Up next for the trio of right-handers on the DL: Jeff Karstens (shoulder inflammation) will have a five-inning or 80-pitch rehab outing Thursday in Indianapolis versus Durham; Chris Leroux (strained pectoral muscle) will pitch two innings in a Pirate City extended spring training game on Saturday; Daniel McCutchen (strained left oblique) has begun throwing and is slated to throw a bullpen session next week.
The Bucs began play Tuesday with two errors in their last 13 games and the Majors' best fielding percentage (.996) in that stretch. Defensive stats are often misleading for not taking range into account, but that baker's dozen actually includes numerous plays on certifiably tough chances.
Jordy Mercer's arrival means there are three selections in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft on the current roster: Pedro Alvarez (first round, second overall), Mercer (third) and Matt Hague (ninth).
The value of pitching: In their recent 12-game losing streak, the Chicago Cubs scored an average of 2.75 runs per game. For the season, before Tuesday's game, the Pirates averaged one-quarter run more -- and had a .500 record (24-24).