Pirates Notebook: Moskos tested in Class A
Freddy Sanchez had to let it all hang out to finish off his ninth-inning inside-the-park home run Monday night in the Pirates' 9-3 comeback win.
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HOUSTON -- The Pirates' plan to deploy Danny Moskos as a starter apparently is being put to the test.
Moskos, the first-round draft pick last summer, was converted from relief entering this season with an aim toward expanding his repertoire and durability, something the team plans to do with most top pitching prospects. But, after an encouraging start, he has fallen on hard times with Class A Lynchburg.
The overall numbers are 7-7 with a 6.28 ERA, 106 hits, 62 strikeouts and 32 walks in 91 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting .288.
INDIANAPOLIS (48-56) beat Charlotte, 5-2. RHP Jason Davis (6-9, 4.41) allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings. He struck out four, walked one. RHP Jesse Chavez (3.95) pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save. He struck out two and allowed a hit and a walk. CF Andrew McCutchen (.282) and RF Steve Pearce (.261) each went 1 for 4 with an RBI. 3B Neil Walker (.232) went 0 for 3 with a walk.
ALTOONA (45-57) lost to Akron, 7-1. RHP Derek Hankins (1-7, 4.24) allowed three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
LYNCHBURG (45-57) beat Wilmington, 11-3. RHP Mike Crotta (8-7, 4.88) allowed two runs and nine hits in six innings. RF Jamie Romak (.292) went 4 for 5 with three doubles and three RBIs. 2B Jim Negrych (.368) went 3 for 5 with three doubles and two RBIs.
HICKORY (41-61) lost to Delmarva, 5-1. RHP Duke Welker (2-8, 4.67) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in five innings.
STATE COLLEGE (8-24) was suspended by rain at Lowell.
BRADENTON (15-11) beat the Orioles, 2-0. RHP Zach Foster (1-0, 3.77) pitched four scoreless innings and allowed four hits. C Jesus Aguilera (.259) went 2 for 4.
In the past six starts, he has gone 1-4 with a 13.10 ERA, with roughly two hits per inning. That included a career-worst 12 in 5 1/3 Tuesday in the 8-6 loss against Wilmington. One bright side to that one: After getting hammered early, he pitched scoreless ball in his final 2 1/3.
What will it take to regain footing?
"Being athletic and competing," director of player development Kyle Stark said. "He is now at that point in the season where he has never played this long and dealt with this type of a workload. The focus is on trying to stay athletic, to not get too focused on mechanics or fundamental adjustments and compete. This is a test for him physically and mentally."
Which is not to suggest that Moskos is out of shape, Stark stressed. Rather, Moskos simply needs to build up stamina with his arm and focus through his first full professional season.
There is no plan to send him back to the bullpen.
One more turn
Yoslan Herrera is scheduled to pitch tomorrow, John Van Benschoten Saturday, but that is not etched in stone.
"As of now," manager John Russell made sure to say yesterday.
The Pirates are not known to be actively pursuing external help for the major league staff.
Not much in the way of mechanical adjustments has gone into Freddy Sanchez's mini-resurgence, one in which he now has three consecutive three-hit games. It was more a matter of staying with a zone, all concerned say.
"That's Freddy," Russell said last night. "You see him getting bloop hits, hitting the ball to all fields, hitting some pretty hard, and that's what he looks like."
"I just feel better up there," Sanchez said. "I'm looking for the pitch I can hit, and I'm getting a good swing on it. It's obviously taken a lot longer than I wanted, but I really can't look back at the first half. I'm not even taking it day by day, just at-bat by at-bat. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team."
• Fox Sports reported that Philadelphia has joined the list of suitors for outfielder Xavier Nady. The Phillies also are on the list for reliever Damaso Marte.
• When catcher Ronny Paulino went on the minor league disabled list June 21 with Class AAA Indianapolis, it was expected his sprained right ankle was mild. But he still is not playing and, although he is making progress in his rehabilitation, there remains no timetable for a return.
• Reliever John Grabow, considered unavailable last night because of his recent rest period for his arm, has allowed just three of his 21 inherited runners to score this season, including leaving the bases loaded Monday.
• First guy to the indoor cage for extra batting practice yesterday: Jason Bay, fresh off four hits and a monster home run.
First Published July 23, 2008 12:00 am