Pirates Notebook: Duke could go to DL today
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Pirates probably will place Zach Duke on the 15-day disabled list if he is unable to pitch a scheduled side session today, general manager Neal Huntington said.
Duke had a start skipped because of muscle pain in his left elbow, and missing this side session would preclude him from making the next target date Saturday.
"I hope I can make it," Duke said of the session today. "I'm planning on it."
Manager John Russell said Duke's elbow was progressing "a little slower than anticipated," but all concerned said the issue was related to muscle wear in the area, not any ligament damage.
If Duke cannot pitch, the Pirates will go with a spot starter Saturday, which Huntington said could be Dana Eveland, Charlie Morton, Brian Burres or Daniel McCutchen. That day is McCutchen's turn to pitch with Class AAA Indianapolis.
Eveland has not pitched since June 11, but he is healthy. The reason he has not been used, according to the team, is that there has been little need for long relief in that span.
The Pirates were unable to trade second baseman Aki Iwamura, as had been widely expected upon his designation for assignment last week, and he was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis, the team announced late Tuesday.
Iwamura informed the team he will report Friday and, because of that, he will continue receiving his full major-league salary of $4.85 million.
Huntington updated the status of several relievers doing long-term rehabilitation in Bradenton, including season-ending injuries for Neal Cotts and Tyler Yates:
• Cotts had been rehabilitating an elbow and coming along well, but he had hip surgery earlier this month and is out for the year.
• Yates had been rehabilitating his elbow, too, but the elbow became sore two weeks ago and he was shut down from throwing for six weeks. The limited time left will cost him the season.
• Craig Hansen was recovering from nerve damage in his upper back and pitching in extended spring, but he was shut down two weeks ago by elbow pain.
• Jose Ascanio is progressing "slower than expected" from shoulder surgery last summer, Huntington said, but he is throwing side sessions and could begin a rehabilitation stint by mid-July.
• Bobby Crosby started at shortstop for the fifth time in six games ahead of Ronny Cedeno. Russell, on his decision: "Right now, Bobby's supplying a little leadership for Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker, our young infielders. Ronny's going to play. But, until he gets back on track, Bobby's a good addition." Crosby had a second consecutive three-hit game Tuesday.
• Brock Holt, a hard-nosed shortstop prospect who had been batting .351 for Bradenton, will miss the rest of the season for upcoming surgery on his left knee. Holt has a sprained MCL and a torn meniscus, the latter of which requires the surgery.
• Also shut down at Bradenton, albeit temporarily, are starter Hunter Strickland for elbow pain and third baseman Jeremy Farrell, who had fluid drained from a bruised knee
First Published June 23, 2010 12:00 am