Pirates callups help weary bullpen
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Kyle McPherson and LHP Justin Wilson, along with every other pitcher at Triple-A Indianapolis, were well aware the Pirates played a 19-inning game Sunday. They all wondered who would be called up to bolster the Pirates' weary bullpen.
“Everybody was chomping at the bit and spreading the word,” McPherson said. “Everybody's talking about who's available (to pitch), who's not and blah blah blah. It's one of those things that you think about but you really can't worry about because it's out of your hands.”
The timing was right for McPherson and Wilson, who were promoted before the game Monday at San Diego. It's both players' first trip to the majors.
“There were a couple other guys who were in consideration, but they'd pitched recently,” assistant GM Kyle Stark said. “We needed two guys who could give us some length. Even though Kyle hasn't been at Triple-A very long (two starts), we think he can handle this. With Justin, guys just don't hit him.”
Wilson went 9-6 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 25 starts with Indy. He will go back to the minors once the Pirates' bullpen is back at full strength, but will be recalled when rosters expand Sept. 1.
“It's about consistency,” said Wilson, who moved out of Indy's rotation to prep for a bullpen role with the Pirates. “I'm getting ahead of guys and sticking with that. I've improved on that.”
• INF Jordy Mercer is expected back Friday from paternity leave. Monday, Mercer's wife, Kasey, gave birth to their first child, a son. Maverick Lee Mercer checked in a 7 pounds, 11 ounces. “That's a name!” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Sounds like a riverboat gambler.”
• Reliever Juan Cruz was designated for assignment. Cruz went 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 43 games, which was 14 games shy of his career high. In six appearances this month after coming off the disabled list, Cruz had a 3.86 ERA and allowed eight baserunners in 4 2/3 innings. It's unlikely the Pirates will try to keep Cruz if he clears waivers. “At this point, we've got some young guys who have passed him,” Hurdle said.
• Michael McKenry caught all 19 innings Sunday and also was behind the plate for all 19 innings last year during that infamous game in Atlanta. “Last year was such an emotional game, a tough one to take,” McKenry said. “This year, with us getting the win, I feel great. I feel like it was a normal (nine-inning) game. I'm not overly sore.” McKenry said he caught both ends of a doubleheader when he was in high school, but had never caught so many innings straight as a pro until these two games with the Pirates.
• The Pirates have two open spots on their 40-man roster, which probably will be filled when the Pirates are set to make their September callups.
• Relievers Chris Resop and Jared Hughes were not available Monday to avoid being overworked. Hurdle said there's a chance they both will be out of action Tuesday, as well.
• Reliever Chad Qualls, who's on bereavement leave, is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday. The Pirates will have to make a corresponding roster move when Qualls arrives.
- Rob Biertempfel
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- Pitt, CMU among those participating in online job fairs
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Baldwin Township charter school plans for enrollment boost
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Unused West View land to become green solution for stormwater runoff
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- York teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom
- Dems in Pa. governor’s race vow to close loophole, say firms skirt corporate tax
- Hempfield native, 22, publishes with local independent press