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Pirates bolster rotation with trade

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Pirates expect left-hander Dana Eveland to make an impact in their starting rotation.

"He represents a probable upgrade over our current rotation," general manager Huntington said Tuesday, after acquiring Eveland in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Huntington was a bit vague, though, on when Eveland actually will make his first start for the Pirates.

Eveland, 26, has not pitched in a game since May 23, when he was designated for assignment after going 3-4 with a 6.45 ERA in nine starts for the Blue Jays. The Pirates got him by sending minor-league reliever Ronald Uviedo to Toronto.

Eveland, who has 72 hours to report, will join the team Friday. If they wanted, the Pirates could start him Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

"I'm ready to go," Eveland said last night from his home in Palmdale, Calif. "I've thrown three bullpens, trying to stay on my normal routine. I'm excited about getting back on the mound."

But, Huntington said it's more likely Eveland will make an outing or two out of the bullpen before moving into the rotation.

"He hasn't pitched competitively in a game for a while," Huntington said. "It'd be unfair to ask him to go right back into a start."

Jeff Karstens started last night against the Chicago Cubs and Zach Duke will pitch today. Thursday is an off day.

Manager John Russell said Paul Maholm will start Friday against the Cubs, skipping Brian Burres' turn. Ross Ohlendorf will pitch Saturday.

The Pirates will have to drop a player — probably Burres — from their active roster when Eveland arrives.

If Karstens starts again Sunday, Duke would line up to start next Tuesday against phenom Stephen Strasburg in Washington.

Right-hander Charlie Morton is out of the picture for the foreseeable future. Morton is in Bradenton, Fla., rehabbing from shoulder fatigue and confidence issues, and Huntington said there is no timetable for his return from the disabled list.

"Eveland's timetable won't be impacted by Charlie," Huntington said.

Eveland was a 16th-round draft pick in 2002. He has a 16-21 career record with one save and a 5.66 ERA.

"His flaw has been strike-throwing ability," Huntington said. "It's a fringe to an average (quality) package of stuff. We like his good sinker. He's not overpowering, but he's going to mix and match his four pitches and we like the ability to get ground balls."

Eveland will make $419,500 this season. Although he's already been with four clubs — Milwaukee (2005-06), Arizona (2007), Oakland (2008-09) and Toronto — Eveland came into this season with just two-plus years of service time. The Pirates could control his rights for three more years.

"I'm not mad (at the Blue Jays)," Eveland said. "They did what they had to do. I was hoping someone would look at my (statistics) and see my potential. I'm glad the Pirates did."




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