Pirates notebook: Jose Osuna gets start again as role expands | TribLIVE.com

Pirates notebook: Jose Osuna gets start again as role expands

Chris Harlan
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Pirates’ Jose Osuna bats against the Brewers Monday, Aug. 8, 2019, at PNC Park.

Jose Osuna’s key for being a good pinch hitter is to always be ready.

“Be ready in every inning,” said Osuna, who has excelled in that role this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. “I think that’s the most important, be ready for the first pitch.”

Now, he seems more than ready for a bigger role.

Osuna started Wednesday for the eighth time in 12 games, a stretch in which he’s batted .444 with five doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs. He’s started five of six since the trade deadline.

The first baseman/third baseman/corner outfielder has benefited from Corey Dickerson’s trade and Jung Ho Kang’s release. Osuna has made eight starts at third base, eight at first, two in right field and one in left.

He went 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI on Tuesday.

“That helps when you have a little bit more consistency,” Osuna said, “and when you have more opportunity.”

Overall, he’s batting .324 with eight home runs, 11 doubles and 22 RBIs. As a pinch hitter, Osuna is batting .370 with five home runs.

Cervelli behind plate

Francisco Cervelli, on the injured list since late May, was behind the plate for the second day in a row Wednesday to catch a simulated outing by reliever Keone Kela, who’s serving a suspension.

The catcher hasn’t played since May 25 while recovering from a concussion — at least the sixth of his career – but continues to make progress, trainer Todd Tomczyk said.

“He continues to be symptom-free and working back toward all catching-like activities, which is very encouraging,” Tomczyk said. “First and foremost, to see Francisco normal again is awesome.”

However, Cervelli’s next step isn’t certain as he works toward a return to game action. He hasn’t been cleared yet, Tomczyk said.

“That’s always fluid, but our guidance by the experts has been to continue to advance his catching progression,” Tomczyk said. “As you’ve seen, he’s now being exposed to having a potential foul tip off the mask. So that’s a step in the right direction.”

Injury updates

Gregory Polanco resumed all baseball activities while rehabbing in Florida from shoulder inflammation, Tomczyk said. The outfielder, on the injured list since June 22, has made progress with his range of motion hitting and throwing.

“That’s very encouraging news there,” Tomczyk said.

Jameson Taillon’s elbow surgery is expected to take place early next week, Tomczyk said. The Pirates announced Aug. 2 the right-hander would undergo season-ending surgery to repair a flexor tendon in his pitching arm.

Dr. David Altcheck will perform the surgery.

Clay Holmes will make his second rehab appearance Thursday in Altoona. The right-handed reliever was placed on the IL on July 24 with right triceps inflammation.

Rotation set

The Pirates will use starting pitchers Chris Archer, Joe Musgrove and Steven Brault in the three-game series in St. Louis that begins Friday.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
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.