Pirates' Tracy: Wilson still 'our shortstop'

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Pirates manager Jim Tracy stated in clear terms that Jack Wilson will remain his shortstop, even though another former All-Star at the position, Cesar Izturis, was acquired Thursday from the Chicago Cubs.

"Jack's our shortstop," Tracy said.

He then repeated that twice.

"When you have an opportunity to get a player like that, a Gold Glove winner and an All-Star, you go for it," he continued. "When you have resources like that on your club, you're making strides in the right direction, in my opinion. We have two of the best middle infielders in the National League right now."

As if to further make his point, Tracy did not write Izturis' name into his lineup for the game tonight against the Houston Astros at PNC Park, even though Izturis also can play second base and third base. Freddy Sanchez remains at second, and Matt Kata will start at third.

Wilson, who is owed $14.25 million over the next two years, is expected to be made available to other teams in advance of Major League Baseball's July 31 trading deadline.

Wilson reiterated today what he said yesterday, that he has no specific information he is on the trading block and will have no reaction to it until he hears otherwise.

"Regardless of what happens in the next 11 days, I just want to help the team win," he said. "Cesar Izturis is one of my favorite players. I collect bats of my favorites, and his is one of the ones on my rack. I'm glad to have him here."

Tracy said Izturis was not starting tonight because the team wants "to see where he is right now after so much time off." Izturis seldom played for the Cubs in the past month.

Also today, Tracy announced that John Van Benschoten will miss his next scheduled start, Sunday, and get pushed back to next Friday in Philadelphia. Shane Youman will be bumped forward a day to pitch Sunday.

That move, Tracy said, will afford Van Benschoten three side sessions under pitching coach Jim Colborn to address a mechanical flaw in the movement of his hips that has contributed to his erratic command.


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