Pirates Notebook: LaRoche gets a thumbs-up
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PHOENIX -- Andy LaRoche took a deep breath yesterday upon learning his latest injury to his right thumb apparently is unrelated to the torn ligament that cost him two months earlier this year.
"Big relief," he said.
The Pirates' new third baseman bruised the thumb on the check-swing comebacker that ended the game Monday night, the bat flicking backward. But he described no pulling or tearing feeling, and a visit to a hand specialist confirmed no such damage.
He was out of the lineup last night and will sit out today, too, then resume swinging a bat Friday in Philadelphia. If that goes well, manager John Russell said, he could play that night. If it does not, he will have an MRI.
- INDIANAPOLIS (55-63) won at Buffalo, 5-2. RHP Jimmy Barthmaier (2-1, 3.63) pitched one scoreless inning in his first game off the minor league disabled list. RHP Evan Meek (2.73) allowed one run and four hits in 21/3 innings of relief. CF Andrew McCutchen (.280) went 2 for 5. 3B Neil Walker (.235) went 1 for 3 with a walk.
- ALTOONA (52-65) beat Akron, 4-3. RHP Jared Hughes (1-1, 4.91) allowed one run and six hits in six innings. 2B Shelby Ford (.276) went 3 for 4 with a double, triple and two RBIs.
- LYNCHBURG (47-68) beat Potomac, 10-2. LHP Brian Holliday (5-9, 5.45) pitched six scoreless innings and allowed two hits. LHP Danny Moskos (6.41) pitched one inning of relief and allowed two runs, one earned, and two hits. He hit a batter. 3B Danny Bomback (.435) went 3 for 3 with two RBIs.
- STATE COLLEGE (9-35) was off.
- HICKORY (45-70) lost to Rome, 9-1. RHP Bryan Morris (2-4, 3.01), the Class A prospect acquired in the Jason Bay trade making his debut with the Crawdads, pitched five scoreless innings and allowed two hits. SS Jordy Mercer (.213) went 1 for 4.
- BRADENTON (23-15) beat the Red Sox, 5-1. LHP Nelson Pereira (3-2, 1.41) pitched four no-hit innings. He struck out seven, walked one. LF Victor Sanchez (.318) went 2 for 3.
In March, during spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers, LaRoche tore the thumb ligament while catching a ball on a pickoff play and required surgery.
Jason Davis will move into the starting rotation to replace Yoslan Herrera, with a tentative debut scheduled for Sunday.
Davis, a starter all season for Class AAA Indianapolis, had a 2.57 ERA in four relief appearances since joining the Pirates.
"He's stretched out, and he's done well here," Russell said. "We'll see what he can do."
To replace Herrera on the 25-man roster, reliever Romulo Sanchez was recalled from Indianapolis.
Closer Matt Capps was back on a mound, pitching a scoreless inning for Bradenton in the Gulf Coast League yesterday. One batter reached on an error, but he retired the next three, including one by strikeout.
His fastball touched 91 mph, and he had no complaints with the right shoulder.
"Felt great," Capps said.
His next step will be another GCL game Friday, followed by an assignment to Class AA Altoona or Indianapolis.
Starter Phil Dumatrait flew to Pittsburgh from Bradenton for a medical examination to test his left shoulder before taking his throwing to the next level.
He is not expected back with the Pirates until September.
• First baseman Adam LaRoche's swinging session was pushed back to Friday, but only to take advantage of the off day tomorrow for additional rest.
• Reliever Tyler Yates had to return to Pittsburgh because of a family matter.
• Bryan Morris, the Class A starter acquired in the Jason Bay trade, pitched five scoreless innings in his Hickory debut last night against Rome. He allowed two hits, struck out three, walked four.
• Outfielder Jose Tabata, another trade newcomer, homered twice and had five RBIs for Bradenton in Fort Myers, Fla. Tabata should report to Altoona soon.
First Published August 6, 2008 12:00 am