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Karstens has shoulder surgery

| Saturday, June 8, 2013, 9:24 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Pirates' Jeff Karstens talks with Travis Snider in the dugout during a game against the Reds on June 2, 2013 at PNC Park.

CHICAGO — Right-hander Jeff Karstens had shoulder surgery Friday and likely will not rejoin the Pirates until September.

Karstens has been out all season because of shoulder inflammation. Last week, he got a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. According to the Pirates, ElAttrache debrided — that is, removed foreign objects and/or dead tissue — Karstens' rotator cuff and labrum.

Karstens is expected to begin a return-to-pitch program in 10 to 12 weeks, general manager Neal Huntington said.

The Pirates nontendered Karstens in November, which made him a free agent. When lefty Francisco Liriano broke his right arm on Christmas Day, putting his deal with the Pirates in limbo, the club re-signed Karstens for $2.5 million.

Liriano eventually recovered and has made six strong starts. Karstens has been on the disabled list since the end of spring training.

Injury update

• Reliever Jared Hughes flew back to Pittsburgh on Friday to be examined by team doctors and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Hughes had an MRI Saturday, but the results were not released by the team. Hughes will be re-evaluated “early (this) week,” Huntington said via email.

• Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (strained right forearm) threw about 20 fastballs off a mound Friday and reported no ill effects. “I took it nice and easy, and it went pretty good,” Gomez said. He'll throw another side session Monday and, if all goes well, will begin a rehab assignment (four innings/60 pitches) Thursday.

• Reliever Jose Contreras (low back inflammation) will begin a rehab stint Monday, when he's scheduled to throw one inning for Triple-A Indianapolis.

• Outfielder Jose Tabata (strained left oblique) remains “in a holding pattern,” Hurdle said. In other words, he's still in shutdown mode.

• Infielder John McDonald (low back strain) continues to rehab at Indy. He's been starting every other game.

Draft wrap-up

The Pirates took 30 players — 25 college players and five high schoolers — Saturday on the final day of the first-year player draft.

Twelve of the picks were right-handed pitchers, including Billy Roth, who went in the 16th round with the 479th pick. Roth graduated from Vista (Calif.) High and is committed to the University of Arizona, which might make him tough to sign. He was drafted as a pitcher — his fastball touches 92 mph — but also could project as a right fielder.

The Pirates chose eight infielders, including Texas third baseman Erich Weiss in the 11th round. Weiss is the son of Gary Weiss, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980-81. He has decent power, but his defense rates average at best, which means he could project as a utility player.

Presley, Lambo on move

Outfielder Alex Presley was recalled from Indianapolis when Hughes went on the DL. Presley's spot at Indy was filled by outfielder Andrew Lambo, who was promoted from Double-A Altoona.

Pitching by the numbers

In his six starts, Liriano has amassed 47 strikeouts. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Pirates pitcher since 1900 to amass that many strikeouts is his first six games was Jose DeLeon (49 Ks in 1983).

On Friday, the Pirates notched their league-leading 10th shutout in their 61st game of the season. Elias reports that's the quickest any major league team has gotten to double digits since 1989, when the Angels did it in 46 games. The 1908 Pirates got their 10th shutout in their 57th game.

Puig coming to Pittsburgh

The Los Angeles Dodgers will visit PNC Park next weekend with high-flying rookie Yasiel Puig.

Over his first five games, Puig became a Tinseltown legend by hitting a solo homer, a two-run homer, a three-run shot and a grand slam.

“What he's doing is electrifying,” Hurdle said. “Paul Maholm informed me he's not ready to make the Hall of Fame yet, but if you make a mistake he can hit it out of the ballpark.”

When Maholm started Friday for the Atlanta Braves, Puig went 1 for 3. Puig's lone hit was a solo homer off Maholm.

“He's done some pretty remarkable things,” Hurdle said. “But it's still quite early in his major league career.”

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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