Pirates summon Slaten to bolster bullpen
A small tweak to his mechanics has made a huge difference for left-hander reliever Doug Slaten, who Monday was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis.
After Slaten put up awful numbers in spring training - a 9.00 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP in six Grapefruit League outings - Indy pitching coach Tom Filer suggested Slaten lower his hands when he sets up. "It's a timing thing and it really worked," Slaten said.
In 20 outings for Indy, Slaten went 2-0 with eight saves and a 0.36 ERA. His .161 batting average against was second best in the International League.
"It was a little bit of luck, and I also went out there with the same mind set every time, sticking to the same routine," Slaten said.
• Slaten was recalled because reliever Juan Cruz was placed on the restricted list so he could attend to a personal matter in the Dominican Republic. Manager Clint Hurdle said Cruz is expected to rejoin the team Friday, when the Pirates open athree-game set in Milwaukee.
• The Reds rank second in the NL with 63 home runs. Hurdle said advance scouting, even something as simple as watching ESPN, can help Pirates pitches from being victimized. "I encourage the players to watch where the catcher's glove is and where the ball is (thrown)," Hurdle said. "That's really about all you need to pay attention to."
• Neil Walker has hit safely in each of his past six games against the Reds, going 10 for 23 (.435) in that span. In 19 games against the Reds at PNC Park, Walker is batting .375 (24 for 64) with six doubles, a homer and 11 RBI.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Mercer’s improved defense at shortstop gives Pirates a boost
- 20 improbable Pirates wins in 2014
- It’s official: Volquez to start Wednesday for Pirates
- Inside the decision: Pirates chose their own adventure
- Tekulve to throw out 1st pitch of Pirates’ postseason
- Rossi: No matter outcome, Pirates arrive
- Pirates notebook: Reds deny intent after Cueto plunks McCutchen
- Starkey: Pirates know best
- Do Pirates have what it takes to end World Series drought?
- Pirates defeat Braves to clinch NL playoff spot for 2nd consecutive season
- Pitcher Cueto, Reds dash Pirates’ division title hopes in finale