Pirates notebook: Alvarez, Marte both OK after injury scares
DENVER — The Pirates dodged bullets with the injuries to Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte.
Alvarez was in the lineup Sunday against the Colorado Rockies less than 24 hours after he was spiked on his left index finger by Dexter Fowler. Alvarez's finger was bandaged, but the cut did not require stitches.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Alvarez said.
Marte's left hand is swollen, with a welt on the meaty part on the side where he was drilled by a pitch from Josh Outman. X-rays taken Saturday night showed no fracture.
Marte was not in the lineup Sunday but was available as a pinch runner.
“There's nothing screaming at us that he's going to be out awhile at this point,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Marte has been plunked 19 times, second in the NL behind Reds leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo (22).
Extra rest for Cole
Right-hander Gerrit Cole's next start has been pushed back to Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park. The Pirates will use Charlie Morton (Tuesday), Francisco Liriano (Wednesday) and A.J. Burnett (Thursday) against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The move was made to try to keep Cole fresher during the stretch run of the season. Cole will make three more starts by the end of August instead of four, which should cut about 100 pitches from his season total.
“We want to make sure we keep things where they need to be,” Hurdle said. “We prefer not to trim it the way we did the last time, with him leaving after five innings. We want to pick our spots. We'll look to trim in other places as well.”
Cole threw a side session Sunday and is slated to throw an extra one, which might include some live batting practice later this week in St. Louis.
Left-hander Jeff Locke also might get extra rest.
“Innings-wise and pitch (count)-wise, he's fine,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “At the same time, we want to be cognizant of the fact that he's made every turn. So, there may come a time we give him a little extra breather as well.”
See you in September?
Left-hander Andy Oliver continues to struggle with walks at Triple-A Indianapolis, so he has been shifted from the rotation to the bullpen. If he can resolve his control issues, Oliver, who is out of major league options, might be a September call-up.
“He's got a great arm and a very good two-pitch mix, a power fastball and power breaking ball,” Huntington said. “We wanted to give him some bullpen exposure ... to see if he might be in position to help us out of the bullpen in September. We don't like to ask guys to do something at the major league level they haven't done before.”
Right-hander James McDonald (shoulder) threw a side session Sunday in Florida and is scheduled to throw a simulated game this week.
“We'll probably stretch him to three innings and 50 pitches and make a determination from there,” Huntington said. “Assuming he's effective, he could get back to help us more quickly (as a reliever).”
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 pound Padres for 7th consecutive victory
- Pirates’ Morton hopes he’s past injury-riddled part of career
- Pirates pitching prospect Kingham undergoes Tommy John surgery
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Padres, May 29, 2015
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Alvarez having success looking the other way
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Marlins, May 26, 2015
- Gameday: Pirates at Padres, May 28, 2015
- Pirates notebook: Substance rule a sticky subject
- Pirates pitcher Morton turns in solid performance in win over Marlins
- Pirates win 5th straight as offense continues to click in win over Marlins