McCutchen, Rodriguez, Pirates help free groundskeeper trapped in tarp

By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazettet about 1 hour ago

A groundskeeper’s job is no joke. Andrew McCutchen and Sean Rodriguez jumped into action during a rain delay Tuesday to help free Pirates grounds-crew member Matt Gerhardt after he was swallowed by the tarp as the grounds crew scrambled to cover the infield. Gerhardt got loose, after a few scary moments, and a few more Pirates joined in to contain the runaway tarp.

Photographer Matt Freed got a few up-close shots of the frenzy.

Pirates' Andrew McCutchen and Sean Rodriguez help grounds crew members put the tarp on the infield Tuesday night as a storm blows into PNC Park. Grounds crew member Matt Gerhardt, right, climbs out after being enveloped by the tarp from strong winds. (Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

Pirates grounds crew member Jeff Miller tries to control the tarp on the infield Tuesday night as a storm blows into PNC Park. (Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco and Sean Rodriguez help grounds crew members put the tarp on the infield Tuesday night as a storm blows into PNC Park. (Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

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Injury updates: Marte, Scahill, Hart

Bill Brink about 6 hours ago

Clint Hurdle said he did not know the status of Starling Marte when he met with the media this afternoon, but anticipated that Marte would only be available off the bench.

Marte is not starting again tonight after hurting his left side on a swing Sunday. 

Corey Hart (left shoulder impingement) is scheduled to play in consecutive games. He is 4 for 15 with two home runs in four rehab games at Class AAA Indianapolis.

“He's doing fine,” Hurdle said. “Talked to [Indianapolis manager] Dean [Treanor], reached out to Corey in a text the other day.”

The Pirates are just now planning Rob Scahill’s return to throwing. Scahill is on the DL because of right forearm tightness.

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Pirates pre-game: Tyson Ross vs. Francisco Liriano

Bill Brink about 7 hours ago

Game: Padres (39-46) at Pirates (48-34)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, KDKA-FM 93.7

Weather: 81 degrees, 60 percent chance of rain



1. Derek Norris C
2. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
3. Matt Kemp RF
4. Justin Upton LF
5. Jedd Gyorko 2B
6. Will Middlebrooks 3B
7. Melvin Upton Jr. CF
8. Clint Barmes SS
9. Tyson Ross RHP


1. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
2. Neil Walker (S) 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Jung Ho Kang 3B
5. Francisco Cervelli C
6. Pedro Alvarez (L) 1B
7. Jordy Mercer SS
8. Sean Rodriguez LF
9. Francisco Liriano (L) LHP

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Tyler Glasnow rated No. 7 prospect in minors, Josh Bell 45th

By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about 13 hours ago

RHP Tyler Glasnow (Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

Pirates minor-league right-hander Tyler Glasnow is ranked No. 7 overall in Baseball America’s midseason top-50 prospects list, released Tuesday. First baseman Josh Bell, another top-end prospect playing at Class AA Altoona, sits 45th on the list.

Glasnow’s jump from 16th in the preseason top-100 to seventh midseason was due in large part to players ahead of him on the list ascending to the majors and losing the “prospect” tag altogether. Seven of Baseball America’s preseason top-10, and 14 of their top-20 players haved moved on to the majors. Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant topped the preseason list, followed by Byron Buxton (Twins), Addison Russell (Cubs) and Carlos Correa (Astros), all of whom have already made a splash in the big leagues.

“Talk about unhittable,” Baseball America staff wrote of Glasnow. “For his career, Glasnow has allowed just 176 hits in 312 innings.”

Glasnow, 21, is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA for Altoona. A fifth-round pick in 2011, he went on the disabled list May 6 after injuring his ankle sliding into second base, and pitched only once over the next month and a half. He had a rough rehab outing for short-season West Virginia Black Bears. He’s back at Altoona now and is increasing his innings count, working back to full form. In the preseason list, Baseball America graded Glasnow’s fastball — on a 20-80 scale, with 80 being the highest and 50 considered major league average — an 80, his curveball 60, changeup 50 and command 50.

