Pirates sharing their own all-star memories
Joel Hanrahan didn't watch a lot of All-Star games as a kid.
He was more concerned with being outside playing baseball than inside watching it.
When he was in front of a TV during All-Star week, the Pirates' closer simply couldn't get excited about the home run derby.
"Everyone wanted to see all the homers, and I just didn't really want to watch it," said the Pirates' right-hander, who takes a perfect record in save opportunities (25 for 25) into this weekend's final series before the break.
As the Pirates' lone All-Star, Hanrahan won't have much choice but to watch the festivities this year, even if it does present him with a bit of a dilemma.
"I was actually looking at the list thinking, 'Who am I going to cheer for in the home run derby?' " Hanrahan said. "Brewer ... Brewer ... Cardinal ... I can't cheer for any of them. Fortunately I played with (the Dodgers') Matt Kemp before, so he's going to be my horse."
Much as Hanrahan, even as a kid, was disinclined to ooh and aah watching hitters blast the ball out of the park, his teammates often couldn't wait for the derby.
"I loved watching the home run derby. I loved watching those guys just hit the ball so far," right fielder Garrett Jones said. "The game• I would watch some of the game. But I loved watching the home run derby as a kid."
However, it was a recent derby — Josh Hamilton's performance in 2008, when he set a record with 28 home runs in the opening round — that most stands out in Jones' and catcher Michael McKenry's memories.
"The show he put on in New York and how far he was hitting the ball compared to everyone else, it was incredible," Jones said.
"I read his book right before that, and then watching him do that was just remarkable," McKenry said. "Hearing the whole story about turning his life around, then going out there and, what was it, 28 homers• I was just in awe the whole time."
— Karen Price
Rob Biertempfel's column
Eventually, the starting rotation will show signs of wear and tear. How the pitchers and management respond probably will determine the team's chase for a pennant in the season's final weeks.
All five starters are on track to set career highs for innings pitched. The biggest jump would come from James McDonald, who's on pace to finish with 171 innings — his previous high of 142 was set in 2006 when he was in Class A.
Kevin Correia could go 12 innings over his high of 198 innings in 2009. Charlie Morton is tracking to toss 174 innings, six more than his high from 2009.
Morton already has skipped a start to give him extra rest. McDonald, and even Correia, could be candidates for the same treatment in the second half of the season.
Even veteran Paul Maholm, who's trending for 212 innings, would eclipse his high from 2007.
Jeff Karstens is on pace to pitch 210 innings, nine more than he threw in Double-A in 2005. Two days ago, Karstens limped around the clubhouse, favoring a badly bruised and swollen knee that a week earlier was struck by a line drive.
General manager Neal Huntington said he doesn't expect Karstens to go on the disabled list. But Huntington also indicated the rotation will be reshuffled for the second half of the season with righty Brad Lincoln on stand-by at Triple-A if — or when — an injury pops up.
"We've got a couple guys we maybe want to get some extra rest," Huntington said. "We have five guys in our rotation who've done a good job so far, and those are the five guys in our picture right now."
MINOR-LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT: West Virginia pitcher Jameson Taillon
Twelve starts into his professional career, Jameson Taillon is developing as well as the Pirates hoped he would with Low-A West Virginia.
"The first full season is often times the most difficult," general manager Neal Huntington said of the right-hander, who was the organization's top prospect heading into this season. "That said, Jameson is getting acclimated well and is making quality adjustments. He has shown good stuff while performing and developing."
Taillon is 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA and has allowed just six walks while striking out 47 in 49.1 innings, earning a spot in the South Atlantic League All-Star team. He has given up 18 runs, 15 earned, and four home runs.
As to a possible promotion to High-A before the season is over, Huntington remained noncommittal.
"He continues to progress, but the best thing may be for him to spend his first season in West Virginia," Huntington said. "We will evaluate his progress and place him where we feel is best for him."
— Karen Price
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.
- Cole shuts down Diamondbacks as Pirates open road trip with victory
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen unfazed by return to Arizona
- Pirates look to continue success in cross-country trips
- Gameday: Pirates at Diamondbacks, April 25, 2015
- Super-agent Boras says Pirates will have opportunity to re-sign Alvarez, Cole
- Pirates notebook: Marte, McCutchen out of starting lineup in series finale
- Cubs’ 3-run, 9th-inning rally upends Pirates
- Polanco, bullpen come up clutch as Pirates capture win over Cubs
- Biertempfel: Low turnover helps keep Pirates’ chemistry intact
- Cole overcomes rough start as Pirates sweep Brewers
- Gameday: Pirates at Diamondbacks, April 24, 2015