PHILADELPHIA -- Jonathan Sanchez will stay in the rotation despite two consecutive poor outings, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Monday as Sanchez attempts to address the problems he has encountered early in the season.
"Right now I don't anticipate any adjustments to the rotation," Hurdle said.
Hurdle met with pitching coach Ray Searage briefly Monday to discuss Sanchez. They plan to reconvene, but for now Sanchez will make his scheduled start Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Hurdle pulled Sanchez from Sunday's game after three innings because he didn't see signs of improvement on the horizon, he said. Sanchez allowed two runs on four hits, walking three and striking out five, but needed 74 pitches to get through three.
"Sometimes when you get removed at that point in time, because it's not glaringly bad, you look at the numbers," Hurdle said. "People probably think he might have gotten hurt to come out if you just look at the linescore.
"Anytime you're going to go with a pitcher: 'Well, he's getting close to making an adjustment or it's getting better,' and I didn't feel that was the case [Sunday]."
Sanchez has an 11.12 ERA in 111/3 innings and opponents have hit .367 against him. He has struck out 11 and walked eight.
Sanchez completed five innings and allowed three runs in his first start but did not finished the fourth in either of his next two. A rainout washed away two so-so innings of work in what would have been his third start.
Hurdle said he hoped Sanchez, Jeff Locke and Jeanmar Gomez could all improve their consistency early in the season.
"Jeanmar's done it to some degree, Locke's done it," Hurdle said. "Sanchez is kind of where we got hung up. Jonathan understands it.
"It's still getting him in a good position where he's repeating his delivery and the ball's coming out clean and we're throwing strikes."
Morton rehab continues
Charlie Morton will make a rehabilitation start today at Class AA Altoona. Hurdle said he is scheduled to complete four innings or 60 pitches.
Morton, who had Tommy John surgery in June, is nearing his return to the majors. He made a rehab outing Thursday for Class A Bradenton and allowed two runs on three hits in three innings.
If Morton's rehab progresses as scheduled, he could make two more starts and return in early May.
Inge gives shortstop a try
Brandon Inge has played 1,921 games in a 16-year professional baseball career that began in 1998. He had never played an inning at shortstop -- until Monday.
Inge started at short for Class AAA Indianapolis, where he is currently rehabilitating an incomplete fracture in his right scapula.
Today will be the last day of his rehab assignment, so he will likely rejoin the Pirates within the next few days.
Hurdle has spoken in the past of preferring two players on the bench in addition to his starter who can play shortstop. In the past, that player was Josh Harrison or Jordy Mercer. If Hurdle believes Inge can play short -- no guarantee after only a game or two there -- Inge could join John McDonald as the shortstop options on the bench.