Pirates Notebook: Torres gets good news; Kolb coming up

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Pirates reliever Salomon Torres experienced quite a relief yesterday, learning that his ailing elbow will not require surgery.

An MRI taken yesterday morning at Allegheny General Hospital showed that the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow is inflamed but not torn. That means the injury should heal with some rest, though it was not immediately known how much.

"I'm hoping to come back as soon as possible," Torres said yesterday.

He is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list June 24.

Torres, 35, initially informed management of elbow discomfort in spring training, but he pitched through off-and-on pain as the Pirates' closer until complaining of pain Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

Kolb to be promoted

Reliever Dan Kolb will be promoted today by the Pirates from Class AAA Indianapolis.

Kolb, a 32-year-old right-hander, had a 3.15 ERA in 18 appearances, along with 16 strikeouts and nine walks in his 20 innings. He missed the final three weeks of May to a hamstring injury but pitched five times after that.

Kolb's promotion, which will become official this morning, will require two other moves: One, a player -- likely a position player -- must be demoted off the 25-man roster. Two, a space must be cleared on the full 40-man roster.

Management also was weighing the possibility of bringing up reliever Franquelis Osoria. If he joins Kolb, a current reliever would be returned to Indianapolis.

Bullington's arm tired

Indianapolis starter Bryan Bullington, removed after one inning Sunday because of shoulder discomfort, is being described as having little more than arm fatigue and probably will miss just one turn in the rotation. In his first year back from shoulder surgery, he has averaged 61/3 innings in his 13 starts.

Sean Burnett, another ailing starter at Indianapolis, performed his scheduled long-tossing session Sunday and is with the team in Charlotte, N.C.

Buried treasure

There was no announcement on reliever Matt Capps' appeal of his four-game suspension. That is expected today.

No fewer than 20 Japanese journalists -- likely more -- will be at PNC Park tonight for reliever Masumi Kuwata's first home game. And several of those plan on sticking with the team for the foreseeable future.

The Pirates signed the first seven of their 2007 draft class: catcher Juan Garcia (seventh round), left-hander Anthony Watson (ninth), infielder Erik Huber (12th), right-hander Harrison Bishop (17th), infielder Matt Cavagnaro (21st), right-hander Taylor Cameron (31st) and right-hander Gary Amato (48th).

Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
Salomon Torres grimaces as the Dodgers' Andre Ethier rounds the bases after hitting a two-run homer in the 8th inning at PNC Park earlier this month.
Click photo for larger image.

Game: Pirates (RHP Ian Snell 5-4, 2.91) vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Robinson Tejeda 5-6, 6.47), 7:05 p.m., PNC Park.

TV, radio: FSN Pittsburgh, WPGB-FM (104.7).

Key matchup: Pirates deciding whether to swing or wait. Tejeda has given up 13 home runs, as well as 30 walks in just 64 innings.

Of note: Texas has some big bats, but the team's 5.48 ERA is even bigger, second-highest in Major League Baseball. Their 253 walks rank second, too.

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Monday's results

INDIANAPOLIS (39-24) won at Charlotte, 2-0. LHP Shane Youman (2-5, 4.81) pitched eight-plus shutout innings and allowed four hits. He struck out six and walked two. RHP Franquelis Osoria (2.27) entered in the ninth with two runners aboard and no one out and retired all three batters he faced for his fourth save. Eight of his nine pitches were strikes. 1B Jose Hernandez (.248) hit his sixth home run and went 1 for 2 with two walks. SS Brian Bixler (.310) went 1 for 4 with a walk.

ALTOONA (29-30) was off.

LYNCHBURG (29-31) was off.

HICKORY (25-36) lost to West Virginia, 2-1. RHP Mike Crotta (2-5, 4.81) allowed two runs in seven innings. CF Alex Presley (.260) went 2 for 3.

Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com .


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