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Notebook: Bay may be out until Friday

| Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006

• OF Jason Bay was not in the starting lineup for a second consecutive game because of a strained right hamstring that manager Jim Tracy said showed signs of improved strength and flexibility. Bay might not play again until Friday in Cincinnati. The Pirates have a scheduled off-day Thursday and Tracy said that could be a factor in deciding to bring back his All-Star outfielder.

• SS Jack Wilson also was not in the lineup Tuesday. Wilson was hit on the right hand by a pitch Monday and left that game after the sixth inning. He experienced noticeable swelling to his right knuckle -- swelling that Tracy said had decreased quite a bit, but left Wilson with less strength in his right hand than normal. Tracy said he was hopeful that Wilson could play today.

• In place of Bay and Wilson, the Pirates started Jose Bautista in left field and Jose Hernandez at shortstop. Also, Joe Randa started at first base and batted fourth. Randa began last night batting .391 in 23 at-bats against Milwaukee starter Doug Davis. With Randa at first, Xavier Nady started in right field.

• Tracy said that OF Nate McLouth will leave the team Thursday and head to Bradenton, Fla., where he will undergo rehabilitation for a severely sprained right ankle. McLouth will likely return to the Pirates after they return from an upcoming six-game trip to Cincinnati and Atlanta.

• RHP Shawn Chacon threw from 60 feet, but not off a mound, before the game last night. He will throw off a mound today. Tracy said that Chacon, suffering form a torn right meniscus in his right knee, was still in line to start against the Reds on Sunday. If Chacon does not respond favorably to his mound session today, Tracy said a decision might be made to start RHP Victor Santos on Sunday.

• Two of the Pirates' most prized prospects were promoted to Class AA Altoona. C Neil Walker, a native of Richland, was at Class A Lynchburg, where he batted .284 with 35 RBI in 72 games. Walker, 21, was the organization's first-round selection in 2004. His 2006 season has been shortened because of offseason wrist surgery that cost him more than a month. GM Dave Littlefield said that the team still considered Walker a catcher, though he acknowledged that there have been discussions about a possible position switch. OF Andrew McCutchen, 19, had been with Class A Hickory. The organization's first-round choice in 2005, McCutchen hit .291 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI in 114 games at Hickory. "I'm not surprised, but pleased," said Littlefield when asked about McCutchen's seemingly rapid development. "I'm very interested to see how he handles this next step. Obviously, he's performed really well and has a lot of confidence right now."


22 -- Number now being worn by Xavier Nady, who had worn No. 25 since joining the Pirates on July 31

.714 -- Pirates' winning percentage when a starting pitcher works at least seven innings, prior to last night

16 -- RBI recorded by Jose Castillo against the Brewers in 2006, prior to last night

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