MILWAUKEE -- While clinging to thin postseason chances, the Pirates opted to stay with veteran starter Ryan Vogelsong in the rotation for Thursday's game against the Brewers despite his recent struggles.
The Pirates did not announce the starters for the three-game series at Miller Park, which began Tuesday, until Monday. Vogelsong, who has allowed 20 runs over a span of 17 2/3 innings in his last four starts, will pitch the series finale.
Manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates recently identified a snag in Vogelsong's delivery that gives them renewed confidence in sending the 39-year-old right-hander to the mound.
"No. 1, the delivery glitch we felt we came across with him, we have identified and put some sessions and some work in the bullpen," Hurdle said.
Left-hander Steven Brault started the series opener for Pittsburgh, which entered Tuesday 4 1/2 games back of the second National League Wild Card spot, and right-hander Chad Kuhl will get the ball Wednesday. The two rookies entered the series with a combined 17 career big league starts.
"We're putting our confidence in Brault, we're putting our confidence in Kuhl, our confidence in Ryan," Hurdle said. "And we're going to send them out there."
Two other rookies had been options for the rotation during the Milwaukee series: right-handers Tyler Glasnow and Trevor Williams. Despite his struggles down the stretch, Vogelsong has the upper hand.
"We're probably banking on [Vogelsong's] experience," Hurdle said. "The rotation is very young right now."
Bucs injury update
Pirates catcher Chris Stewart underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday and will require six to eight weeks to recover.
Stewart, 34, missed more than two months from July through early September with discomfort in the knee before returning for three games this month. The Pirates placed him on the 60-day disabled list Sept. 13, ending his season.
Stewart's surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Hurdle confirmed that Stewart avoided microfracture surgery, which would have extended and complicated the recovery process.
Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based
in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.