Glasnow, Kingham updates
Tyler Glasnow has been diagnosed with a sprained right ankle, which resulted from sliding hard into second. He will be evaluated daily.
The Pirates did not provide an update on Nick Kingham's status. The right-hander left yesterday's game with "elbow discomfort."
Charlie Morton will make a rehabilitation start in Double-A Altoona. There is not a pitch or inning limit. He is going to throw as many pitches and innings as the game situation or his endurance dictates.
"We're going to give him every opportunity to make pitches and see how the endurance holds up and see the quality of pitches as he goes forward," Clint Hurdle said.
Martin's loss felt in unforeseen way?
Russell Martin hit very well with two strikes last season. He posted the third highest two-strike on-base percentage amongst hitters with 400+ plate appearances at .337. He contributed to the Pirates posting the highest two-strike OBP in the league.258. This year, without Martin, the Bucs have the worst two-strike OBP, .176.
Russell Martin was undoubtedly a team leader. He led in all the traditional ways one associates with a well-respected, lead-by-example and performance type of player. Today, Hurdle was asked if the team misses how Martin led by example when it came to modeling a more confident two-strike approach.
"I don't think his loss has anything to do with all the other individuals who are struggling," Hurdle said. "[But] he was a guy that set that tone. The year he had last year obviously helped the offense and probably did give the guys a poster guy to watch."
The Pirates own the third worst walk rate, 5.7 percent, and second worst OBP, .277, in baseball. In order to turn those numbers around, Hurdle said the team needs to be more patient at the plate. However, patience requires a mindset that is difficult to foster in the middle of a slump.
"At this level sometimes it takes an extra layer of courage to be patient," Hurdle said. "You might burn some at-bats early, but for the greater good it will provide you with much more benefit down the road and provide you with that balance point that you want to be at to be productive."
Hurdle added that pitchers are throwing more off-speed and breaking balls precisely because Pirates hitters are over-aggressive at the plate.
"It's been going on for a while," Hurdle said. "We have seen guys who in certain [situations] may throw 70 percent fastballs are throwing 58 percent to us. The spin has increased, the soft has increased, especially in offensive counts, trying to play on our overaggressive approach."