Bucs reliever Dotel a little behind schedule
SARASOTA, Fla. — The Pirates expect closer Octavio Dotel, who is out with a strained oblique, to be ready for Opening Day.
Dotel sustained the injury while throwing in the bullpen on the fourth day of spring training. He has not thrown either long toss or a bullpen session since then, although he has resumed conditioning drills.
Dotel hopes to be able to throw off a mound toward the end of next week, which would put him three weeks behind a normal spring training schedule.
Dotel said he prefers to pitch 10-15 innings in spring games.
"You can't go any less than that," he said. "If you do, you won't be ready."
General manager Neal Huntington, however, expects Dotel to be good to go on April 5 — even if that means cutting back on the right-hander's customary workload.
"It's still early in spring, and we've still got plenty of games," Huntington said. "Dotel has talked about wanting to get 'X' number of appearances before he has the comfort level. He's a veteran; he knows what he needs to do maybe to shorten his desired (number of) appearances a little bit. At this point. we still believe he's right on track for Opening Day."
Last season, Dotel pitched 62.1 innings as a setup man for the Chicago White Sox. He missed the final two weeks of the season due to a sore neck.
Dotel has not worked as a full-time closer since the first half of the 2007 season. He had Tommy John surgery in 2006.
» Tony Sanchez's first at-bat of spring training was a dandy. On Friday, he clubbed a two-out, solo homer in the eighth inning off Baltimore Orioles left-hander Troy Patton. That tied the game, 3-3. The Pirates won it, 5-3, in the ninth on Delwyn Young's RBI single and Jose Tabata's sacrifice fly.
» Zach Duke worked two innings, allowed a run on two hits and struck out one.
"The first inning was much better than the second," Duke said. "In the second, my sinker got a little erratic. But that's what these (spring games) are for, to get those things ironed out."
» Daniel McCutchen, bidding for the fifth starter's job, yielded a run on three hits in his two innings. Adam Jones blasted a solo homer to right in the third inning. The Orioles put runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth, but McCutchen got Jonathan Tucker to ground out.
» Pirates infielders had a sloppy fifth inning, with errors by second baseman Akinori Iwamura, shortstop Ronny Cedeno and third baseman Neil Walker. It all led to an Orioles' run.
» Reliever Wil Ledezma has shoulder soreness and has not yet pitched in a game. "It's nothing serious at this point but enough to slow him down," general manager Neal Huntington said.
» Andrew McCutchen's mom, Petrina, will sing the national anthem before Saturday's game against the Phillies at McKechnie Field.
» Kevin Hart will throw the first two innings (45 pitches max) against the Phillies. D.J. Carrasco (two innings/40 max), Brendan Donnelly, Donnie Veal, Jack Taschner, Steven Jackson and Jean Machi also are expected to pitch.
» The Pirates will be featured Sunday on MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days" show. The episode will air at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
"I'm working hard to keep that fastball. I still feel it. I'm still a strikeout pitcher because I have that fastball." — Pirates relief pitcher Octavio Dotel
46 — Saves by Mike Williams in 2002, the Pirates' single-season record
10 — Pirates closers who have recorded 25-plus saves in a season
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.
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Rain postpones Pirates-Cubs game
- Pirates notebook: Trade movement confidence booster for Morse
- Pirates pitcher Burnett could return in 4 weeks
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Cubs, August 4, 2015
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Cubs, August 3, 2015
- 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Pirates farmhand Suchy learns limits of his size, strength
- Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins