Pirates Notebook: Pirates send Perez to bullpen
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ALTOONA (45-30) won at Akron, 5-3. LHP Shane Youman (5-2, 1.63) allowed one run in six innings. RHP Chris Hernandez (2.75) allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief. RF Ray Sadler (.237) had a three-run triple and walked in four at-bats.
LYNCHBURG (35-40) was off.
HICKORY (34-39) and Kannapolis were rained out.
WILLIAMSPORT (2-4) lost to Auburn, 4-1. RHP Patrick Bresnehan (0-2, 7.04) allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. 3B Alexander Peralta (.273) went 1 for 3 with a walk.
The Pirates yesterday made a string of moves that might signal they have begun thinking about the 2007 season.
They designated reliever Ryan Vogelsong for assignment, recalled right-handed reliever Jonah Bayliss from Class AAA Indianapolis and moved opening-day starter Oliver Perez to the bullpen.
The latter shift could, in turn, signal the arrival of left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny from Indianapolis to start Saturday night against Detroit.
Manager Jim Tracy denied the moves indicated this season is being forgotten about, however.
"What [they do] signal is that what has to be realized here is that we're in a business that is result-oriented," he said. "You don't want people to [think] they just come in here and put in time as a big-league player.
"People have to realize that results are expected and realize some type of consistency is expected."
The Pirates certainly haven't received any consistency from Perez, who has groped his way through a 2-10 (6.63 ERA) season.
"The thing we've been dealing with Oliver is that we've been on either end of the spectrum," Tracy said. "He's either been really, really good or he's been way off. The word that comes into play here is a lack of consistency."
Tracy indicated Perez, who in 2004 was 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA average and struck out 239 batters, will pitch out of the bullpen, probably in early to middle innings.
"It's not like Oliver Perez is being moved to the bullpen to pitch solely in games that are completely one-sided," Tracy said.
Perez also will continue to work on straightening out his mechanics in an attempt to recapture that 2004 form.
"It's inconceivable that a guy who struck out 239 guys two years ago has completely forgotten how to do it," Tracy said. "We just have to see where this will take us. Right now, we just don't know which [Oliver Perez] is coming every fifth day, and that's tough to deal with. You can't succeed that way."
Tracy conceded the Pirates considered sending Perez to Indianapolis, where he would continue to start.
"But I think right now the more prudent thing to do is have him here and try what we're going to try with him," Tracy said.
Tracy said there's an "outside possibility" Victor Santos could start Saturday night. But Santos, on the disabled list because of a strained right rotator cuff, will have been on the disabled list 15 days Friday. It doesn't seem likely he would be able to start a game that quickly.
That leaves Gorzelanny, who has fashioned quite a season with Indianapolis.
Gorzelanny, who pitched in three games for the Pirates last September, is 6-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 16 starts with Indianapolis. He has held the opposition to a .194 batting average.
Bayliss, 25, was 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 27 appearances for Indianapolis. He was 10 for 13 converting save opportunities.
Bayliss, acquired from Kansas City in the Mark Redman deal Dec. 7, throws his fastball between 91-93 mph. His changeup has improved greatly since the start of the season.
"Frankly, as we try to improve the team, we feel [Bayliss] is a better option than the way Vogelsong has pitched," general manager Dave Littlefield said.
Vogelsong, who joined the Pirates from San Francisco in the Jason Schmidt trade July 30, 2001, had a 6.39 ERA in his 20 appearances this season.
"Who knows? Maybe this will be the best thing for me," Vogelsong said. "Maybe I was the reason we were losing games. Hopefully, somebody else will want me, and I'll just go try it somewhere else. Hopefully, a different uniform and some different cleats will do the job.
"I can be satisfied in that I worked my butt off while I was here. Things didn't work out. Hopefully, better days are ahead, and we'll go from there. I'm not done. It's just the end of my Pirate days, that's all."
The Pirates have 10 days to trade Vogelsong, release him or outright him to Indianapolis if he clears waivers.
Bay votes for Bay
Jason Bay, who leads the All-Star voting among National League outfielders, said yesterday he has voted for himself.
"Not that many times," Bay said, "but I mean it's there. Why not?"
Did he vote for any other outfielders?
"I think [Jeromy] Burnitz and [Chris] Duffy," he said, laughing.
Bay said he hasn't voted 25 times in a day.
"I kind of lose interest about halfway through, to be honest with you," he said. "Maybe 10 or 12 times is the most I've gotten through, and then it's carpal tunnel."
Bay said yesterday he will not participate in the Home Run Derby the night before the All-Star Game. He participated last year in Detroit and hit none.
Brian Graham, the Pirates' player development director, said Duffy, who has not played since May 14, is "doing great" and is "in great shape" as he works out in Bradenton, Fla. But Graham said there's still no timetable for Duffy to report to Indianapolis.
Duffy's workouts in Bradenton enter the third week today.
Graham said right-hander Brad Lincoln, the Pirates' top draft pick June 6, will start his first professional game July 8. That game could be with Class A Hickory.
Former Pirate Rob Mackowiak on Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen: "Ozzie's great. He's an outspoken person and, sometimes, words slip maybe, but he's great to play for. He has fun all the time, and that keeps all the players loose and everybody's together and we have a great time playing."
First Published June 28, 2006 12:00 am