Pirates Notebook: Ohlendorf in clear after liner
Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to make his next start Monday despite being hit in the head by a line drive Wednesday.
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DENVER -- Whatever lingering concerns the Pirates had about Ross Ohlendorf, they were mostly allayed Thursday.
Ohlendorf, struck in the head by a Troy Tulowitzki line drive Wednesday night in the 6-2 victory against Colorado, reported to the clubhouse Thursday morning with no ill effects, passed another test from athletic trainer Brad Henderson, then participated in a light game of catch.
"No problems, no headaches, anything," Ohlendorf said with a smile. "I slept fine."
He remains set to make his next start Monday in Pittsburgh, manager John Russell said.
"That's what we're looking at," Russell said.
Ohlendorf, too, reiterated that he expects to pitch Monday.
The team will continue to monitor Ohlendorf closely through the first 48 hours after the incident, with Russell describing today in St. Louis as key. In addition to the monitoring done by the on-site staff, the Pirates' physicians back in Pittsburgh have been in regular contact.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen originally was in the Thursday lineup, but Russell scratched him about an hour before the first pitch because of stiffness in his aggravated right shoulder.
McCutchen's shoulder sustained a mild sprain of the AC joint atop the shoulder two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, and he went hard into the fence with that same shoulder Wednesday in making a catch. He stayed in that game and appeared set for Thursday, but the shoulder would not get loose with some pregame swings taken in an indoor cage, and Russell changed his mind.
"We'll go day to day," Russell said.
"I'm hoping taking a day will help it," McCutchen said. "There was no pain. It was just stiff."
Craig Hansen, the largely forgotten reliever acquired in the Jason Bay trade, was cleared to pitch for the first time since April 2009 and took the mound for Class A Bradenton Thursday night.
The result was not pretty -- two runs on a hit and three weeks in just a third of an inning -- but that might have been secondary: Hansen, a 26-year-old right-hander, has had a long, uncertain recovery from an unusual ailment in which a nerve in his upper back lost the ability to send signals to the trapezius muscle. He was nearly set to return in early June, but elbow pain shut him down.
"We felt like it was time to get him out and see what he can do," director of player development Kyle Stark said.
• Reliever Brendan Donnelly was formally released, as had been expected after he was designated for assignment Sunday. Donnelly aims to hook up with another team for the stretch run.
• Tulowitzki did speak to Ohlendorf Thursday, as he had promised, during batting practice, and he relayed his feeling about the line drive to the head, which was a career first for the hitter and pitcher. "I didn't even want to run to first base," Tulowitzki said. "I just wanted to see if he was OK. I'm glad he is."
• Class AAA Indianapolis second baseman Aki Iwamura, hospitalized with a concussion after a baserunning collision Wednesday in Syracuse, N.Y., was expected to resume baseball activity by this weekend.
• Today will mark the Pirates' first game in St. Louis since May 7, 2009, a span of 449 days. That is the longest gap between two teams at one site in the same division since divisional play began in 1969 -- excluding strike-shortened 1981 -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
First Published July 30, 2010 12:00 am