Monday, July 02, 2007

This, that, and the other

Freddy Sanchez is going to San Fran - Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Sanchez an All-Star

Freddy Sanchez was surprisingly named the Pirates' 2007 All-Star representative, his second consecutive trip to the game. There are some possible reasons why he was chosen:
  • Tony LaRussa is playing to win, and he felt having a versatile infielder on his bench could be helpful. Also, Freddy can be pretty clutch, making him a decent option to pinch-hit in a crucial situation late in the game.
  • LaRussa wanted a legitimate reason to leave the Pirate representative on the bench all night.
  • LaRussa took into account the second half of 2006, making Freddy a much more deserving player.
  • LaRussa did not put much thought into the team and simply picked players based on name recognition.
Clearly there were several Pirates more deserving than Freddy this season. But it is a nice honor for the Pirates' second baseman, so congratulations Freddy.

Duke to DL

Zach Duke joined Chris Duffy on the disabled list due to elbow tendinitis, and Shane Youman was called up to take his spot in the rotation. Youman was not all that impressive in Triple-A, so I would not expect much from him at the Major League level. But he did perform pretty well for the Pirates late last season, so who knows?

By the way, the Pirates replaced Duffy on the roster with someone named Matt Kata. I am not really sure who that is, but welcome to Pittsburgh Matt.

Pirates welcome Brewers

The Brewers will visit Pittsburgh tonight to start a four-game series. This will be the first time the two teams have met since the series in which Matt Capps hit Prince Fielder. That was the weekend that showed us just how far the Pirates are from being a good team. We looked like children playing an adult's game, as the Brewers took three of four. Keep an eye on Capps and Fielder, as there may still be some bad blood from that series in early May.

If you don't recall, Adam LaRoche took the first game of that series off. He spent the night working on his swing. Since that break, he has hit .276/.350/.480 with seven home runs. Not quite what we expected before the season, but still far better than the .132/.245/.253 line he had on May 3.

John Van Benschoten throws for the Pirates, Jeff Suppan for the Brewers. Gametime is at 7:05 PM.

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