Pirates Notebook: GM stresses patience despite team's start
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INDIANAPOLIS (11-9) won at Toledo, 3-0. RHP Britt Reames (2-0, 1.16) pitched seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, striking out five and walking none. RHP Matt Whiteside earned his third save and lowered his ERA to 0.96. RF Raul Gonzalez hit a solo homer, his first, and 2B Taber Lee hit a solo homer, his first.
ALTOONA (14-6) lost to Portland, 3-2. RHP Jason Roach (1-2, 2.11) allowed 3 runs in 61/3 innings. RF Adam Boeve (.356) went 1 for 3 with a walk.
LYNCHBURG (9-10) won at Kinston, 2-1. RHP Derek Hankins (1-2, 4.79) allowed one run in five innings. RF Brad Correll (.324) went 2 for 4.
HICKORY (6-11) had its doubleheader with Lexington rained out.
ST. LOUIS -- General manager Dave Littlefield does not sound satisfied with the Pirates' 5-18 start, but he also does not sound as if he is on the verge of transforming the roster.
"These are the guys we're going to grow with, the guys we've spent the past few years drafting and developing and, in the case of some of the veterans, players we were able to get because we got some more revenue," he said yesterday after the team's seventh consecutive loss. "Will there be adjustments? Sure. You've seen we've had to make some based on injury. And I'm sure we'll make more."
Regarding young players, he continued to stress patience.
"In general, yes, we will give these players a chance. But each player has specific differences than others relative to their skill level or performance record in the past. You're going to see young players, in general, struggle. That's the norm. Rare is the Jason Bay that comes in and performs consistently at a high level."
Of the Pirates' performance to date, Littlefield said: "I'm like everybody in that I'm thoroughly disappointed with where we're at record-wise. We certainly had higher expectations. And I'm confident we'll get back on track."
Jack at leadoff?
The Pirates have toyed in recent days with the idea of bumping Jack Wilson up to the leadoff spot, but manager Jim Tracy sounded reluctant to do it, if only because Wilson has been so effective at No. 2.
"The most viable option we have is the guy hitting second," Tracy said. "But when you've spent so much time in the offseason and spring training, laying out what you want him to do as a No. 2 hitter, and then he fulfills that stuff to a T ... to ask him, after all he's done, to move to a different spot and then see his statistics start to come down ... how are you feeling about that?"
The leadoff spot could not be much less productive than it has been: The Pirates are batting .193 and have an on-base percentage of .248 that ranks last in the National League.
Doumit to rehab
Catcher Ryan Doumit, eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list tomorrow, will begin a three-game rehabilitation stint tomorrow with Class AAA Indianapolis. The Pirates expect him to rejoin their lineup Monday in Chicago.
Doumit was deemed fully recovered from a strained left hamstring after passing a running test two days ago.
"It's expected to have a rehab when you miss two weeks," Doumit said.
Doumit's time in the minors will give the Pirates more time to look at Ronny Paulino.
Although Tracy said the Doumit move had nothing to do with that, he made clear he has been impressed with Paulino, who is 6 for 13 in his past five games.
"There's something I continue to look at and like," Tracy said. "He's progressing the way you like to see a young catcher progress."
Right fielder Jeromy Burnitz was given the day off, Tracy explained, mostly to give him consecutive days in the wake of a 2-for-22 showing in the previous six games. "We know his offense is much, much better than what we've seen to this point," Tracy said. "It's important that you allow the guy a chance to regroup."
The Pirates allowed a first-inning run in all six games of the trip and have done so in 15 of their 23 games overall. They have been outscored, 29-7, in first innings.
First Published April 27, 2006 12:00 am