-P- The Post-Gazette reports that Tony Armas will be moved to the bullpen. It hasn't been announced who will fill his slot, but apparently a lot of the options being considered include giving B.P. Chacon an increased role on the pitching staff:
Marty McLeary, hit hard in three relief outings since his promotion from Class AAA Indianapolis, could establish himself as a candidate for fifth starter.
John Van Benschoten and Bryan Bullington, who have pitched well for Indianapolis until their most recent starts, could rediscover top form and win promotions.
And, of course, Chacon, the most obvious choice, could be taken on merit.
The idea of putting Chacon in the rotation or in high-leverage bullpen innings scares me. The Pirates need to learn that it's not a good idea to base decisions on a guy's last 30 innings if they stand in stark contrast to his track record and aren't easily explained through other means. Remember when Shane Youman pitched for the Pirates last year? He had a 2.91 ERA in 21 innings, and what happened to him? Now he has a 5.35 ERA at Indianapolis, with more walks than strikeouts. Put Chacon in the rotation, and maybe there's some chance he'll succeed, but it's a lot more likely he's going to be Armas Part II, because that's just who he is.
-P- The P-G also reports that Jack Wilson missed the game yesterday because he hurt his shoulder after catching a popup. Jose Castillo played last night in his place, which is funny because, if it's the popup I'm thinking of, Wilson only had to dive in the first place because Castillo, who was playing third at the time, lost track of the ball. Castillo had probably called the ball but lost it not long before it hit the ground, causing Wilson to take this weird Nintendo-dive from basically a standing position.
-P- Before I forget, I want to say how awesome I think Ian Snell is. He was visibly upset when he left the game last night because he gave up a few runs, even though he was dealing the entire night before that and he had put the Pirates in a great position to win the game. Snell clearly does have an attitude, but he's demonstrating that having an attitude need not be a bad thing. Snell wants to win badly and, better, he actually goes out and does it. He's my new favorite Pirate.