Bell has hit .310 with three home runs and 46 RBIs in 300 at-bats for Altoona. He was moved to first base this year in hopes he can be the Pirates’ everyday first baseman down the road. His power numbers are down, but Pirates brass say there is no reason for concern, and the power will come. Bell vauled from 64th on the preseason list to 45th.

“He’s hit and he’s shown he can hit for power,” Baseball America staff wrote, “but so far he’s struggled to do both at the same time.“

Bumped out of the top-50, from preseason to midseason, were right-hander Jameson Taillon (ranked 29th preseason) and outfielder Austin Meadows (41st). Taillon had Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery in April 2014 and has yet to suit up for a Pirates affiliate. After two months at extended spring training, it was announced this week that Taillon, a No. 2 overall pick in 2010, will miss at least two months after undergoing hernia surgery. Meadows, a first-rounder in 2013, has hit .288 with little power this season at Class A Bradenton.

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A.J. Burnett: "There's no other colors I'd rather wear there"

Bill Brink 1 day ago

About an hour after Monday’s game ended, A.J. Burnett and Jeff Locke walked across the field at PNC Park to get to their cars. Sprinting in front of them, in a big circle around the infield, were A.J. Jr. and Ashton, Burnett’s two sons.

“I was talking with my wife last night about it,” Burnett had said minutes before, after the Pirates beat the Padres, and a few hours after Burnett had made the first All-Star team in his 17-year career. “I just want to do it for my boys. I want them to get out there and maybe shag during the Home Run Derby or just watch it on the field so they can cherish that moment. It's going to be special for them.”

Burnett joined Andrew McCutchenMark Melancon and Gerrit Cole on the NL team. The Pirates have two starting pitchers in the All-Star game for the first time since 1960, when Bob Friend and Vernon Law made the team.

"Everybody in the clubhouse was ecstatic about A.J. being picked," Cole said, "because of all the time he's played in this game and all the opportunities he's had and probably fallen just short."

After his start Monday night, Burnett has a 1.99 ERA in 113 innings across 17 starts and 94 strikeouts. He is tied with today’s starter, Tyson Ross, for the fewest home runs allowed in the majors among qualified starters, with three. 

“Focus, determination, my defense, my catcher, just a little bit of everything,” Burnett said. “I'm in a good spot, in a good place, I feel good. I'm executing pitches when I need to more than I have in a long, long time.”

Burnett, on representing the Pirates: “I'll tell you one thing, there's no other colors I'd rather wear there, that's for sure. This is my home, man. I want to represent these guys and this locker room and the city and this organization for my first time in an All-Star game.”

On the clubhouse reaction when Clint Hurdle announced it: “There was a lot of clapping going on. There was a lot of guys in here who deserve it. The guy behind the plate today, for sure. He's an All-Star in my book. I'm not there without [Francisco] Cervelli.”

Hurdle: “When we shared first the guys that were picked by the players, which is always a tremendous honor, when your peers choose you to be on the club. We did them one at a time. Everybody got the slow clap that builds up to a loud clap. We shared with them, the manager’s pick, which was A.J. I don’t think there was anything slow about the clap. There was a lot of hooting and hollering. He was pumped up. I can’t even imagine the feelings that he has to put the time, the effort, the energy, what he’s been through and done in his career, to never make an All-Star team and this year, in the midst of the farewell tour, to get that opportunity to be hand-picked by arguably the best manager [Bruce Bochy] in baseball, pretty cool. Extremely, extremely cool.”

McCutchen made his fifth consecutive All-Star team and will start in place of Giancarlo Stanton, who had surgery to repair a broken hamate bone. 

“A couple guys went down, so it would mean a little more if that wasn’t the case,” said McCutchen, also referencing Nori Aoki and the questionable Matt Holliday. “But being the next man up, it’ll be a fun, good time, looking forward to it.”

McCutchen on Burnett making the team: “I’m so happy for him. … If they chose one person on this team, I want it to be A.J.”

Cole made his first All-Star team. He ranks fifth in the NL with a 2.28 ERA and sixth in strikeouts with 113. He has been dominant for much of this season. 

“It hasn't really sunk in yet,” he said. “We got the news a few hours ago, right before the game, so we had some business to take care of."

We will chat today at noon. You can find it here. I’ll open the chat room early so you can submit questions, and I’ll get to them when we begin. 

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