The Pirates will have a new look of sorts when they take the field tonight. Earlier today they traded ex-Cub farmhand Eric Hinske to the Yankees for a couple of minor leaguers. They'll recall a Triple-A journeyman, 28-year-old Garrett Jones, to take Hinske's place on the roster.
The Pirates have also sent Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Nationals for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan. Morgan's 29 on Thursday and the only thing he's leading the league in is caught stealing. Milledge, at 24, still has a chance to become a decent regular player. As for Burnett and Hanrahan, that's a classic case of "maybe a change of scenery will help".
Meanwhile, the Cubs seek bigger prey. Phil Rogers again continued his "get rid of Z" campaign in today's Tribune, something I think is so silly I won't even link to it. The headline of this post is, I suppose, a bit misleading -- of course Jim Hendry is trying to make deals; I know he always is working his cellphone overtime. It's not easy to make trades if no one is dealing right now, and with 23 teams still within six games of a playoff spot, can you blame teams for thinking, "We'll wait a couple weeks and see if we get hot, and maybe we'll be buyers instead of sellers."
Also, Hendry is well known for not negotiating deals in the media, which I'm sure players appreciate. Many of Hendry's best deals (the Aramis Ramirez/Kenny Lofton deal of 2003, and the Derrek Lee trade of 2004) came out of nowhere. I don't think we'll see any action from the Cubs till after the All-Star break.
Lineup for tonight via Twittermyer:
Soriano, lf; Fukudome, cf; Lee, 1b; Fox, 3b; Hoffpauir, rf; Soto, c; Fontenot, 2b; Theriot, ss; Lilly, p
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
Ross Ohlendorf was one of the miscellaneous Yankees minor leaguers acquired by the Pirates last year for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. Since Yankee minor leaguers are generally overhyped, it's not surprising that Ohlendorf has struggled at times. He has never faced the Cubs.
Ted Lilly has not faced the Pirates this year. Last year he was 2-0 with two no-decisions and an alarmingly high 5.09 ERA. Adam LaRoche is 5-for-12 (.417) with three doubles and a HR vs. Ted. Brandon Moss is 3-for-3 with a HR. The rest of the Pirates, he handles pretty well.
Tonight's game is on CSN Plus -- that'll be a different channel than the normal CSN feed in Chicago. EI (at least on my Comcast system) lists only one feed -- so who knows which one you'll get. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.