ShareThis Page

Pirates notebook: No word yet on Taillon's elbow exam

| Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 5:51 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon throws during a game against the Blue Jays Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Pirates' Starling Marte is hit by a pitch during the first inning against the Cubs on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at PNC Park.

Jameson Taillon, the Pirates' top pitcher prospect, got a second opinion on his sore right elbow Monday from Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The team has not yet revealed the results of the exam or how it will impact the start of Taillon's season in the minors.

“Still working through the process,” general manager Neal Huntington said Wednesday via text message. “Will pass along information when appropriate.”

Taillon was shut down two weeks ago during spring training. The initial exam by team doctors, which included an MRI, found no ligament damage.

Taillon is not listed on the Triple-A Indianapolis roster released Wednesday, and the right-hander was not mentioned in the accompanying news release. The release listed five “candidates” for Indy's season-opening starting rotation: Brandon Cumpton, Andy Oliver, Adam Wilk, Jake Brigham and Casey Sadler.

The second overall pick in 2010, Taillon last season went 4-7 with a 3.67 ERA in 20 outings for Double-A Altoona and 1-3 with a 3.89 ERA in six starts with Indy.

Wandy set for debut

When he takes the mound Thursday against the Chicago Cubs, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will make his first start since June 5. He missed most of last season due to chronic forearm pain.

“I don't have a wait-and-see (approach). We're going to run him out there,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He's been in a good place all spring. This will be the next step. He's looking forward to it.”

Rodriguez looked fine in spring training, pitching 11 23 innings over four outings. He allowed four earned runs on 12 hits, walked five and struck out nine.

Snider in 2 hole

Monday marked Travis Snider's 60th game (out of 404) batting second in the order, and he went 0 for 3 with a walk. Last season, he was in that spot 33 times and hit .219 with a .276 on-base percentage.

Overall in his career, Snider has a .303 OBP. His rate was .383 over eight seasons in the minor leagues.

“We're optimistic the OBP will play out at the major league level close to what it was in the minors,” Hurdle said. “He's healthy. This spring, it was the best he'd moved around on the bases and in the outfield since we've had him. I liked the look of (Snider in the 2 hole) in spring training. We'll see how it plays out during the season.

Replay OK ... so far

MLB's expanded replay review system was used twice on Opening Day, with both calls going the Pirates' way. Hurdle did not voice any complaints with what he's seen of the setup so far.

“I keep my expectations in check because this is all new,” he said. “I know the umpires are making every effort to make this work. We (managers) are going to make sure we approach this representatively. It's new ground for everyone and we're all going to learn a lot. We'll see where it goes. It's already proved to be interesting.”

Blyleven can manage

Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven will manage the World Team in the All-Stars Futures Game at 5 p.m. July 13 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Blyleven pitched for the Pirates from 1978-80 and has been a Minnesota Twins broadcaster since 1996. Former Twins manager Tom Kelly will manage Team USA in the Futures Game. The rest of the coaching staffs for both teams will be announced this summer.

Around the horn

The Pirates are just the third team to have a pitcher amass 10 or more strikeouts on Opening Day in back-to-back seasons. Francisco Liriano got 10 whiffs Monday against the Cubs, and A.J. Burnett did it last year. ... The Pirates' top four minor league affiliates — Indy, Altoona, High-A Bradenton and Low-A West Virginia — are scheduled to begin their seasons Thursday.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.