Pirates' Jones scratched because of oblique strain
Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones was a late scratch from the lineup on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays because of what he called a minor left oblique strain.
“We talked it over and felt it would be better to just not play the next few days and rest it so that it's 100 percent,” said Jones, who was replaced in the lineup by Brad Hawpe. “(We don't want to) risk making it worse and worse and missing a lot of games. Just take it easy the next few days and it should be fine.”
Jones said he isn't sure how it happened. It felt tight when he woke up on Wednesday, but he played against the Red Sox and felt fine during the game.
He said he doesn't believe the injury is serious and hopes the precautionary move of sitting out will prevent it from becoming a bigger issue.
He said he plans to limit his action Friday, perhaps taking only ground balls and playing catch. Jones doesn't plan to swing the bat.
“Just taking it easy for a day, maybe two more days, then get back at it,” Jones said.
In, out, up, down
James McDonald was roughed up in his first two outings, but he allowed only one hit, struck out one and walked three in four scoreless innings Thursday in the Pirates' 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at McKechnie Field.
His focus, he said, was on moving his fastball to the four quadrants of the strike zone.
“Flipped a couple breaking balls here and there but really just commanding my fastball,” he said. “Going up when I want to go up, down when I want to go down. That's about it.”
It was McDonald's best outing of the spring, but he shot down the notion that his previous two outings had been bad. It's spring training, he said, and the important thing is to take the mound with a plan.
“I feel like I've gone out there with an idea of what I want to do each and every game,” he said. “I feel like I'm accomplishing my goal every time I go out.”
More work at third
Gaby Sanchez got his second start of the spring at third base and his first against a major league team.
Sanchez, who played mostly third base at the start of his minor league career, has not played the position at the top level. He made a throwing error to first base with two outs in the seventh inning that led to four unearned runs by the Rays.
Manager Clint Hurdle said developing Sanchez's skills creates another option in case something happens to Pedro Alvarez or he needs a day off.
“He just doesn't have the reps,” Hurdle said. “It's been a long time since he's been over there, so we're going to try to get him as many as we can that makes sense without taking away from his time at first.”
Odds and ends
Russell Martin, who doubled in the ninth to score two, is on track to start Saturday at catcher for the first time this spring. … Jeff Karstens will throw another live batting practice Friday. He is scheduled to throw two innings. ... Jeanmar Gomez was on the mound in the seventh for the Rays' four runs.
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.
- Pirates’ McCutchen laughs off pay stub leak
- Pirates notebook: Stewart, Cole develop rapport
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Mets, May 23, 2015
- Struggling Pirates SS Mercer finding himself out on infield’s left side
- Pirates notebook: Marte gets earful from Hurdle about lazy play
- Rossi: Hurdle needs better players, not blame
- Alvarez’s homer into river not enough for Pirates in loss to Twins
- Improved Tabata rejoins Pirates roster
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Mets, May 22, 2015
- Starting 9: Should Pirates maximize McCutchen window by trading for a star?
- Mauer’s 13th-inning homer spells doom for Pirates in home loss