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Beimel scratched from outing

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

BRADENTON, Fla. — A left elbow injury to Pirates reliever Joe Beimel might affect his readiness for Opening Day.

On Saturday, Beimel was scratched from his scheduled one-inning outing against the Boston Red Sox due to what the team described as discomfort in his left elbow.

Beimel was shut down March 1 after feeling tightness in his left forearm near the elbow. The left-hander pitched one inning March 14 and another inning Thursday, allowing a total of six runs and seven hits.

Beimel said he felt some pain while pitching Thursday, and it got worse Friday. He awoke yesterday morning with severe tightness in his biceps.

"It's not the same spot that was hurting before," Beimel said.

An MRI exam March 1 showed no acute damage in Beimel's arm. Beimel said no new tests were scheduled.

"I've been icing and did three rounds of treatment to try to kick (the inflammation) out of there," Beimel said. "Hopefully, that will work, and everything will be fine very shortly."

A 10-year veteran, Beimel is expected to be the Pirates' top left-handed reliever this season. He's in camp as a non-roster player but will make $1.75 million if he makes the big league team.

With only 12 days until Opening Day, is there enough time for Beimel to recover and get into game shape?

"I'm not sure what to say about that at this point," Beimel said. "It's definitely frustrating. I want to be out there pitching. But at the same time, I don't want to push it too hard to get ready for Opening Day and have a setback and be out for a lot longer. It's better to take care of it now and go from there."

On Friday, the Pirates claimed lefty Garrett Olson off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. Yesterday, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said his decision to acquire Olson wasn't influenced by Beimel's injury.

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