Pirates Notebook: Elbow sidelines Yates again
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ATLANTA -- Right-handed set-up man Tyler Yates was shut down indefinitely yesterday after his right-elbow inflammation flared while he warmed up for a second inning of a simulated game situation at Turner Field.
Yates, attempting his fifth mound trial after several pain-free sessions on flat ground, got through what he termed a perfect, 28-pitch first inning in the simulated game.
"The first inning was great. I had great location, great velocity," Yates said. "Just when I sat down and relaxed and got back up, it was super tight, super sore. Couldn't do it. It's very frustrating. The next stage was to go out Friday [on a minor league rehab assignment]. From here, I don't know what's going on."
Earlier, Yates was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., who found no structural damage. But, now, Yates feels as if he is back where he was May 16, when he first went on the disabled list with a hazy injury that -- same as then -- just will not go away.
"The pain came back, the same thing that was bugging me before," he said.
To make room for the Pirates' debut tonight of newly acquired Charlie Morton, the Pirates moved previous No. 5 starter Jeff Karstens to the bullpen -- hours after he made his first relief appearance in two years in the last of a 15-inning loss to Atlanta on Monday, 7-6.
Karstens (2-4), after 31 consecutive starts, was summoned to help the Pirates in a game that went 15 innings and through 16 combined pitchers -- not counting two more who pinch-batted or pinch-ran -- before he was tagged with the loss.
Tom Gorzelanny, who pitched an inning last night to complete a temp-job stint in the bullpen at 3-1 with a 5.19 ERA in nine appearances, was reassigned to Class AAA Indianapolis to return to the starting rotation there soon.
The Baltimore Orioles, who watched elite Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano in a tryout last week, apparently have ramped up their interest level to match -- or exceed -- that of the Pirates', according to an industry source.
Sano, known to have reciprocal interest in the Pirates because of long-standing relationships, has a chance to break Major League Baseball's Latin American record for a signing bonus, the $4.24 million the Oakland Athletics paid last year to pitcher Michael Inoa.
Jason Jaramillo watched the replays and still was not so sure, but the result will not be changing: Home plate umpire Brian Knight ruled that the Pirates catcher got pulled off the plate, and Jeff Francoeur scored the winning run for the Braves on a bases-loaded grounder in the 15th Monday night.
"It's hard to tell when I dragged my foot or when I had the ball" from Jack Wilson's throw home, Jaramillo said. "I was pretty sure, especially at the time. I thought I had more of the plate than I did. The only opinion that counts is the umpire who made the call."
And Knight was unwavering. As for Wilson's throw off the grounder by onetime Pirates catcher David Ross, Jaramillo added, "I thought it was an unbelievable play, just to get rid of it that quickly."
• Russell gave Freddy Sanchez what he considered a much-needed day off. "He's been playing every day for a while. He had a cramp in his side [Monday night]. Very hot and humid."
First Published June 10, 2009 12:00 am