Pirates Notebook: Jaramillo eyes Snyder's return

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With catcher Chris Snyder, fighting through a back injury, eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list today, there could be movement with the 25-man roster.

It is highly unlikely Snyder, who went 3 for 3 with a home run, double and six RBIs in rehabilitation game Friday night with Class A Bradenton, will come off the disabled list today, but it would seem likely that will occur in the near future. Snyder's placement on the disabled list was retroactive to March 25.

One player who could be affected by Snyder's eventual return is catcher Jason Jaramillo, who started Friday night against the Colorado Rockies.

"You don't wish any ill will on anyone," Jaramillo said. "I hope he gets healthy, he is a big part of the club. But, at the same time, I feel like I can be a big part of the club as well."

It was Jaramillo's third start this season, and he came in with two hits in seven at-bats and a stolen base.

"I've done a good job of not worrying about that roster stuff," Jaramillo said. "And that's what I need to continue to do. I just need to worry about performing."

A new (batting) order

For the third time this season, third baseman Pedro Alvarez and right fielder Matt Diaz were in the starting lineup together, but this time the order was different.

Previously, Alvarez batted fifth, Diaz sixth. Friday night, the right-handed hitting Diaz batted fifth, Alvarez sixth.

"To split up the lefties," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Just to split them up. Make the pitcher have to go left-right, rather than maintain the same stroke, back to back ... hopefully, you've got a little bit more of an advantage."

With first baseman Lyle Overbay hitting fourth, having Diaz hit fifth put a right-handed hitter between Overbay and Alvarez.

A new Morton

Pitcher Charlie Morton will make his first appearance at PNC Park tonight since last year, when things went terribly wrong. He had a 7.57 ERA last season with a 2-12 record, going 2-4 at PNC Park, where there were boos.

"Heard them, oh yeah," Morton said. "But look at what my ERA was. At the beginning of the year, I had a 14.00 ERA. I deserved it, right?

"You can't replace love and support that you get when you are down, when you are going through a tough time, when you are struggling. I'm so grateful to the people who stuck with me. I am extremely grateful to people who stopped me on the street and said kind things.

"I'm excited about getting out there and pitching for them again. Really, I mean that. There were a lot of people in this city who stuck with me."

Morton did some soul-searching over the winter. He looked extremely sharp in spring training and pitched well in his first start, a win Monday in St. Louis.

A neighborhood icon

With Tampa Bay slugger Manny Ramirez informing Major League Baseball Friday that he is retiring rather than facing a 100-game suspension for allegedly testing positive for a banned substance for the second time, it sent a ripple through baseball.

In the Pirates' clubhouse, Alvarez is a player who paid attention to Ramirez's accomplishments. Ramirez, 38, and Alvarez, 24, grew up in New York City's Washington Heights, a largely Dominican neighborhood.

"Definitely a guy I looked up to as a ballplayer, he's a great ballplayer, a great hitter," Alvarez said. "Obviously, growing up where I grew up, everyone idolizes him. Everyone from that area knows him and idolizes him, including myself. In my neighborhood, he is as big as it gets, nobody is bigger."

Buried treasure

Right-handed reliever Tyler Yates was diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. Yates, on the Class AAA Indianapolis roster, was placed on the disabled list. Yates, 33, missed all last season and most of 2009 after having Tommy John surgery in July '09. He appeared in 15 games for the Pirates in '09 and 72 in '08 and has a lifetime 5.12 ERA. Yates will be re-examined in six weeks. ... The Texas Rangers acquired right-handed pitcher Ramon Aguero on waivers from the Pirates.

Colin Dunlap: cdunlap@post-gazette.com .


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