Pregame: Lambo unlikely to be called up this week

J. Meric

Andrew Lambo unlikely to be called up (if at all) until after road trip

After his two-homer night last night, Andrew Lambo was a hot topic of conversation this afternoon. Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle said that he was aware of Lambo's "big day" yesterday and that the club is "monitoring" his progress. While "so happy" to see Lambo's development, Hurdle also said that he liked the "chemistry" of the current roster.

Perhaps the key takeaway from Hurdle's comments this afternoon was that nothing is likely to happen until after the upcoming road trip:

Probably when we get back we might look to either stand pat or to add. We want to give this nucleus of men who are doing the things they are right now a little more opportunity to play together. ... I still want to see Tabata out there. We like some of the things Presley can do. I still want to give these guys some more reps to get some traction out there. If we need to go another direction it's not going to hurt Andrew's development to continue to get at bats and play (in Triple-A).

Josh Harrison gets start in right field tonight

After his game winning home run last night, and pivotal squeeze play Saturday, Hurdle said he is "playing the hot bat" by giving Harrison a start in right field tonight. "It's not anything more than trying to get a guy another opportunity, because he created his own," Hurdle said. "I was looking for a guy to get on base last night and he did, all four of them."

Hurdle added that he "did not envision" Harrison being in the mix for a regular starts in right field.

Since being recalled July 9, Harrison is batting .333/.333/.714 in 22 plate appearances.

Locke bent, but didn't break

Jeff Locke rode out a rough start last night, allowing nine hits and three walks in 5.2 innings pitched. With all the traffic on the bases, he only allowed three runs. This afternoon Hurdle said that Locke "showed resolve in getting bent, but he didn't break." The Pirates' manager credited Ray Searage's trip to the mound as a turning point. "Ray's mound visit seemed to pick up his tempo, his intent and his conviction. The ball wasn't hit out of the infield past that point, at a very critical part of the game," Hurdle said.

In his last three starts, Locke has thrown 16.1 innings, and allowed 27 hits and 10 walks, for an astronomical .500 BABIP and a 2.26 WHIP. While the line drive rate has fluctuated the past three games, overall it is in line with his season average. His ground ball rate has remained steady (well above 50 percent) each game.

"He's learning," Hurdle concluded. "He's getting to face different challenges as the season unfolds. ... Jeff is facing a little bit of the kickback and counter-punching from the league right now. "

Wandy Update

Hurdle said that Wandy Rodriguez had "really good day" today and that he has finished with a "major part of his throwing progression." He is scheduled for 25-pitch bullpen session Saturday in Colorado.

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