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Bannister spends first day in new role

| Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

» Jeff Banister began his new role as the Pirates' bench coach Tuesday, two days after the Pirates fired former bench coach Gary Varsho and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. Bannister, who's been part of the organization for 25 years, serving the last eight as the minor league field coordinator, said before the game that he was probably more nervous than he was the first time he was called up to the major leagues as a player. "There are a lot of guys in this clubhouse that depend on me to be up to speed, if you will," Banister said. "I can't be behind the gun or slow the process down. So yeah, absolutely there are nerves. But like every other athlete will tell you, once that first pitch is thrown hopefully that goes a away. I feel a lot better now that I have the uniform on than I did walking over from the hotel."

» Bannister said he hasn't given much thought to whether or not he hopes the "interim" tag will be removed, as general manager Neal Huntington said was a possibility for both him and pitching coach Ray Searage. "For me it's getting past day one, then the series, then on to Houston, then finding a place to stay in Pittsburgh," he said. "I had not thought past this point. I've been with the organization so long that however I put on a uniform at whatever level, my personal goal will never change. I'd like to be part of the celebration some day in the middle of that field at PNC Park."

» With Garrett Jones getting the night off, Pedro Alvarez batted in the fourth spot for the first time in a Pirates uniform. "I think he's gotten comfortable, so I don't think he's going to be overwhelmed because he's in the four-hole," manager John Russell said. "It's a good fit in the lineup (Tuesday) but (Wednesday) he will bat fourth and Pedro will go back to five."

» Starter Jeff Karstens, a 2000 graduate of Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley, Calif., was expected to have over 100 family and friends at last night's game.

» The Pirates completed the July 15 Brian Bixler trade by sending catcher Luke Carlin to the Cleveland Indians. Bixler since has gone to the Washington Nationals.

» Steven Jackson cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis. The right-hander is 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA in seven innings pitched for the Pirates this season.

Additional Information:

Pirates game day

vs. San Diego Padres

10:05 p.m., Petco Park

Radio: WPGB-FM (104.7), XM 184. TV: Fox Sports Net

Pitchers: RHP James McDonald (1-1, 4.61 ERA) will pitch for the Pirates. RHP Kevin Correia (8-7, 4.81 ERA) will pitch for the Padres.

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