Freddy Sanchez has an inflamed rotator cuff in his right shoulder, he disclosed yesterday, but he is optimistic he will not require a second surgery in as many offseasons to address it.
The Pirates' All-Star second baseman, who last night missed a third consecutive start because of soreness in that shoulder, stressed that this injury -- as well as the discomfort that derailed his spring training -- is not related to the minor surgery he had last September on the same shoulder. That was a simple cleanup of the joint near the cuff.
INDIANAPOLIS (58-67) beat Columbus, 2-0. LHP Corey Hamman (3-3, 4.81) pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed five hits. He struck out one, walked one. RHP Jesse Chavez (3.80) got the final two outs for his 12th save. 1B Jason Delaney (.304) went 2 for 2 with a double and two walks. LF Andrew McCutchen (.277) walked in his only plate appearance. 3B Neil Walker (.233) went 0 for 1.
ALTOONA (55-69) lost at Portland, 4-3. RHP Dan Reichert (1-3, 5.13) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. RHP Ronald Belisario (5.36) allowed two runs and three hits in one-third of an inning for a blown save. CF Jose Tabata (.248), on his 20th birthday, went 2 for 4 with a triple and RBI.
LYNCHBURG (48-73) lost at Kinston, 7-0. LHP Brian Holliday (5-10, 5.45) allowed six runs, three earned, and three hits in five innings. LHP Danny Moskos (6.33) allowed one run and two hits in two innings of relief. He struck out two, walked one.
HICKORY (45-76) lost to Greensboro, 9-4. RHP Duke Welker (3-11, 5.51) allowed eight runs and 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings. SS Jordy Mercer (.219) hit his fourth home run and went 1 for 4. 3B Matt Hague (.321) went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
STATE COLLEGE (11-40) lost to Staten Island, 7-1. RHP Carlos Amaro (0-1, 2.84) allowed three runs and six hits in four innings. 3B Matt Payne (.270) went 1 for 4 with a double.
BRADENTON (28-15) beat the Reds, 2-1. RHP Zach Foster (1-1, 4.45) allowed one run and four hits in three innings. DH Benjamin Gonzalez (.223) went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
"This is just going to take some rest and rehab when we get to the offseason," Sanchez said. "I'll have a chance to really get it strong and be ready."
Sanchez and shortstop Jack Wilson, who missed a fifth game to tendinitis in his right shoulder, each did extensive throwing during infield practice yesterday and could be back tonight.
Tanner Scheppers, the Pirates' second-round draft pick out of Fresno State University, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session at PNC Park in front of just about everyone in the front office, including team president Frank Coonelly and general manager Neal Huntington. He also underwent a physical.
The objective was to show he is recovered from a right shoulder injury -- mild damage to the labrum -- that cut short his college season, and that the Pirates should make a determined effort to sign him by the Friday midnight deadline.
From the sound of it, that is precisely what will happen: Huntington said that "signs are definitely positive" regarding Scheppers' progress after the Pirates had scouts watching all of his recent bullpen sessions in California.
"We have until Friday midnight to come to terms with all of our picks, and we hope to do that with several key players," Huntington said.
That includes the No. 1 pick, Vanderbilt University third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Huntington emphasized that that Scheppers' session was "not a make-or-break bullpen" to keep him from throwing too hard. The reason: Schepper was not up to full velocity yet and still is not throwing breaking balls.
Scheppers did not speak to reporters.
His estimated slot bonus would be $809,000 but, because some publications projected him as a top-10 talent before the injury, he is known to have been seeking more.
• First baseman Adam LaRoche is expected to rejoin the team today after playing a second rehabilitation game last night -- 2 for 4 with a double and RBI -- for Class A Hickory. Russell said LaRoche has had no issue with the pulled rib muscle that has had him out since July 27.
• Closer Matt Capps pitched for Class AA Altoona - a perfect seventh inning, two strikeouts -- and will make another one-inning appearance tomorrow.
• The Pirates' Dominican academy remains on target to open in May 2009, in time for the summer league there. "We are extremely pleased with the progress and pace of construction," owner Bob Nutting said.
• Eleven first-round picks remain unsigned, including eight of the top 11.