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Pirates notebook: No short-term fix for offense

| Sunday, May 13, 2012, 7:18 p.m.

General manager Neal Huntington addressed his team's struggling offense before the game, and said that any help they get is going to have to come from within — at least for now.

“If you look at history over the last five years, there aren't trades made in April,” he said. “There are very, very few trades of substance made in May and there are few trades of substance made in June, so our solutions are going to have to come internally unless we're willing to be less than intelligent and dramatically overpay. That's just the way it is.

“We're certainly looking externally, but the extra wild card has made it that much more of a challenge. There are fewer sellers out there, and we're going to have to be creative.”

• Brad Lincoln gets his first start of the season tonight in Miami, and although manager Clint Hurdle wouldn't place a limit on his pitch count, the right-hander is only stretched out to about 50 pitches. “I'm not going to stretch out to 80 pitches by any means, but I'm going to go out there and give them what I got and we'll go from there,” Lincoln said. “I'll try to get to the fifth, but if the pitch count gets to the point where I'm getting tired I'll let them know and they'll be able to see it.”

• The Pirates brought Starling Marte to Pittsburgh to have his hand examined by a specialist after the outfield prospect was hit by a pitch last weekend. Huntington said Marte's hand is bruised, but everything checked out OK and he is good to go.

• Daniel McCutchen was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday as the corresponding roster move to Joel Hanrahan's reinstatement from the bereavement list. According to the Pirates, McCutchen suffered a strained left oblique muscle while taking batting practice Saturday.

— Karen Price

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