Pirates Notebook: Karstens has exercise mishap
MILWAUKEE -- If Jeff Karstens uses his head tonight to pitch his way past the Milwaukee Brewers, he will consider himself fortunate.
Karstens sustained a significant gash on the top of his head after a weightlifting accident in Houston Thursday, when a piece of equipment -- used for both push-ups and pull-ups -- collapsed on his head. He was trying to avoid another of the Pirates' starters, Ross Ohlendorf, who had been doing a similar exercise on a nearby machine.
"I'm going this way, and Dorf is going that way, and that's how it ended up," Karstens said. "It was a little scary, but I got lucky."
He was treated immediately and pronounced himself "fine" for the start tonight.
The session was supervised, as are all workouts, by strength coordinator Frank Velasquez.
A Japanese team has inquired about purchasing the rights to Hayden Penn, a promising starter with Class AAA Indianapolis, a front-office source with the Pirates confirmed. It is only an inquiry at this point but the team is open to entertaining an offer, the source added.
The Pirates have been happy of late with Penn, a hard-throwing 25-year-old right-hander who opened the season in their bullpen but soon was demoted. He has started for Indianapolis and is 4-4 with a 4.68 ERA, strong enough in the past few starts to be named his team's player of the month for June.
The Japanese Web site Sponichi reported Friday that the Chiba Lotte club was "close to a deal" to acquire Penn.
New reliever Sean Gallagher, who should be ready for full duty by tonight, will be stretched into a long relief/spot start role after the All-Star break, manager John Russell said.
"He's got four pitches, and he's started a lot, so he could be a good fit for us there," Russell said.
Gallagher sounded amenable to either.
"I've always considered myself a starter, but I'm happy to help the team any way I can," he said. "I feel like I've got the pitches to start."
One reason the Pirates acquired Gallagher: Assistant pitching coach Ray Searage worked with Gallagher this past winter in the Venezuelan Winter League and recommended him based primarily on his stuff.
• Russell was asked if he considered using more of top bench bat Delwyn Young -- who has not started since June 26 -- to spark the offense. "With the guys we have now, it's a little tougher to get him in," Russell replied, citing second baseman Neil Walker and alternating right fielders Lastings Milledge and Ryan Church. "We've thought about it. We need to get him in, maybe after the break, get everybody a start. Give him those four at-bats to keep him fresher."
• The Pirates signed three more draft picks, all right-handed pitchers -- Kevin Kleis (27th round), Bryton Trepagnier (41st) and Logan Pevny (49th) -- for a total of 18.
• Chase d'Arnaud, Class AA Altoona's shortstop, was added to the Eastern League All-Star roster as an injury replacement. D'Arnaud, 23, got off to a poor start after high expectations for this season, but his average has risen from .215 on June 1 to the current .245. He is the Curve's sixth All-Star.
• Karstens' mishap was not the only one: Just before the game Friday, Searage was bloodied in the face when he lost a ball in the sun while playing catch in the outfield. A team official said the injury was not serious.
First Published July 10, 2010 12:00 am