Pirates notebook: Jose Osuna playing featured role since trade deadline
Jose Osuna continues to be the primary recipient of the at-bats opened up when the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Corey Dickerson to Philadelphia at the trade deadline and designated third baseman Jung Ho Kang for assignment.
Osuna was in the starting lineup for the third time in four games Monday night when the Pirates played host to the Milwaukee Brewers. He made one start at third base and two in right field.
Osuna has embraced his utility role enthusiastically.
“I have to be ready to play wherever they need me,” Osuna said. “If I have to play in right, I want to do my best. If tomorrow I have to come back to third, I want to do my best. It’s something we can’t control. The manager puts guys wherever they want and we have to be ready to help the team.”
He’s also really hitting, going 9 for 20 with three home runs and eight RBIs over his previous nine games.
“His launch angle improved,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “His exit velocity is improved. Some of it’s maybe more intentional strength training, and some of it’s, I think, just a better approach at the plate. He’s swinging at what he wants to swing at and he’s being steadfast in swinging at pitches he wants to hit.”
Latrobe native Jansen Visconti was scheduled to work the series as an umpire.
A Penn State graduate, Visconti made his major league debut last May.
First in a series
The Pirates came into Monday’s matchup with the Brewers having lost their past seven series. In four of those seven, they split the first two games only to lose the third.
It’s a trend the team obviously would like to put a halt to, but shortstop Kevin Newman said breaking the season into bite-size series isn’t part of his mental approach to the game.
“It’s unfortunate, that stat, but it’s just showing up every day and trying to win,” he said.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .