 - Reliever Matt Capps' record after one year and one day in the majors.

9 - Consecutive decisions won by Capps.

4 - Pirates' record for most homers on Opening Day (1975 and '83). They hit three Monday night against Houston.

- By Rob Biertempfel

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