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Pirates

Notebook: Kendall may remain in leadoff when Brown returns

Joe Rutter
| Saturday, April 28, 2001

SAN DIEGO - When he returns to the Pirates lineup next month, Adrian Brown can expect to regain his spot in center field.

But he might not regain his spot atop the Pirates' batting order.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said Friday that he might keep catcher Jason Kendall in the leadoff spot after Brown returns from a right shoulder injury.

'There's a chance we may do that,' McClendon said. 'We might experiment with it and see where it goes.'

If Kendall continues to bat leadoff, Brown would bat second, with Derek Bell moving lower in the order.

Kendall has batted leadoff in 10 games this season. He has a .306 average with seven runs and three runs batted in from atop the lineup.

Kendall reached base successfully eight times in the three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and has a .418 on-base percentage for the season.

'His on-base percentage year-in and year-out has been pretty good,' McClendon said. 'It's hard to argue with that. But (Brown) was pretty good in the second half last season, too.'

Brown had a .368 on-base percentage in 54 games as a leadoff hitter in 2000. In eight games this season, it is .265.

Brown hasn't played since April 11. He has been receiving medical treatment this week in Pittsburgh. He will begin a throwing program when the Pirates play at home Tuesday.

'His range of motion and strength are back to normal,' trainer Kent Biggerstaff said. 'The telltale sign will be when he throws. But some of the things that caused him pain before don't cause him pain now.'

McClendon said Brown doesn't need to worry about reclaiming his job in center field.

'I never thought an injured player should lose his job,' McClendon said. 'But if someone out there is on fire, sometimes, you have to wait to get your job back. That's just the way it is.'

NO ROOM TO PLAY

One game after collecting two hits, including a ninth-inning home run, Emil Brown was back on the bench Friday night.

Emil Brown and Brian Giles have filled in for Adrian Brown the past two weeks.

Giles made his seventh start in center last night, flanked by left fielder John Vander Wal and right fielder Derek Bell.

'We're watching the matchups as close as we possibly can to get Emil some games,' McClendon said.

Brown likely will play in center on days Kevin Young is given off, with Vander Wal moving to first base. Brown also will play on days Bell is rested and probably when the Pirates face a left-handed starting pitcher, something they haven't done this season.

NO DECISION

McClendon remains undecided about the starter for the game Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants.

It will be Ramon Martinez's turn to pitch that night. But because of a day off Monday, McClendon could decide to keep the rest of his rotation on a regular schedule and start Todd Ritchie instead.

McClendon said he should have a decision today.

INJURY UPDATE

Kris Benson will throw 75 pitches off a mound Sunday, then likely pitch a simulated game before he pitches in a game situation May 4.

Jason Schmidt threw on the side yesterday, his final time on the mound before his rehab start Monday with Class AA Altoona.

Tonight, Francisco Cordova will make his first rehab start for Altoona. In Florida, reliever Rich Loiselle will pitch two innings in an extended spring training game.

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