The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 7, 2014

Pittsburgh Pirates Notebook: ’Frustrating’ injury sends Barmes to DL

PITTSBURGH - The Pirates put shortstop Clint Barmes on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, retroactive to June 30, because of an injury to his left groin Saturday in batting practice.

They recalled utility infielder Michael Martinez from Class AAA Indianapolis to take Barmes’ place?.

Barmes said he felt a pop and tightness in his groin while making a backhand stop and throw Saturday before the game.

“I knew it wasn’t right and at that point we went and got the MRI,“ he said. “It came back that it had popped off the bone.“

Barmes does not need surgery, he said, and the expected recovery time is four to six weeks.

“I didn’t do anything different than what I would do on any other day,“ he said. “That’s where it’s frustrating and it’s kind of surprising that way.“

Martinez, 31, had a .302 on-base percentage and one home run in 309 plate appearances for Indianapolis this season.

Barmes, 35, was hitting .239 with a .320 on-base percentage and .284 slugging percentage — his only extra-base hits were four doubles — in 100 plate appearances, but had not played much recently because of the offensive improvement of Jordy Mercer. His most recent start was June 25 at Tampa Bay, where he was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts.

“It’s part of my routine every day to take ground balls, try to do the backhand play and work on that on the run that way, on the run the other way,“ Barmes said. “`Saturday~ it was nothing out of the ordinary.“

Cole update

Gerrit Cole’s bullpen session today should indicate whether he can make his scheduled start Wednesday in St. Louis.

Cole played long toss Sunday, two days after leaving his start because of tightness in the latissimus dorsi muscle on the right side of his back.

“He’s still feeling good,“ general manager Neal Huntington said. “Hopefully get a good side session out of him `today~ and that will be the final test.“

If Cole does need time on the DL, he likely only would miss one start because of the All-Star break. Indianapolis right-hander Brandon Cumpton, who spent time in the Pirates rotation this season, also started Friday and is on schedule to start again Wednesday. He is on the 40-man roster and the Pirates could recall him for a spot start if necessary.

Sending a message

Huntington said the recent benching of shortstop prospect Alen Hanson at Class AA Altoona was intended to “grab Alen’s attention.“

“The attention to detail, the overall effort level to getting better, to playing the game the right way,“ Huntington said. “We wanted to make sure that he understood that that’s important to us and as a result it needs to be important to him.“

Hanson, the Pirates’ No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America, is hitting .269 with a .305 on-base percentage and eight home runs for Altoona this season. He did not play from June 22-26.

“We love what he can become,“ Huntington said. “We just got to get a lot of work done to help him become that.“


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