Morton's status remains uncertain for stretch drive

Right-hander will throw a simulated game Tuesday to better gauge status

Morton's status remains uncertain for stretch drive

CHICAGO -- Clint Hurdle struggled briefly to find the right words to characterize the latest sideline effort of Charlie Morton.

"It was ... OK," the manager finally said of the Friday bullpen session by the righty, who is dealing with a sports hernia -- an outing that did little to clarify the veteran's possible stretch role.

"Charlie is still engaged to seeing it through, and to seeing where it takes us," said Hurdle, alluding to the pitcher's dedication to keeping his arm tuned.

Morton is next scheduled to work a simulated game Tuesday in Philadelphia. It could lead to a final call on his status for the rest of the season.

"We need to see another sim game to give us a better indication. We need some more information to get an accurate read," Hurdle said.

Worth noting

• On a fifth-inning swing on Friday, Russell Martin tweaked his ankle -- the same ankle hit by a Tsuyoshi Wada pitch two innings earlier -- and was in pain for a while. But he worked through it during the 37-minute weather delay that followed almost immediately, and he was still in the lineup when the suspended game resumed Saturday.

• Current National League batting leader Ben Revere has a 100 OPS+, which is a ballpark-adjusted figure. The lowest OPS+ on record for a league batting champ? Dick Groat's 110 in 1960, when he led the NL with an average of .325.

First number -- last word

35: Comeback wins by the Pirates, who had a chance to add to it in the completion of Friday's suspended game, in which they have already erased an early 2-1 Chicago lead.

"With the small army we're carrying now, it makes for a very intimate seven, eight hours." -- Hurdle, on coming into Wrigley Field's notoriously small visitors' clubhouse with the extra players carried on the expanded roster. Several players have to share tiny lockers, including 6-foot-7 John Holdzkom and 6-foot-4 Bobby LaFromboise.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.