Baseball / Sports

Pirates must alter rotation

NEW YORK -- The Friday night series opener between the Pirates and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium was postponed due to rain, creating a doubleheader Sunday afternoon.

Forecasts called for up to a 100 percent chance of rain for the rest of Friday night, forcing the game to be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader Sunday, starting at 1:05 p.m.

"It's a great opportunity," manager Clint Hurdle said Thursday after the Pirates lost two of three games against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

"It's a great opportunity for us to go there and to play against a very good ballclub. Weekend series, should be fun. I'm looking forward to it."

The Pirates are 0-6 against the Yankees in New York in the regular season.

Edinson Volquez, originally scheduled to start Friday night, instead will start the 4:05 p.m. game on Saturday against Yankees right-hander David Phelps.

Right-hander Charlie Morton will start the first game of the doubleheader, followed by right-hander Gerrit Cole in the second. They will oppose right-hander Hiroki Kuroda and left-hander Vidal Nuno, but the Yankees have not yet determined the order.

The timing of the cancellation Friday will allow the Pirates and Yankees to add a 26th man to their active roster for both games Sunday if they so choose.

The teams likely would add a relief pitcher. Of the pitchers on the Pirates' 40-man roster who are healthy at Class AAA Indianapolis, right-hander Phil Irwin is the most likely candidate.

With a scheduled day off Monday, the Pirates likely will not need a spot-starter next week in their two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at PNC Park.

Injuries have ravaged the Yankees rotation, and two of the starters the Pirates will face, Phelps and Nuno, are filling in for ones who got hurt.

Right-hander Ivan Nova is one of the many pitchers who needed Tommy John ligament replacement surgery this season.

Right-hander Michael Pineda is on the disabled list because of a strain in his upper back.

Phelps has made two starts after pitching out of the bullpen in April. He has allowed 11 hits and five runs in 101/3 innings as a starter. He has walked 11 batters in 22 innings this season.

Nuno also has struggled with control, walking 15 in 28 innings. He has allowed 13 earned runs in 232/3 innings as a starter.

The Pirates will not face new Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka. The 25-year-old right-hander joined the Yankees from Japan this winter after signing a seven-year, $155 million contract. The Yankees also had to pay a $20 million posting fee.

In eight starts this season, he is 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA. In 58 innings, he has struck out 66 batters and walked only seven.

(c)2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at

Distributed by MCT Information Services


blog comments powered by Disqus