Pirates notebook: Gomez tabbed for spot start
MILWAUKEE — Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and right-hander Jeanmar Gomez have traded places.
Sanchez is out of the starting rotation, which could be the first step toward jettisoning him from the roster. Gomez will start Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Sanchez (0-3, 12.71 ERA) faced just four batters Friday before being ejected for intentionally hitting Allen Craig with a pitch. The next day, MLB suspended Sanchez for six games. Sanchez appealed, and his case will be heard Friday via video conference call.
If the suspension is upheld, Sanchez likely will have made his final start for the Pirates. Left-hander Francisco Liriano (broken arm) is expected to come off the disabled list May 10. Sanchez could be released to clear a roster spot.
The Pirates acquired Gomez Jan. 9 from Cleveland in exchange for minor league outfielder Quincy Latimore. Gomez made 38 starts for the Indians and went 14-16 with a 5.18 ERA. Gomez has made five outings out of the Pirates' bullpen and is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA.
“It was a little bit of a surprise for me when they told me I'm starting Wednesday,” Gomez said. “But it's not like it's new for me to be a starter. There's no pressure.”
Gomez threw 67 pitches Friday when he took over after Sanchez was ejected. He figures he could throw up to 85 or 90 on Wednesday.
Hurdle said he opted for Gomez because the timing was not right to call up someone from Triple-A Indianapolis, such as Andy Oliver or Gerrit Cole.
“Right now, (Gomez) is the fit that makes the most sense,” Hurdle said. “Nobody (at Indy) is in a place that we think they should be to call them up to make a spot start. Oliver has shown some good signs, (but) he's still working on repeating delivery. Cole, the same thing. To call a guy up for one time and send him back down, I don't think would benefit either of them.”
In five starts, Cole is 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
“It's not so much command issues,” Hurdle said of Cole. “It's dominating, repeating delivery, throwing secondary pitches for strikes and pounding the strike zone. It's not all about the walk total; it's the quality of the strikes, as well. It's something he needs to improve upon.”
Martin: Thanks, Cards!
Catcher Russell Martin was named National League Player of the Week for the period ending April 28.
In six games, Martin batted .375 (9 for 24) and topped the league with four home runs, a .958 slugging percentage and 23 total bases. In a 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, Martin homered twice and doubled. It was the second time in the past 50 years a Pirate had three extra-base hits, including two homers, in a game.
“A fun week,” Martin said. “I still feel it's the law of the averages, having that kind of a start and then it's got to balance out somewhere.”
Martin went hitless in his first 17 at-bats and his average didn't climb above .200 until April 21. He credits the turnaround to subtle changes he made to how he sets up in the batter's box — changes he noticed from how Cardinals players were batting against the Pirates.
“I recognized how they were attacking the baseball,” Martin said. “The Cardinals had some pretty good approaches. They were staying on balls that normally are good pitches. I'd never really done that before, taking something from the other team. But I felt like I needed to change something. It worked.”
Don't touch that dial
Because of conflicts with Penguins first-round playoff games, Root Sports will not televise Pirates games May 3 vs. Washington and May 7 vs. Seattle. Games May 9, 11 and 12 also could be affected depending upon the Pens' schedule. Root Sports said in a news release that changes will not alter the network's commitment to televise at least 150 Pirates games this season.
Snider, Walker still out
Travis Snider (sore right side) took some swings Monday in the indoor batting cages. He will do some pregame running on the field Tuesday and shag some fly balls. Neil Walker (cut on right hand) played catch and attempted a few swings Monday. Neither player was in the lineup Monday, but Hurdle hoped that Snider and perhaps Walker will be available to pinch-hit by Tuesday.
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.
- Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
- Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
- Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
- Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list
- Gameday: Pirates at Cincinnati, Aug. 1, 2015
- Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
- Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
- Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
- Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 31, 2015
- Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing