Ohlendorf not pleased with progress
• Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (right shoulder posterior strain) was not entirely pleased Friday after throwing two 20-pitch sessions of live batting practice. "I'm not quite ready to make a rehab start like I wanted to be at this point," Ohlendorf said. The problem is a lack of endurance and arm strength. Ohlendorf's first set of pitches went fine, but pitching coach Ray Searage noticed Ohlendorf faded in the second set. "We're not there yet," Searage said. "The delivery is good; I like what I see there. I see consistency of arm slot and the head staying on target. But his strength is not consistent. That's normal." Ohlendorf will throw a bullpen session Sunday, then be re-evaluated. Because he'll need at least a couple of rehab starts, Ohlendorf might not rejoin the Pirates until June.
• Third baseman Pedro Alvarez (sore right quadriceps) did not play last night against Houston, but he did take pregame batting practice. "Hitting is no problem," he said. "It's just running. I'm still a little tight, but it feels better." Neither Alvarez nor manager Clint Hurdle would speculate on when Alvarez would be back in action.
• Outfielder Jose Tabata returned to the lineup after sitting out four games with a tender hamstring.
• Brandon Wood and Ronny Cedeno fielded grounders at second base during pregame workouts. Hurdle is trying to determine who would be the better option as a backup to Neil Walker. "Both of them have adapted over there very well," Hurdle said.
• With lefty Wandy Rodriguez getting the ball for Houston, Chris Snyder started just his 18th game as the No. 5 guy in the batting order. Snyder had reached base safely in each of his previous 13 starts this year. "I'm pushing the envelope probably as hard as I can," Hurdle said. "I (originally) had him sixth, but he's provided some pretty good at-bats against left-handers."Additional Information:
Today: Pirates vs. Astros, 7:05 p.m.
TV: Root Sports
Radio: WPGB-FM (104.7), XM 187
Probable starters: RHP Bud Norris (2-1, 3.03) for Houston. RHP Charlie Morton (3-1, 3.52) for the Pirates.
Tomorrow: vs. Astros, 1:35 p.m.