Share This Page

Pirates eye return to five-man rotation

| Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, 7:26 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Manager Clint Hurdle, shown removing pitcher James McDonald during the fifth inning against the Padres on Friday, Aug. 10 at PNC Park, said the Pirates will likely return to a five-man rotation after the upcoming road trip. (Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review)

Manager Clint Hurdle said Tuesday the Pirates “more than likely” will resume using a five-man starting rotation after they return from their upcoming road trip to St. Louis and San Diego.

The Pirates are using six starters during a stretch of 20 games without a day off, which comes to a conclusion Aug. 22 against the Padres. After that, the Pirates will be off four straight Thursdays. They will end the season with another run of 20 consecutive games.

Right-hander Kevin Correia could remain in the rotation when it shrinks to five pitchers. The acquisition of Wandy Rodriguez bounced Correia to the bullpen, but he has made two spot starts as part of the six-man plan. “Kevin loves to compete and he believes in himself,” Hurdle said. “He's very comfortable when he has the opportunity to start.”

Hurdle said “there is conversation going on” about who will go to the pen on Aug. 23. “What you'd like to happen, what needs to happen and what will happen could all be different right now. You want to put the five guys out there who'll give you the best shot. We've got six to choose from. It gets down to who you feel will be the most aggressive, throw strikes and make teams beat them with the bat. All those things are in consideration.”

Right-hander James McDonald could end up in the pen. In six starts since the All-Star break, McDonald has yielded 42 hits and 21 walks in 31 innings, and has an 8.71 ERA.

• Reliever Juan Cruz, who came off the disabled list Sunday, was not available Tuesday after pitching on back-to-back days. In those two outings, Cruz worked two innings and allowed one run on one hit, walked two and hit one batter. “The velocity was there,” Hurdle said. “He was all around the plate, just had some real close misses. We feel we're in a real good spot with him, as far as his health.”

— Rob Biertempfel

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.