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Colorado vs. Pittsburgh, 16 July 2007

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Taylor Buchholz (4-3, 4.65) vs. John Van Benschoten (0-3, 5.40).

After a complete mess of a series against the Braves, the Pirates start a series against the Rockies tonight - our old friend Josh Fogg will start tomorrow.

Here's the box. Ryan Doumit catches. I'll be in the comments.

Jose Bautista has landed on the DL after sliding into Chipper Jones' shoes during the game yesterday. These two need to stay away from one another - last year, Jones injured his hands last year after colliding with Bautista, missing four games.

Anyway, there's been a bunch of roster shuffling - Don Kelly has been added to the 40-man roster and will join the team in Bautista's place, John Wasdin has (thankfully!) been designated for assignment to make way for Kelly, and Salomon Torres has returned from the DL, where he'll take Wasdin's place.

I'm no fan of Kelly, obviously. The Bucs really did have to call up an infielder, but why not Brian Bixler? Or Yurendell DeCaster, who's hitting .291/.391/.422 at Indianapolis? Unlike those two, Kelly, who was hitting .218/.218/.306 at Indy, is pretty much guaranteed to not hit. If the Bucs are saving Bixler so they can use him when they have a starting position for him to play, I think they're probably kidding themselves - it's not that he's obviously incapable of handling a starting job, but he's not nearly good enough to worry about service-time issues.

In the same article, Dave Littlefield says the players will determine whether the Pirates are buyers or sellers at the trading deadline. July 31 is only two weeks away, and the Bucs have lost three in a row, dropping them eleven games below .500 and eleven games out of the NL Central lead. One wonders what would have to happen between now and then to convince Littlefield the Pirates should be buyers. It is obvious that they should be sellers, and every day Littlefield dithers about what to do increases the likelihood that we're going to have another debacle like last year, when Littlefield waited and waited to trade his players and then made a horrible bunch of deals within the last hour before the deadline.