Pirates Notebook: OF Young gets first start since joining the Pirates
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ST. LOUIS -- Delwyn Young was just as surprised as anyone to see his name in the starting lineup for the first time this season and the first time in his three weeks with the Pirates.
"You never know in baseball," said Young, who arrived at the Busch Stadium visitors clubhouse to discover he was making his ninth career start in right field and third career start at No. 5 in the order. "You know, I didn't think I'd end up in Pittsburgh, either. But you never know."
"We're trying to get everybody involved," manager John Russell explained before the Pirates faced the Cardinals in the first of a two-game set inside new Busch Stadium. Russell added that, amid this five-day road trip, he plans to also involve Craig Monroe, Eric Hinske, Robinzon Diaz and last night's starting shortstop, Ramon Vazquez.
"[Young] has been swinging the bat very well as a pinch-hitter. We'd like to get him a few at-bats in a row. I think this road trip would be a good trip to start getting some of our bench guys in a little bit. Make sure we keep them fresh. Delwyn gets the opportunity here.
"It wasn't a matter of sitting Brandon [Moss] for Delwyn," Russell added, noting that he expects Moss to start in today's game.
Young, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in an April 15 trade for cash or prospects, appeared only briefly in the outfield -- left field for two innings April 19 vs. Atlanta -- and mostly made his way as a pinch-hitter. He is 4 for 8 in that capacity, and Tuesday night drove in the first Pirates runs of the season in a pinch-hitting appearance with a two-run double in what ended up a 17th consecutive loss to Milwaukee.
"Now you get to see more pitches as opposed to one at-bat," Young said of the start. "That's a good thing."
As for his prowess as a .309 career pinch-hitter, he has no explanation: "It's a flip of a coin ... there's really no rhyme or reason to it." And the two RBIs Tuesday? "Yeah, but I've left, like, five of them on. It was the first time I cashed in."
Matt Capps could be on the mound by Saturday in New York, Jack Wilson should be on a rehab assignment in Syracuse through the weekend, Ryan Doumit should be back with the Pirates and working out Friday, and Craig Hansen yesterday was in Pittsburgh seeing a specialist.
Capps reported no pain in the bruised bone in his right, pitching elbow and aimed to resume throwing with a simple game of catch today at Busch Stadium. "If that feels good, I'll throw off the mound Friday" in New York's Citi Field, he said. Pass that test, and he could return to relief duty as soon as the next day.
Wilson, who has a sprained middle finger on his left, catching hand, went through a second consecutive day of outdoor batting practice along with fielding work.
Doumit was scheduled to get the stitches removed on his surgically repaired right wrist, whereupon doctors were expected to allow him to resume workouts. "It's been driving him a little bit crazy lately, because they didn't want him to sweat ... and increase the chance of infection," Russell said.
As for Hansen's aching neck and scapula, he had more tests but the results weren't divulged.
• St. Louis manager Tony La Russa produced his 28th different lineup for the Cardinals' 28th game: Starting pitcher Mitchell Boggs batted eighth and center fielder Colby Rasmus ninth. It was the second time this season La Russa batted his pitcher eighth, an old standby from the days when Mark McGwire played and, in La Russa's mind, benefited from the occasional extra at-bat at No. 3.
• Young continues to work with infield coach Perry Hill at second base and elsewhere: "Second, shortstop, third base, first base, you just never know. Just get in there and adjust on the fly."
First Published May 7, 2009 12:00 am