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Pregame: Pirates rotation plans still day-to-day

Kevin C. Cox

Note and quotes from today's pregame:

Rotation plans

John Shea reports that Bruce Bochy has indicated that Madison Bumgarner will start Wednesday's Wild Card game. The left-hander will be held back and not make his scheduled start on Sunday.

"I think we'll keep [Bumgarner] back," Bochy said. "Sure, that would be a really important game, but we think we have an option to give us a good chance to win that game."

This afternoon, Clint Hurdle said that the Pirates have a much more complicated set of scenarios that they are working through, and that they will "continue to evaluate day-by-day to make the best decision we feel we can make for our club.

"To skip somebody, that's great conversation, but that doesn't really do anything for me right now," Hurdle said.

The probable rotation for the the weekend is still Vance Worley tonight, Francisco Liriano on Saturday and Gerrit Cole on Sunday. Hurdle is playing his cards close to the vest, reminding the press that Jeff Locke is currently scheduled for the Wild Card game - a start he is extremely unlikely to make.

"If everything plays out you have Edinson [Volquez] available for that game in St. Louis, if you [have to play it] then your next step is Locke in the play-in game," Hurdle said.

The only insight into the team's thinking is that Hurdle said that he believes teams are "better served" limiting starts on short rest to veteran starters. However, Hurdle's comments were in the context of discussing a short postseason series.

Hurdle wants to play at home ... for the fans

Hurdle said he didn't know if there was a great advantage to playing at home in the playoffs. Traveling to the West Coast and winning is "not something we're incapable of doing," he said. Hurdle said that the most important reason he wants to play at home is to reward the fans.

"I just know we like playing at home," Hurdle said. "For the season that we have had, I'd like to have a home playoff game. That's probably as important to me as anything, from a personal standpoint. I'd really like to see our fans get a playoff game."

Sanchez gets start at first

Hurdle said that Ike Davis was experiencing "more than flu-like" symptoms today. He is being held out of the lineup and Gaby Sanchez will start at first.

In only 11 plate appearances against Mike Leake, Sanchez has hit a home run and posted a .364/.462/.727 hitting line.

Alvarez update

Pedro Alvarez will see a specialist on September 30. Hurdle said that Alvarez would begin baseball activities after he is cleared.


The annual debate over whether pitchers should be eligible to win the Most Valuable Player award reached Clint Hurdle's office today. Mark him down as one who holds the view that it is a position player's award.

"I'm of the mindset that that Cy Young Award is named after a pitcher it goes that way," Hurdle said. "For me it is apple and oranges, take a everyday player and the impact they have versus the impact that a starting pitcher makes. I'm more tended to vote for a position player."