The Pirates announced late last night that they traded for infielder Jeff Larish from the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations. The 29-year-old is scheduled to report to Triple-A Indianapolis today.
The idea of bringing in a guy like Larish sparked thoughts of possibly bringing up a corner infielder to the Major League club today –especially considering the lack of offense this season and last night’s offensive woes. However, when I arrived to PNC Park this afternoon, it was the same guys in the clubhouse. That’s not to say that they won’t bring up a guy like Matt Hague or Jake Fox to help give a spark off the bench in the near future.
“I’ve seen him play in the past in a couple different organizations,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s going to add depth. He’s going to add a bat. He’s anxious for an opportunity and I feel like we’ve got one there to give him, get in play and see where he can take it. We’re excited about having him.”
Hurdle discussed Larish’s role with Triple-A and how he fits down there. With Fox, Hague and Jeff Clement shuffling between first, third and DH, Dean Treanor may have his hands full getting them all playing time.
“I know we’ve got a number of guys of that ill,” Hurdle said. “Dean has done a wonderful job in the past to finding opportunities. One guy on the corner one day, the other guy the next day, DH opportunity to keep the bat in play. Time will tell, but that’s the position that we’re look gin at working at the corners and getting the bat involved.”
- Closer Joel Hanrahan, who is on bereavement leave, Hurdle said is returning to Pittsburgh tonight. He will be available from the bullpen on Sunday. Which means, righty Daniel McCutchen will most likely be sent back to Triple-A Indianapolis. McCutchen has not yet been used from the ‘pen since taking Hanrahan’s spot.
- Right-hander Charlie Morton will get the nod tonight. After his last outing, Morton said he was going to have to make some tweaks to get his ‘bread and butter back’. Which, of course, is his sinker. Morton has been seeing split results this season on the mound.
“He’s put the work in, and this is the beauty of the game, you put that work in in between starts and now you try and transition out to a game,” Hurdle said. “I do believe that in Charlie’s case it’s going to be able his ability to repeat his delivery. To throw the power sinker and try not to pin point things, try and be too fine, aim for the middle, let the action of the movement let it take it where it needs to take it.”
- The Pirates failed to score a run in last night’s 1-0 loss to Houston, and has scored 0 or 1 run in 12 of their 32 games this season.
“The last thing you need to do when you have a game like last night on the offensive side is really grind on these guys,” Hurdle said. “They’re going to cut themselves up. They do it for a living. They feel the importance of not performing and not coming through so I try and find the other side of it…Let’s just hit it on the screws, let’s not think, bases clearing double in the gap. Lets think about hitting the ball hard. We’ve had some of that earlier where we were hitting some balls hard. Whether that adds to frustrating sometimes, then when we got guys on base, ‘I’ve got to hit it harder. Or just hit it so far that nobody could catch it.’”
Hurdle shared an interesting story when he was in Japan. They had a player over their at the time that was around 5’11″, 185 pounds and was a huge power hitter. Players asked, ‘How do you hit so many home runs? You’re so much smaller than the American players.’ He goes, “I just try and hit the ball over the wall. The Americans want to hit it out of the stadium.”
- Pirates lineup: Jose Tabata 9, Neil Walker 4, Andrew McCutchen 8, Pedro Alvarez 5, Casey McGehee 3, Yamaico Navarro 7, Clint Barmes 6, Michael McKenry 2, Charlie Morton 1
- Astros lineup: Jordan Schafer 8, Jed Lowrie 6, Jose Altuve 4, Carlos Lee 3, Brian Bogusevic 9, Justin Maxwell 7, Matt Downs 5, Chris Snyder 2, J.A. Happ 1