The Pirates yesterday began to address two significant pitching issues, placing reliever Tyler Yates on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow inflammation and recalling Tom Gorzelanny from Class AAA Indianapolis.
The latter was aimed at a need for a fresh arm for short-term long relief, the former at restoring one of the franchise's few power arms.
"Tyler's been feeling this for a while, so, rather than just continuing to try to get through it, we all felt like it was better to just get him some rest," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.
Yates' elbow has a strained flexor tendon -- not related to a ligament -- and he revealed yesterday that it had been bothering him most of the season. It had a brief recovery while the Pirates were in New York last week but flared up again, and that apparently was enough: He had a cortisone shot Saturday, which is why he was one of only two relievers who did not pitch that night.
He will not throw for a full week. After that, he will pitch two or three side sessions, then a simulated game before returning May 31.
"It was just time to get this taken care of," Yates said. "I tried to pitch through it. It didn't work."
That became painfully obvious: Yates' 7.50 ERA was the worst on the staff.
Huntington informed Gorzelanny that he likely will not stay long.
"Truth be told, he was the only guy available," Huntington said. "This was his day to start, and he could give us the best chance at 100 pitches if we needed it. Tom is not a reliever in our view. We're looking forward to getting him back to Indianapolis and back in a starting rotation. At this time, we're looking for all kinds of options for our bullpen, but this was the best fit for today."
Gorzelanny, 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in seven starts for Indianapolis, still was not achieving the efficiency the Pirates had sought. Manager John Russell described the reports on Gorzelanny as "OK."
"There would be one inning where all the runs were scored, but I felt I was doing really well overall," Gorzelanny said. "Pretty much everything was working for me."
Maybe the strangest sight in that 10-run seventh yesterday was Russell arguing a call -- third base umpire Angel Hernandez ruled Eric Hinske out on the basepaths -- after nine runs had crossed.
"I didn't think it was the right call," Russell said. "You never know in this game with any lead."
• Left fielder Nyjer Morgan, held out of the past two games because of a sore right hamstring, has fared well with running tests and is expected to return tonight in Washington.
• Pitcher Phil Dumatrait will not be ready to pitch when he can come off the 60-day disabled list June 4, but he should return to the mound soon.
• The Pirates acquired two minor leaguers, outfielder Jeff Corsaletti from the Boston Red Sox and reliever Randy Newsom from the Cleveland Indians, for players to be named later or cash. Both will be assigned to Class AA Altoona. Corsaletti, 26, was batting .128 in 13 Class AAA games. Newsom, 27, had a 1.74 ERA in seven Class AA appearances, a 5.40 ERA in two Class AAA appearances.