PITTSBURGH -- Kevin Correia wasn't happy when Wandy Rodriguez arrived from Houston and forced him out of the Pirates starting rotation.He'll get another chance to start on Tuesday, six days after he beat Arizona in a spot start. Manager Clint Hurdle said the move had as much to do with Correia's recent effectiveness as the need to give the staff plenty of rest. "I think this gives everybody a good opportunity, for the guys that have been on a regular routine, to catch a day," Hurdle said before Saturday's game against San Diego, the team's ninth contest in a span of 20 straight. In his last nine outings, Correia is 7-0 with a 4.56 ERA. His next scheduled appearance pushes Rodriguez to Wednesday and James McDonald to Thursday. With Correia and recent callup Jeff Locke, the Pirates have seven pitchers on the roster who are capable of starting. The staff has generally avoided serious injuries, too, all of which has Hurdle liking the club's current position. "You like to feel that there's depth, and there's usable depth," said Hurdle, who doesn't project that any of his pitchers will reach 200-plus innings. "The season, it continues to present challenges. Knock on wood, we've still had everybody healthy, [except] for the first little wave we had where we lost Charlie [Morton] for the season, and Jeff [Karstens]. "Since then, we haven't had any physical ailments that deplete or take away from our starting rotation depth, so there's some security there, without a doubt." Morton underwent Tommy John surgery on June 14. Karstens missed two months but returned from the disabled list on June 25. Since then, he's 4-1 with a 3.60 ERA in eight starts.
New players fitting in well for Pirates
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were a busy ballclub as the July 31 Trade Deadline approached, as the club wound up bringing in four new players for the season's final stretch.The Bucs acquired a little bit of everything, picking up a starter and a reliever in Wandy Rodriguez and Chad Qualls, respectively, while also adding first baseman Gaby Sanchez and right fielder Travis Snider. Manager Clint Hurdle said on Saturday that he's pleased with how the new players have fit in. "I think the transition has been about as easy and as seamless as you could hope for," Hurdle said. "I think a lot of that has to do with the environment of the clubhouse, and our guys, the way they've brought them in and had conversations, communication with them." In 10 games with Pittsburgh, Snider is batting .333 with five RBIs. His first home run came in Friday's 9-8 loss to San Diego. While Snider downplayed the accomplishment, Hurdle said it could very well be a sign of much more to come. "The game's funny that way. Sometimes, they come in bunches. Hits come in bunches. A lot of things come in bunches sometimes," Hurdle said. "We'll see, but he's been striking the ball pretty well. He's been engaging more. He might actually know everybody's name out there by now."
"Everybody needs to feel what they need to feel, and then get on home. And then I usually monitor, take a peek, have a few conversations the next day, and I'm very optimistic [about] where everything was today when I came in." -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, when asked whether he made sure his players had put Friday's tough 9-8 defeat behind them.
Hurdle said before Saturday's game that left-handed reliever Tony Watson would not be available for the contest. He also said that Chris Resop, who threw 24 pitches on Friday, should be able to pitch. A victory Saturday night would push A.J. Burnett's record at PNC Park this season to 8-0, tying the eight-game winning streak Todd Ritchie set in 2001 -- which is the longest by a Pirates pitcher in their current digs. Burnett also needs one more win to reach 15. The last Bucs hurler to post that many in one year also was Ritchie, who pulled off the feat in 1999.
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.