Found August 02, 2013 on
They said he would never return. Who said that? Well… (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Clint Hurdle had only one hope left. He tossed aside the morning paper, headline splashed “PIRATES LOSE 13-0,” and hopped into his pickup truck. He took the fast lane, following the signs for Indianapolis.
“Well, the man did say he wanted to get away from it all,” he thought.
Clint’s truck climbed up the dirt road, and he spotted the tall man chopping wood. He didn’t want to have to ask him to pitch again, but desperate times…
“Jared!” Clint shouted. “We need you back! Vic Black can’t pitch for the next two days!
“I know you said you would never come back, but will you give it one last go? For me?”
Jared dropped the axe, wiped the sweat off his brow. Then he smiled.
“Awesome!” he responded smiling. “Let’s go!”
Off they went to fight their toughest enemy of all, the Colorado Rockies.
So that didn’t really happen, but Jared Hughes returns to the Pirates to replace Vic Black, who made three appearances but would not return until at least Sunday after throwing 41 pitches Thursday night.
The 28-year-old reliever was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on June 8 and missed 47 games. Though the injury was a setback for Hughes, it had a positive in keeping the right-hander fresh to pitch these final two months of the season.
“I took 10 days of not even touching the ball, and my shoulder healed up after that,” Hughes said. “I have less innings, there’s less wear and tear. Hopefully I will be able to take as much a burden as they need me to, go out there and eat innings.”
Hurdle said every report on Hughes’ rehab (where he pitched 10.2 scoreless innings) was that his fastball had good late life, an improvement from when he was last in the Majors.
“Maybe injury played into that,” Hurdle said, adding that Hughes showed the ability to pitch multiple innings on his rehab.
Hughes owns a 3.32 ERA and 4.13 FIP in 103 Major League innings, and he knows his gameplan for when he takes the mound at PNC Park.
“I’m a sinker-ball pitcher, and I’m gonna go out there and throw sinkers,” Hughes said. “The biggest thing is being able to command the sinker. That was there.”
Vic Black does not need to make many adjustments in his return to Triple-A, Hurdle said. He showed the ability to enter in situations besides the 9th, to warm up and sit back down and flash his two-plane curveball. “[He'll] throw that breaking ball wherever he wants to, because he can.”
Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (left forearm tightness) threw again Friday and gave Hurdle a thumbs up.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington has talked to Hurdle in his quest to find a third catcher to replace Michael McKenry the rest of 2013, looking for a minor-league backstop who has Major League experience to back up Russell Martin and Tony Sanchez. The manager said one of their catching targets was acquired by another team.
The team has no current plans to teach Tony Sanchez any other position other than catcher.
Hurdle on Friday night starter Gerrit Cole: “He seems to have that other gear like a small number of pitchers have. You’ll see it 92, 94, 95, 93, 95… 98, 99. I don’t know how that happens.” He compared the phenomenon to Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg.
Hurdle on the hustle of Jose Tabata: “He has improved… effort, attitude. The man is engaged.”
Hurdle called Colorado’s probable starters Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa and Juan Nicasio the Rockies’ three best starting pitchers.
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It’s probably the closest an older, married man can come to experiencing the legendary “walk of shame” from collegiate undergrad days of long ago: sheepishly shuffling away from his computer monitor around 4:00PM on July 31st of every year, after his favorite Major League Baseball team has done nothing at the Trade Deadline to improve itself...
Francisco Liriano dug up another gem for his 12th win of the season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
When the Pirates need to stop a losing streak, they send out their stopper.
Francisco Liriano has become the stopper. He and the Pirates are now 12-4 in his starts after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Saturday night, and by doing so stopped a two-game losing streak from turning into...
Charlie Morton is one of the best five starters for the Pirates rotation.
When it comes to any player in the majors, you’re going to get a variety of opinions. You’re going to get different opinions on how good a player actually is, and in some cases you’ll have a debate over whether the player is even good at all. There’s one player on the Pirates pitching staff who draws...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Pittsburgh Pirates will lose catcher Michael McKenry for the rest of the season after tearing the lateral meniscus in his left knee. After surgery on Tuesday, McKenry hopes to be ready for the start of the 2014 season.
As reported by Tom Singer and Steven Petrella of MLB.com,
"McKenry, 28, injured the knee sliding into second base on Saturday
against the Marlins,...
In Altoona tonight, Casey Sadler makes his second start since coming back from a knee injury caused by a ball hit back up the middle from the first batter of the game in his June 30th start. For a look at the possible starters over the next few weeks, please check out our Probable Pitchers Chart. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this page, for all Pirates...
For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. For a recap of the DSL All-Star game, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Angels 3, Pirates 2
Starting Pitcher: Christian Henriquez, LHP (2.00)...
Episode 15 of The Pirates Prospects Podcast can be downloaded or streamed below. This episode includes analysis from Nate Barnes (@NateBarnes_TPN), James Santelli (@JamesSantelli) and myself (@timwilliamsP2) on the Pirates. Highlights of the show include:
**The trade deadline was extremely slow. We talked about what led to that slow deadline, and some of the reported prices on the...
RHP Jared Hughes has been activated off the disabled list. To make room on the roster Vic Black has been sent back down to AAA Indy. Victor Black was pretty bad while here, giving up two runs in 4.0 innings. He also allowed three of his four inherited runners to score, much to the chagrin…
Rockies (52-59) at Pirates (65-44)
7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The Bucs look to avoid a series loss as they try and get back on track tonight against the Rockies.
Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 3.21) vs. Francisco Liriano (11-4, 2.16)
De La Rosa, the lefty the Pirates pursued in free agency several years ago, has recovered from some...
Jeanmar Gomez’s ERA increased from 2.50 to 3.26 on the season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The St. Louis Cardinals are good at playing baseball and demonstrated as much by beating the Pirates 13-0. They had lost seven in a row and now they have won one in a row, avoiding the fate of their 1916 brethren by not being swept in a five-game series.
Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton...
I suppose that as bouncing back from 13-0 losses goes, this wasn't ideal. Really, what happened was that one bad inning probably kept the Pirates from winning this game. Gerrit Cole looked really sharp in the first inning, but his slider flattened out a bit in the second and he gave up a home run to Troy Tulowitzki. He certainly didn't have his best outing tonight, but he...
Source: FanGraphs One thing that hasn’t happened too often this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates is extended losing streaks. Having a guaranteed stopper in the rotation has been one of many reasons why. Francisco Liriano has undoubtedly been the ace of this staff after spending the beginning of the season on the disabled list. Tonight,…
The Pittsburgh Pirates' pitching staff looked nothing like the best in the majors Thursday, but Gerrit Cole's steady improvement offers hope things will be much different Friday night.
The Pirates try to forget about their most lopsided loss of the season by giving the ball to Cole in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
Source: FanGraphs What is their to say? The Pittsburgh Pirates caught a beat down tonight at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. Of course a sweep would have been nice but to expect it would have been a bit insane. And if they were going to lose, I almost prefer that they lost this…