Hey all, just checking in here from Utah. Regular updates will resume Monday. In the meantime, I'll address a couple bits of news:
The Pirates have placed Donnie Veal on the DL and have promoted Chris Bootcheck. It's nice to see Bootcheck, who's persevered through years in the minors, get a shot he deserves after striking out 55 batters in 42.7 innings at AAA. The Donnie Veal saga, though, just goes on and on. He's now only thrown 24 innings in a season he could have spent developing. I continue to fail to understand the point of the Pirates keeping him around. It can't be helping him, and it probably won't help them, either.
Also, the Bucs have signed their 4th-round draft pick Zackry Dodson. Dodson wasn't near the top of my list of the best arms the Pirates drafted this year, but he'll be another good addition to a system suddenly bursting with interesting teenage pitchers.
Speaking of pitching prospects, lost of the Pirates' recent acquisitions have pitched well in their most recent starts, including Tim Alderson, Nathan Adcock, Brett Lorin and Casey Erickson. Erickson--acquired in the all-Eric trade involving Eric Hinske--is a good candidate for a late-season promotion, as he now has a 1.81 ERA and three times more groundouts than flyball outs in 64 Class A innings this year.