ShareThis Page
Pirates

Pirates notebook: No major changes coming ahead of Rockies series

| Sunday, April 24, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
The Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann (right) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run as the Pirates' David Freese looks away during the eighth inning Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Phoenix.
The Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann (right) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run as the Pirates' David Freese looks away during the eighth inning Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (right) strikes out as the Diamondbacks' Welington Castillo (center) and umpire Marvin Hudson (left) look on during the first inning Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (right) strikes out as the Diamondbacks' Welington Castillo (center) and umpire Marvin Hudson (left) look on during the first inning Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle does not expect to make any major changes to the lineup during the four-game series this week against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

“There are legitimate differences that only that park provides,” Hurdle said Sunday. “We're not going to do anything crazy. We're going to stay in rotation with the guys we're looking to give a break.”

Hurdle was mum on whether center fielder Andrew McCutchen will get a rest day during the series. McCutchen has started all 19 games so far.

“His health is in a much different place than it was last year,” Hurdle said. “He is being monitored, as is every other player.”

Hurdle said taking McCutchen out of a game early — which happened Thursday in San Diego, when McCutchen sat out the last three innings — can help, but that doesn't take the place of a full day off.

Last season, the starting pitchers were a little worn down when the Pirates arrived in Denver in late September. Hurdle altered his approach with the bullpen.

“We tried to get our starters through five (innings), then got them out,” Hurdle said.

This year, the situation is different.

“Right now, we're trying to get more length out of our starters, so we might go at it from a reverse angle,” Hurdle said. “We'll see.”

Young catches up

Special instructor Kevin Young spent the past three days with the team in Arizona. Young tutored John Jaso at first base during spring training and is pleased with what he's seeing from Jaso at the new position.

“He's come a long way,” Young said. “It's a credit to who he is as a player. His work ethic is unbelievable.”

Young has a checklist of things to evaluate when he watches Jaso.

“Holding runners on, positioning, his first step to the ball, getting to the bag — a lot of detail stuff,” Young said. “As he gets comfortable this first month, he'll take on new tasks and challenges as the season goes on. The more we can stay ahead of those things, the better off we'll be.”

When Jung Ho Kang comes off the disabled list, David Freese could get game action at first base. Young and Freese worked there during spring training and will get after it again when the Pirates get back to Pittsburgh at the end of this week.

Around the horn

On Saturday, Kang got the first hit of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. It seems likely he'll come off the DL in early May. “Today will tell us more about tomorrow,” Hurdle said. “We're looking to bundle some at-bats, then we'll see. Sometime toward the end of the month, we'll have a much clearer vision of what we want to do next and when we want to do it.” ... Jack Wilson was at the Pirates' game against the Padres on Thursday at Petco Park. On Saturday, Freddy Sanchez attended the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Shortstop Wilson and second baseman Sanchez formed a prolific double-play combination for the Pirates, especially in 2007-09.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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.

click me