Clint Hurdle confirmed Brandon Cumpton will make his MLB debut Saturday afternoon.
Let’s review the Pirates’ scheduled starting rotation following the news that Brandon Cumpton will take the place of injured A.J. Burnett.
Friday: Jeff Locke
Saturday: Brandon Cumpton (MLB Debut)
Sunday: Gerrit Cole
Monday: Francisco Liriano
Tuesday: Charlie Morton
Wednesday: Jeff Locke
Thursday: To Be Announced
Angels Series (not confirmed)
Friday, June 21: Gerrit Cole
Saturday, June 22: Francisco Liriano
Sunday, June 23: Charlie Morton
Mariners Series (not confirmed)
Tuesday, June 25: Jeff Locke
Wednesday, June 26: Gerrit Cole
That takes the Pirates to Friday, June 28, when they return to Pittsburgh to face the Brewers. Such a schedule would give Wandy Rodriguez (scheduled to pitch a side session Saturday) a total of 22 days off from his left forearm tightness and A.J. Burnett 19 days off from his calf tear. Manager Clint Hurdle said the team will take a “wait and see” approach on Cumpton before committing to starting him beyond Saturday’s start.
A.J. Burnett said he suffered a Grade 1 calf tear this week while slowing down during a regular running routine, feeling a combination of a “pop, tug and pull.”
“It was a freak thing,” Burnett said. “I kind of wish I had done it goofing off.”
The pitcher’s right leg is in a protective boot and will have to stay off the leg as the calf gets aggravated when Burnett bends his ankle. He says he feels day-to-day.
“We’ll see how it feels every day,” Burnett said. “Hopefully I can get back sooner than later and not turn it into a six-week thing.”
Burnett was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday after what Hurdle called a “freak incident.” He would be eligible to return for the Seattle series June 24.
“This start’s not a chance, to push it to the next one doesn’t make sense,” Hurdle said. “When you look at the options, why not give him ample time to recover, to get 100 percent?”
Left fielder Starling Marte remains day-to-day and is not in Friday’s lineup. Hurdle said Marte felt discomfort in his ribs after sliding head first into second base during the 6th inning of Wednesday’s game against the Giants and sat out Thursday’s contest.
Mattingly, McGwire, Belisario Suspended
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, hitting coach Mark McGwire and relief pitcher Ronald Belisario will all sit out Friday’s game in Pittsburgh to serve their suspensions for Tuesday’s brawl with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mattingly and Belisario were suspended one game, McGwire for two. Relief pitcher J.P. Howell and second baseman/outfielder Skip Schumaker each appealed his two-game suspension. Bench coach Trey Hillman will act as the team’s manager Friday night.
Mattingly called himself a “peacekeeper” and said he was “surprised” at the suspension for Schumaker. Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy received the longest suspension, 10 games for throwing at Zack Greinke to start the fight.
“[Kennedy] seemed like he was kind of the instigator that started it and then piled on,” Mattingly said. “He got the most, which seems fair.”
David Manel of Bucs Dugout asked Mattingly if he expected to find the Pirates 12 games over .500 in mid-June.
“I can’t say that I actually seen it coming,” Mattingly said. “I just knew they had a good club and that when we prepared for them, they had a lot of the same guys… their regular everyday players just getting more experience.”