Pirates Notebook: Toronto interested in Wilson
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INDIANAPOLIS (50-49) lost to Durham, 2-1. RHP Bryan Bullington (10-4, 3.92) allowed one unearned run and six hits in seven innings. He struck out four, walked three and threw 65 of 101 pitches for strikes. RHP Josh Sharpless (3.50) allowed one run in three innings of relief. He struck out five and walked one. 1B Brad Eldred (.225) hit his 10th home run and went 2 for 4. SS Brian Bixler (.294) went 0 for 4.
ALTOONA (50-47) won at Harrisburg, 5-2. RHP Yoslan Herrera (5-5, 4.57) allowed one run and four hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked four. LF Jason Delaney (.355) hit his 14th home run -- fifth with the Curve -- and went 1 for 3 with a walk. 1B Steve Pearce (.327) went 1 for 3 with a walk. CF Andrew McCutchen (.243) went 0 for 3 with a walk. 3B Neil Walker (.292) went 0 for 5.
LYNCHBURG (42-52) lost to Wilmington, 3-2. RHP Serguey Linares (1-5, 4.76) allowed two runs in five innings. 2B Shelby Ford (.278) went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI.
HICKORY (45-52) beat Hagerstown, 9-4. RHP Dustin Craig (1-2, 4.87) allowed three runs in five innings. 1B Kent Sakomoto (.280) hit his 12th home run and went 4 for 4 with three RBIs.
STATE COLLEGE (16-15) won at Staten Island, 7-1. RHP Duke Welker (1-1, 2.87), the Pirates' second-round draft pick in June, allowed one run and three hits in six innings. CF Keanon Simon (.345) went 4 for 5 with an RBI and two steals.
BRADENTON (12-15) beat the Red Sox, 7-5. RHP Kyle McPherson (1-1, 4.26) allowed three runs, two earned, in five innings. DH Quincy Latimore (.267) hit his second home run and went 2 for 5 with a double.
The Pirates have made known to other teams that shortstop Jack Wilson is available, and the Toronto Blue Jays are interested.
But any trade is unlikely to happen until after Major League Baseball's July 31 non-waiver deadline, mostly because the Pirates surely will be asked to pick up a significant portion of the $14.25 million Wilson is owed after this season. Such deals tend to take more than the nine days remaining before the deadline, and no firm talks are known to have begun with any team.
After July 31, there is another month in which trades can be made if a player clears waivers, but Wilson is no certainty to do that. That makes the offseason more likely.
Toronto, on the periphery of the American League wild-card race, could benefit from a fresh infusion at shortstop over 14-year veteran Royce Clayton. And the Blue Jays might give up major-league talent in return for Wilson -- although the Pirates' long-coveted outfielder, Alex Rios, surely would be too high a price -- depending on how much of Wilson's contract the Pirates absorb.
The only other contender lacking at shortstop, the Boston Red Sox, have made clear they are sticking by Julio Lugo. Although Lugo is batting .225, he is on a 22-for-55 tear since manager Terry Francona reinstated him as a starter earlier this month.
"When you believe something's right, you have to stay with it," Francona told reporters in Boston yesterday.
Castillo heading out?
The New York Mets showed no interest in infielder Jose Castillo previously, despite a need at second base. But that could be changing after they lost Jose Valentin, their starter at the position, for two months to a broken right shin Friday night in Los Angeles.
The Pirates last week told Castillo that he would replace injured third baseman Jose Bautsista -- manager Jim Tracy called it "his chance to play" -- but Castillo stayed on the bench for a second consecutive game last night with recent minor-league recall Matt Kata again getting the start.
Teams often keep a player out of action just before he is traded so that an injury cannot foil the transaction.
The Mets could use recently acquired Marlon Anderson at second, but a trade has not been ruled out.
Castillo, making $1.9 million and batting .238, said before the game that he was unaware of what was happening. But he reiterated his wish -- originally made public two months ago -- to be traded if he is not going to play regularly.
Still no Izturis
Tracy also chose Kata over Cesar Izturis, the Gold Glove infielder the Pirates acquired Thursday, and repeated that he simply wants to give Izturis more time to "get acclimated" after spending so much time on the Chicago Cubs' bench this season.
Izturis spent extra time on the field in the afternoon with Frank Velasquez, the team's conditioning coordinator. Tracy said Izturis was healthy.
Waner and Biggio, too
The highlight of the pregame ceremony to retire Paul Waner's No. 11 came when broadcaster Lanny Frattare asked the crowd to recognize another member of the 3,000-hit club in the Houston Astros' Craig Biggio, and Biggio received a standing ovation.
Ralph Kiner, Bill Mazeroski and the Waner family also were warmly received, as was a video tribute to Waner's Hall of Fame career.
Waner's No. 11 medallion is on the third-base facade of the upper deck.
Starter Zach Duke, on the disabled list because of elbow tendinitis, will begin a long-tossing program tomorrow in Bradenton, Fla.
Center fielder Chris Duffy, rehabilitating a sprained left ankle in Bradenton, is running on a treadmill.
The Mets' rotation for the upcoming series at Shea Stadium has Oliver Perez facing his former team Thursday for the first time since being traded.
First Published July 22, 2007 12:13 am