Leroux continues rehab process at Triple-A
Right-hander nearing return to Pirates after stint on 60-day DL
PITTSBURGH -- Chris Leroux has already spent 69 days on the 60-day disabled list with what had been described as a rare injury for a pitcher. But the right-hander could be nearing a return.Leroux, who strained a right pectoral muscle pitching in Philadelphia in the final preseason game, has been assigned to Indianapolis to continue his rehab with the Triple-A affiliate. In his first rehab outing, on Wednesday with Class A Bradenton, Leroux made a sharp three-inning start, allowing two hits and one run while walking one and striking out two. With the Indians, Leroux will work out of the bullpen. Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor will look for opportunities to give the righty multiple innings. "He's healthy, ready to go," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of Leroux. "We anticipate building him up, stretching him out, get him in situations where he can throw a volume of pitches." Leroux, the 28-year-old Canadian native who has appeared in the Majors in parts of the last three seasons with the Marlins and the Pirates, is a trained reliever. He has pitched out of the bullpen in each of his 51 Major League games, and 212 of Leroux's 224 Minor League appearances also came in relief.
Barmes, Hurdle have company in 'Clint' club
PITTSBURGH -- Clint Barmes and Clint Hurdle have lost their distinction as the only two men named "Clint" in Major League uniforms. But the guy who busted up their monopoly -- Kansas City rookie first baseman Clint Robinson -- at least had the decency to do so by making a house-call.Robinson was called up from Triple-A Omaha by the Royals for the Interleague series opener on Friday, and made his big league debut that night as a ninth-inning pinch-hitter. Listening from his shortstop position as Robinson was introduced, Barmes' ears perked up. "Yeah, right away I heard we had company," Barmes said. "And all three of us are right here. How about that?" Since stuff like this is not part of the routine big league orientation, Robinson was surprised to hear of the select company he had joined -- especially given his experiences growing up in Missouri. "I didn't know that until you just told me," Robinson said prior to Sunday's finale of the PNC Park set. "Once it sinks in, it'll probably be more exciting. "I actually had three or four 'Clint' buddies growing up. We played the same [American] Legion ball and all that stuff together. It was always confusing. I had one that lived next door, one that played on the same Little League team as me, so I mean, I've been around quite a few." Robinson spent the weekend around two others.
"I guess I've got bragging rights."
-- Jason Grilli, on picking up his fourth career save on Sunday -- giving him one more than his father, Steve, had during a 1975-79 career as a reliever with the Tigers and the Blue Jays.
Pedro Alvarez was out of Sunday's lineup, when lefty Bruce Chen started for the Royals, but Hurdle gave no indication he's toying with the idea of again resting him against lefties. It had more to do with giving playing time to a trio (Casey McGehee, who started at third, Matt Hague and Josh Harrison) that hadn't had many at-bats of late. In the Pirates' first road Interleague series, Hurdle used three different DHs in the games at Detroit's Comerica Park: Harrison, Neil Walker, and Alvarez. Plans for Baltimore and Cleveland on the upcoming trip are up in the air, especially with lefties Wei-Yin Chen and Brian Matusz starting the first two games for the Orioles. In addition to the PNC Park sellout crowd of 39,312 for Saturday night's game, the club accommodated about 5,500 additional music fans by selling postgame concert-only tickets to the Boyz II Men performance. The Pirates secured their first sweep in 50 Interleague series, since June 15-17, 2001, over the Indians. The three-game sweep of the Royals was the Pirates' third overall in Interleague Play.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.