Cardinals looking at Andy LaRoche as possible trade target

Rob Biertempfel
| Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

» PNC Park general manager Dennis DaPra and other team execs closely inspected the outfield turf Thursday afternoon. The night before, Andrew McCutchen pulled up a large divot when his knee slammed into the grass as he tried to make a catch. "That's a horrible patch of grass that I slid in," McCutchen said. "It was just the way that he came down that caused (the divot)," DaPra said. "We're not concerned the field is not playing properly."

The stage for the July 10 Dave Matthews Band concert was placed in center field, and there were brown spots for a week or so after. "The concert hurt (the turf)," manager John Russell said. "They had to re-sod it and water it quite a bit to get the grass to come back."

The new sod in the center-field area took well, DaPra said, but a portion of grass in the right-field corner — where a crane entered the field to construct the stage — had to be re-sodded again last week.

The warning track in left field also has seemed soupy after rain delays. The track had gotten too compacted after nearly a decade of use, so last month it was rototilled and reconstructed. "That took care of the problem," DaPra said.

» The St. Louis Cardinals are eyeing Andy LaRoche as a possible trade target, assuming he could clear waivers. The Cardinals found out Tuesday that third baseman David Freese is out for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.

» Russell said both McCutchen and Jose Tabata will be closely monitored in the final few weeks of the season and could get extra time off. McCutchen has been dinged by injuries. Tabata, who'll turn 22 next week, is on track for career highs in games and at-bats. "We don't want to run them into the ground," Russell said.

» Continuing his rehab assignment, Ryan Doumit played right field last night for Triple-A Indianapolis. He is eligible to come off the DL today.

» Daniel McCutchen was bumped to the bullpen when James McDonald arrived Saturday at the trade deadline, but it might not be a long-term move. "We don't want to give up on him as a starter," Russell said. "Whether he starts again this year remains to be seen. This will be a good evaluation period for him in the bullpen."

» Shortstop Brian Bixler was demoted to Double-A Altoona. The Pirates traded Bixler to Cleveland last winter, then reacquired him July 12. He hit .171 with one RBI in 11 games with Indy.

Additional Information:

Pirates game day

vs. Rockies

7:05 p.m., PNC Park

TV/radio : FSN Pittsburgh/WPGB-FM (104.7), XM Channel 184

Pitchers : RHP Jason Hammel (7-6, 4.37) will start for Colorado. LHP Zach Duke (5-10, 5.36) will start for the Pirates.

Of interest: Since July 1, OF Carlos Gonzalez, nicknamed 'Cargo' by Rox fans, leads the NL with a .737 slugging percentage.

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