The Pirates' pitching cache in the Minors is getting a little ridiculous. Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are on the rise, Justin Wilson was International League Pitcher of the Week for his no-hitter, and Rudy Owens was Triple-A Indianapolis' Player of April for his 2.12 ERA -- and now here comes Major League vet Jo-Jo Reyes, who ran his record to 5-0 with a 2.03 ERA with Monday night's three-hit shutout of Lehigh Valley.
With interesting timing, the Nationals on Tuesday announced the signing of free-agent lefty Mike Gonzalez to a Minor League contract. Gonzalez, of course, had 24 saves as the Pirates' closer in 2006.
We live and modern athletes play in the social-media world. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle has mixed feelings about many of his players, most notably Andrew McCutchen and Jason Grilli, thus connecting with fans.
"I'm good with it," Hurdle said, "but there's a fine line between communicating with and embracing fans to give them a snapshot of what's going on, and having it become a distraction. And you might get stuff back you aren't anticipating. Once you engage, it's game on. I remind them, 'It's one person's opinion, not a brand on you.'"
The Bucs are engaged in their 10th series of the season; Tuesday night's win was only their second in a series opener, the other coming on April 24 against the Rockies. ... The Bucs improved to 10-5 in games they homer, and to 9-1 when scoring at least four runs.
The Last Word:
"My six-year-old asked, 'Who do you guys play next?' and when I told him the Nationals, he says, 'Oh, you're going to play against Bryce Harper?' That's the first thing he said." -- Pirates catcher Rod Barajas