Pirates notebook: Barmes back, gets start at SS

Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes breaks his bat on a fielder's choice that scores a run during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at PNC Park.
Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes breaks his bat on a fielder's choice that scores a run during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at PNC Park.
Photo by Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
| Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, 7:12 p.m.

Shortstop Clint Barmes made his first start Tuesday night since he strained his left groin during batting practice in early July.

“It definitely feels like it's been awhile, up here especially,” said Barmes, who played a handful of games on a rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis before coming off the disabled list Monday.

Barmes felt a pop when he made a backhand stop and throw during batting practice. His left groin immediately tightened up and started to hurt, he said.

Part of his rehab assignment involved trying to get his timing back at the plate and going one day on, one day off before playing back-to-back days to get his body in game shape. He also wanted to make a play like the one on which he was injured.

“It's for sure in the back of your head, but it was nice to get a ball and get a chance to make a play like that, backhand throw across,” said Barmes, who last played June 29 against the New York Mets and made his last start June 25. “Thankfully, I was able to get at least one down there in a game with the adrenaline and all that.”

Alvarez heating up?

Pedro Alvarez homered three times in his past 11 plate appearances going into Tuesday's game, and it could be that the move to first base has given him the mental break the Pirates had hoped.

“We've been looking for one of those hot periods this season,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “You never know in this game what can bring freedom, what can bring confidence. You hit one (home run), obviously you get a little confidence. The fact that he hit them all in the big parts of the ballpark, left of center, center field, those are all good signs.”

Fall League rosters announced

Josh Bell, Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow were selected Tuesday to play in the Arizona Fall League. All three are in MLB.com's ranking of the top 100 prospects in baseball. Right-hander Kingham is 19th, outfielder Bell 32nd and right-hander Glasnow 61st.

Joining Glasnow, Kingham and Bell on the roster for the Scottsdale Scorpions are LHP Tom Harlan, LHP Joey Rodriguez, RHP Adrian Sampson, C Elias Diaz and INF Dan Gamache. Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister will be the team's manager.

Bell will play first base instead of the outfield, assistant GM Kyle Stark said.

Also, to avoid wearing out his arm, Kingham will not play the entire Fall League season. Stark said Kingham will make a few outings early in the season with Scottsdale, then shut it down until he reports to big league camp for spring training in February.

“We're going to set a drop-dead date with him so he can get some rest,” Stark said.

Kingham has thrown a combined 153 innings this year in Double-A and Triple-A.

Glasnow, Sampson and Rodriguez also will be on reduced workloads but not as restricted as Kingham.

“We're not going to push their innings,” Stark said. “They won't be shut down early, but we'll keep an eye on them, especially Glasnow, being as young (21) as he is.”

Minor stars

Despite being promoted to Double-A Altoona in July, Bell was named Florida State League Player of the Year. Glasnow was named Pitcher of the Year. Bradenton Marauders manager Tom Prince was recognized as one of the top three managers in the league.

Bell led the FSL in hitting (.335) and played in the Futures Game. Glasnow is 12-5 and has a league-best 1.67 ERA. His 148 strikeouts are second in the league.

Staff writer Rob Biertempfel contributed. Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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