Pirates notebook: McCutchen bringing back Zoltan
• Zoltan is back. Andrew McCutchen sent out this message Monday on Twitter: “I'm bringing the ‘Z' back ... stay tuned.” When McCutchen scored in the first inning Monday against the Diamondbacks, he flashed a ‘Z' and raised his index finger to his lips, as if he were shushing any doubters of the team's offensive prowess. “I think doing it is going to help,” McCutchen said. The ‘Z' refers to the “Zoltan salute,” a gesture made by characters in the comedy “Dude, Where's My Car?” The Pirates picked it up last season after watching the movie in the clubhouse, and began flashing the ‘Z' whenever one of them got a clutch hit.
• McCutchen did not hit his first home run last season until May 8, the 29th game of the season. By then, the rest of the Pirates already had gone deep 20 times. Once he got going at the plate, McCutchen was difficult to stop; he hit 31 homers. McCutchen hit the team's first home run Sunday, a two-run shot off lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. The bad news is, it didn't happen until the sixth game of the season.
• Manager Clint Hurdle hasn't set the pitching rotation for the series this weekend against the Reds. A.J. Burnett, who started Saturday, likely will pitch Friday.
• Charlie Morton (elbow surgery) threw two innings (29 pitches) in an extended spring game. Hurdle said Morton threw mostly sinkers and his velocity was “very good.”
• Because of windy conditions and the threat of dust storms, the roof at Chase Field was closed Monday for the Pirates-Diamondbacks game.
— 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.
- Statistically speaking: Can Pirates contain Hamilton on bases
- Pirates starting pitcher Cole growing in his 1st full major-league season
- Friday’s scouting report: Reds at Pirates
- Minor league notes: Baseball vagabonds improve stock with strong seasons
- Starkey: Bucs still battlin’
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen returns to starting lineup; Alvarez out
- Pirates send Polanco to Triple-A Indianapolis; Tabata, Barmes return
- Pirates down Cardinals, inch closer in wild-card chase
- Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
- Pirates can’t complete sweep of Brewers
- Tuesday’s scouting report: Cardinals at Pirates