Pirates Notebook: Snell won't be cooking in Seattle
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Ian Snell will not start tomorrow night against Seattle because of a blister on the index finger of his right hand.
The right-hander blistered his finger while cooking in his kitchen.
"I was cooking a chicken breast for a salad and burned my finger," Snell said. "I'm all right, but the salad wasn't too good."
Snell now is scheduled to start Saturday night in Anaheim.
Tom Gorzelanny, Paul Maholm and John Van Benschoten will start the three games in Seattle, with Zach Duke starting Friday night against the Angels.
We meet again
The Mariners' series will give the Pirates their first look at Ichiro Suzuki since 2004. The two-time American League batting champion went 3 for 12 against the Pirates in a three-game series at PNC Park that year.
It's possible Pirates reliever Masumi Kuwata will face Suzuki in a confrontation of former Japanese League legends.
"I would enjoy facing him," Kuwata said. "He's a good hitter. I would just try to get him to hit a ground ball."
Because they played in different leagues in Japan, Kuwata and Suzuki didn't face each other regularly.
Kuwata remembers pitching to Suzuki three times.
The right-hander retired Suzuki on a ground ball to shortstop in an All-Star game. In exhibition games against Kuwata, Suzuki struck out and doubled.
Jason Bay remembered the series against the Mariners -- and Suzuki -- at PNC Park.
"Speed kills, and he's got that," Bay said. "He puts a lot of pressure on the infielders to make plays. They know they have to be quick, and they panic a little bit.
"I think he's somebody who gets overlooked a little bit because he's a leadoff guy and a singles hitter, but he's one of the better hitters in the game."
"He's definitely an offensive threat," Pirates bench coach Jim Lett said. "He's the only guy on which the infielders have to play in instead of back because of his speed.
"You try basically to keep the ball in and let him try to hook it to the second baseman or first baseman. He has good plate coverage, and he's got sneaky power."
Suzuki isn't a real selective batter.
"He's not up there to walk," Lett said. "You're hoping he'll fish for something."
The Pirates continue to negotiate a signing bonus with left-hander Daniel Moskos, their first-round pick in the draft.
Negotiations include a "start, middle and done," according to Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield. The Pirates, then, would be in the "middle" part of the process.
Not looking back
John Van Benschoten had plenty of time to reflect on pitching in a major-league game Saturday night for the first time since 2004. He could have done that while flying from Durham to Indianapolis Friday. Or while driving from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh Friday. Or after the game Saturday night. But he didn't.
"Looking back on it [shoulder surgeries] is kind of depressing," he said. "I'd rather look forward to what could happen the rest of this year. The last two years wasn't a good time. I wasn't really reflecting on that."
In the minors
Sean Burnett, who had been bothered by a left hand problem, is scheduled to start tonight for Class AAA Indianapolis.
Right-hander Bryan Bullington, who left his start at Charlotte after one inning a week ago because of shoulder discomfort, is throwing, but his next start hasn't been scheduled.
"He doesn't seem to be having any difficulty throwing," Indianapolis manager Trent Jewett said. "I don't think this is a long-term situation."
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who has been out because of the flu, reported he felt "a lot better" yesterday. He should be able to start tomorrow night.
Center fielder Chris Duffy, out with a tight right hamstring, said yesterday he felt "twice as good" as he did Saturday. "I'm progressing quickly," he said, adding he hoped to be able to start again tomorrow night. Duffy did pinch-hit yesterday and bounced to second in the sixth inning.
Lynchburg outfielder/first baseman Jason Delaney (.341) continues to lead the Carolina League in hitting. Might he be in line for a promotion to Class AA Altoona? "It's probably close," said Jeff Banister, the Pirates' minor-league field coordinator. "His biggest thing is finding a position he can play consistently."
INDIANAPOLIS (40-28) lost at Durham, 7-3. RHP John Wasdin (1-1, 6.53), in his fourth rehabilitation start, allowed three runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out 12 and walked none. 1B Brad Eldred (.233) hit his fifth home run and went 1 for 3 with a walk and two RBIs. SS Brian Bixler (.307) went 2 for 5.
ALTOONA (33-32) lost to Connecticut, 8-6. RHP Yoslan Herrera (1-5, 5.58) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two. 1B Steve Pearce (.312) hit his 19th home run -- eighth with the Curve -- and went 2 for 4 with a walk. CF Andrew McCutchen (.236) went 1 for 4 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. PH Neil Walker (.318) went 0 for 1.
LYNCHBURG (29-38) lost at Salem, 8-2. LHP Kyle Bloom (6-6, 4.76) allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings. 2B Shelby Ford hit his third home run and went 2 for 4.
HICKORY (27-40) lost at Asheville, 12-3. RHP Dionis Rodriguez (0-2, 10.80) allowed one run in six innings. 2b Jim Negrych (.313) and CF Alex Presley (.281) each went 3 for 4.
First Published June 17, 2007 11:48 pm