April 12, 2010

Ohlendorf Hurt / Penn Gone

PITTSBURGH, Pa. / April 11, 2010

No longer wanting to pitch batting practice during actual games, the Pirates designated Hayden Penn for assignment today. Penn now has a 9.51 career ERA making him a contender for worst Pirates pitcher ever. His 30.86 Pirates ERA should actually be worse, but the Dodgers stupidly made their first out against him at home plate.

I would have to think Penn clears waivers but I can't imagine it would be a good idea to keep him in the organization.

Unfortunately the reason for the move is that Ross Ohlendorf was scratched from tonight's start. Not much word on the injury but the Pirates claim he will start Sunday.

For this World Championship run the Pirates will need their top three starters to stay healthy all season, and at least one has to have a big year. Hopefully Ross only misses the one game because the rotation takes a big hit if he's replaced by anyone. Without even considering the World Series, he'll be needed to start Game 2 and a possible of the Division Series against Colorado.

This injury comes at the worst possible time, with Brian Burres the only rested starting pitcher at either Indianapolis or Pittsburgh. So Burres it is. Rather than starting at Toledo tonight he'll start at San Francisco, the Toledo of the West.

Burres has a 6.08 career ERA and gave up more than ten hits per nine innings in the Pacific Coast League last year. He was last seen giving up a three-run homer to Jason Michaels at Camden Yards in June 2008. Is it too early to get nostalgic for Jeff Karstens?

Finally, Joel Hanrahan came off the disabled list. He'll take the spot of Daniel McCutchen, who is back in Indianapolis since the Pirates won't need him again until April 25th.

Hanrahan should really help to solidify the back end of the bullpen. Hopefully Hanrahan is really healed because he's back much earlier than expected... Anyway, he's a much better 7th/8th inning option than the likes of Penn and Jack Taschner. I think the Pirates would like to go Hanrahan, Donnelly, Dotel in the last three innings. The problem right now is getting there.

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