Looks like I picked a good weekend to be away from the computer. Here are some bits of news from these past few quiet days. I'll stay away from the Ryan Doumit benching for now until we hear what that was really about.
Dan McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez will be joining the U.S. team for the World Cup in Europe. McCutchen would've been a good candidate for a callup, and I'd still support the idea of the Pirates using him in the bullpen, but I suppose this is fine too. I hope he'll get a clean shot at a job, possibly as a reliever, next year. No one seems to talk about using him in relief, but I'm not sure why not; he'll be 27 later this year, and it's about time the Pirates got some value from him.
With two straight big games, including a two-homer outburst on Thursday, Alvarez's OPS with Altoona now tops 1.000. He also has 26 homers for the year.
Baseball America recently named unsigned Pirates draftee Kevin Gelinas as the top prospect in the California Collegiate League, and said he profiled as a lefty reliever along the lines of Alan Embree. Sounds like he would have been a nice guy to have in the system, but I'm glad the Pirates gave most of their big bonuses to guys who, for now at least, profile as starters.