HOUSTON -- Baseball fans have an opportunity to put Pirates broadcasters Steve Blass and Lanny Frattare one step closer to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The annual online vote to determine three finalists for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting starts Sept. 1.
The process will allow fans to cast votes at the Hall of Fame's Facebook page -- http://www.facebook.com/baseballhall. This is the ninth consecutive year that fans will select three of the 10 names on the ballot for the Frick Award. Voting runs through Sept. 30. Fans can cast votes once per day through September for the broadcaster of their choice.
This season is Blass' 52nd with the Pittsburgh organization and his 26th as a color commentator. Blass pitched his entire 10-year Major League career with Pittsburgh, compiling a 103-76 record with a 3.63 ERA. In the 1971 World Series against Baltimore, Blass had two complete-game wins.
This year, the Museum has pared the list of fan-eligible candidates to 75 -- two representing every current big league team and 15 at-large selections -- based on popularity, longevity and past voting results in the online fan balloting. Eligible candidates must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network, or a combination of the two.
Results of the fan voting will be announced on October 5. The final 2012 Frick Award ballot will be comprised of the three fan selections -- along with seven other candidates -- determined by a Hall of Fame staff research team. This fall, a 20-member electorate will vote on the final 10-name ballot to determine the 2012 Frick Award winner.
The winner will be named on Dec. 6 and honored in Cooperstown during the 2012 Hall of Fame Weekend, held from July 20-23.
Tabata out of lineup with tenderness in wrist
HOUSTON -- Outfielder Jose Tabata was not in the Pirates' starting lineup on Tuesday because of tenderness in his left wrist that he first experienced against the Brewers on Aug. 24.
Tabata was 0-for-4 in Monday's 7-4 loss at Houston.
"It's kind of come and gone," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle of Tabata's injury. "It fired up again after the game last night."
Hurdle wasn't sure if Tabata would be available to pinch-hit on Tuesday in the second of a three-game series with the Astros.
"He's going to get treatment first and then see if he can swing the bat, and we'll go from there," said Hurdle.
Hurdle weighing options regarding callups
HOUSTON -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he has a couple of unnamed players that the team would like to call up from the Minors on Thursday, but that some players will have to wait due to when they were sent down and when options were made.
"We have a mixed bag of options," said Hurdle. "Aaron Thompson is not available until a certain date because of his send down."
Outfielder Ryan Ludwick is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sept. 7 and will rejoin the Pirates that day.
Hurdle said that the Pirates have yet to announce a pitcher for Friday's game at Chicago. That player will join the team on Thursday as well as another player or two from the Minors. Jeff Karstens was scratched from his upcoming Friday start because of right shoulder fatigue and is expected to miss only one start.
Hurdle said that a manageable number of September callups will be around 10.
"I believe you need to grab about five pitchers, one or two guys that can start," said Hurdle. "We'll be challenged to find five pitchers on top of the ones that we have right now, but I think we can do it. The number we're looking at is around 35 [players]. You can have too many."
The Pirates' organization wants to be respectful of the Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis, and will be careful of how many players they bring up this week. Indianapolis has six regular-season games remaining and is in the Wild Card race for the playoffs.
"I've been on a Triple-A team and I've been a Triple-A manager," said Hurdle. "You try to make a run, and the big league team is not in the fire. And if they grab players, you're trying to do something. You want to send the right message whenever you can. "
Presley makes Minor League All-Star team
HOUSTON -- Pirates outfielder Alex Presley is one of three Indianapolis Indians selected to the International League's 2011 Postseason All-Star team, joining first baseman Matt Hague and former Indians closer Tim Wood.
"I'm happy to make it and I'm happy to be here [in the Majors] at the same time," said Presley. "It's an honor and I'm glad to be on it. I'm sure my rehab got me a few more at-bats to get me a chance to get back on it."
Though he's with the Pirates, Presley leads the International League with a .333 batting average. He had eight home runs and 41 RBIs in his 87 games with Indianapolis this year.
"It's the first All-Star team I've made in pro ball," said Presley, who last year was leading the league in hitting in Double-A Altoona with a .350 mark before being promoted to Indianapolis.
Hague leads the league with 157 hits and Wood is the league's top reliever.
The Pirates granted pitcher Joe Beimel his unconditional release on Tuesday. He was designated for assignment on August 23.
The Arizona Fall League announced rosters on Tuesday and the Pirates will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox, with Jeff Branson serving as hitting coach. Also representing the Pirates' organization for the Solar Sox will be infielder Brock Holt of Double-A Altoona and outfielder Robbie Grossman of Bradenton Class A.
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.