Pirates Notebook: Duke on DL; Youman to start

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MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT

Sunday's results

INDIANAPOLIS (46-36) beat Richmond, 8-7. RHP Kip Bouknight (7-3, 4.50) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked five. RHP Jonah Bayliss (12.00) allowed four runs -- two home runs -- in two innings of relief, including blowing a two-run lead in the ninth. SS Don Kelly (.192) went 3 for 5 with a walk and three RBIs, including the winning single in the bottom of the ninth. C Carlos Maldonado (.260) went 3 for 4 with a walk.

ALTOONA (41-38) beat Bowie, 7-1. RHP Justin Vaclavik (2-5, 8.18) allowed one run in three innings. RHP Romulo Sanchez (3.82) pitched three scoreless innings of relief. 1B Steve Pearce (.330) went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a steal. Andrew McCutchen (.234) went 1 for 3 with a walk and two RBIs. 3B Neil Walker (.302) went 0 for 5.

LYNCHBURG (36-42) lost to Potomac, 12-4. RHP Clayton Hamilton (3-6, 6.30) allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. C Denny Nino (.250) went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.

HICKORY (32-45) lost at Asheville, 4-3. RHP Dustin Craig (0-0, 4.50) allowed two runs in four innings. CF Alex Presley (.293) went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI.

STATE COLLEGE (8-5) beat Batavia, 6-1. LHP Tony Watson (2-0, 1.13) allowed one run in five innings. LF Miles Durham (.257) hit his first home run, a grand slam, and went 2 for 4 with a double.

BRADENTON (5-6) beat the Red Sox, 7-0. LHP Eddy Nunez (1-1, 3.18) pitched five scoreless innings. DH Quincy Latimore (.241) hit his first home run and went 1 for 5 with two RBIs.


The Pirates placed Zach Duke on the disabled list yesterday and announced that left-hander Shane Youman will join the starting rotation for the foreseeable future.

Duke will have an arthrogram this morning at Allegheny General Hospital to determine if his injury is anything more serious than tendinitis in his left elbow.

"This is my first arm injury ever," Duke said. "It's scary because I haven't really had to deal with this before, but I'm very optimistic."

Duke has been on anti-inflammatory medicine since Friday and was going to try to play catch yesterday.

"But it still felt basically the same, so there was no need to do that," Duke said.

Duke's placement on the disabled list was backdated to Friday. He pitched Thursday in Miami.

Youman will start tomorrow against Milwaukee, then start again Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.

Youman, 27, did a decent job for the Pirates in September and during spring training.

"We hope to build on that," general manager Dave Littlefield said.

Youman in 15 starts for Class AAA Indianapolis is 4-6 with a 4.70 earned run average. In 821/3 innings, he has allowed 94 hits, including three home runs, and 36 walks and struck out 61.

In three of his past four starts, he allowed one or no earned runs.

"He's been throwing well of late," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "He's throwing as competitively as anyone [at Indianapolis]. We want the best available, and he's the best available.

"He's a very capable guy. He has a good mound presence."

No. 1 pick still unsigned

It has been more than three weeks since the amateur draft and the Pirates haven't signed their top pick -- the fourth overall. Not to worry, though.

Left-hander Daniel Moskos is still on track to sign with the Pirates, probably for about $2.75 million.

Only 12 first-rounders have signed to date. The highest pick to have signed is the seventh overall. Milwaukee signed Matt LaPorta for about $2 million a week ago.

Raw material

One of the more intriguing Pirate picks who has signed is outfielder Marcus Davis, the 18th-round selection out of Alcorn State.

"He's a very raw talented kid who has some ability," said Tony Beasley, the Pirates' minor-league infield coordinator. "He has quick hands and some hand strength.

"He can really hit a fastball. He doesn't have much knowledge of the game -- and he'll be the first one to tell you that."

As he quickly demonstrated to Gary Redus, the Pirates' minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator.

"When he got to minicamp [in Bradenton, Fla.]," Redus said, "he told us, 'Hey, I don't know anything. You just help me with my stance and what [pitches] to look for. I've never hit an inside pitch. I don't know how to hit an inside pitch.' That's how raw he is.

"He was telling me his coach told him, 'I want you to go to the plate and hit it. Just hit it hard. Then go to the outfield, and if the ball comes to you, catch it.' And that's the way he played. That's how raw he is.

"But it's going to be fun with him because whatever you teach him, that's what he's going to learn. And he's going to learn it the right way.

"The ball jumps off his bat. He has quick hands. I haven't seen too many kids with hands this quick. So when he learns the correct way to get in a stance, take pitches and how to approach pitches, he's going to be really special."

Through Saturday, Davis had appeared in nine games for State College in the New York-Penn League and was 9 for 31 (.290) with three home runs and six RBIs.

Torres throws

Reliever Salomon Torres, on the disabled list because of inflammation in his right elbow, threw 53 pitches yesterday during a bullpen session in Bradenton. Torres was scheduled to throw 40 pitches, but he added 13 because, he said, he felt strong.

Pitching lineup

Milwaukee is scheduled to start left-hander Chris Capuano tomorrow, followed by right-handers Claudio Vargas and Ben Sheets. Sheets is 6-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his past seven starts.

Following Youman, the Pirates are scheduled to start right-hander Ian Snell and left-hander Tom Gorzelanny.



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