06/13/07 8:17 PM ET
Notes: Wilson frustrated by benching
Shortstop to meet with GM to discuss playing time
By Jeremy Anders / MLB.com
Castillo's string of starts has led to a three-day stint on the bench for regular shortstop Jack Wilson, and Wilson is frustrated with his lack of playing time.
While manager Jim Tracy told him he is not starting because Castillo is playing well, Wilson feels he is losing playing time because of his poor performance in his last start on Saturday.
"It's one of those things where I think this has been my best defensive year," Wilson said. "I've been making all the plays. I had that bad game on Saturday and that's the last time I played."
Wilson said he was going to talk to general manager Dave Littlefield to get more answers on why he remains out of the lineup.
"I'm not going to argue with the fact that someone is playing well," Wilson said. "That's fine. I just really haven't gotten the answers that might warrant being out for a while. But at the same time, the team is playing well and so I'll go out there and cheer for them and do what I can."
While Wilson aired concerns about his lack of playing time, Tracy said Wilson has not been benched and Castillo is playing because he had two solid starts.
"We're not shelving anybody," Tracy said. "We're just taking advantage of the fact that [Castillo] has played a couple of really good games. We're giving him another chance to play [Wednesday], that's all."
Castillo has taken advantage of that chance so far, going 3-for-7 with two RBIs in his last two starts.
Castillo's offense has been a welcome addition to the lineup, but his solid defensive play has been a pleasant surprise as well. Castillo turned two double plays on Tuesday.
Tracy said the good defensive play has come largely because Castillo is playing under control and making routine plays in the field.
"Something we have been searching for with Jose Castillo since April 2006 was [getting] the player to get to the point where he understands himself and how good a player he is when he's under control and doing things that dictate doing under control," Tracy said. "[On Tuesday], there two ground balls that he just picked up and, 'Boom,' over to first base. We're riding it out and giving the guy an opportunity to play some."
Middle relief problems: The Pirates' middle relief corps gave up three runs, two earned, on Tuesday that allowed the Rangers to creep to within striking distance and, more importantly, forced Tracy to use closer Matt Capps in a situation where he shouldn't have been needed.
"We used him in two different situations on the road for multiple innings," Tracy said. "Now you're in a situation where if you're going to lose the game, you're going to lose with your best guy. But the inning was set up to where he wouldn't have had to warm up really, but it didn't work out."
Capps threw one scoreless inning and picked up his third save of the season to preserve the win for the Bucs. He will be available to pitch on Wednesday because Major League Baseball has not handed down a decision on the appeal of his four-game suspension.
Nady good to go: Xavier Nady was lifted for pinch-runner Nate McLouth in the seventh on Tuesday, but Pirates fans do not need to worry about Nady's hamstring. Nady was in the lineup on Wednesday, and Tracy said Nady was lifted to avoid aggravating the strain he sustained last week.
"He's not pushing that hamstring to the point that he pops it, and we lose him for a month," Tracy said. "Because of where we were at [in the game], and you can put some fresh legs out there and not put any more stress on him, he's done his job."
Draft signings The Pirates agreed to terms with six Draft picks on Wednesday: outfielder Quincy Latimore (fourth round), right-hander Sean Giblin (10th round), outfielder Andrew Biela (13th round), shortstop Robert Spain (19th round), outfielder Keanon Simon (25th round), and outfielder Caleb Fields (33rd round). The Bucs have now signed 19 of their 50 picks.
Fighting prostate cancer: Major League Baseball, Gillette and The Prostate Cancer Foundation have teamed to launch the 11th annual Home Run Challenge to fight prostate cancer. Fans can make pledges between 25 cents and $10,000 for each home run hit during select Major League Baseball games or make a one-time donation by visiting www.prostatecancerfoundation.org or calling 1-800-798-CURE.
Today in baseball history: In 2001, the Pirates acquired Minor League relief pitcher Damaso Marte from the Yankees for infielder Enrique Wilson. The Bucs later shipped Marte to the White Sox before the 2002 season and re-acquired him from Chicago before the 2006 season.
On deck: The Pirates will send Tom Gorzelanny (6-3, 2.76 ERA) to the mound in the finale of the three-game series with Texas. The Rangers will counter with Kameron Loe (1-6, 7.40 ERA).
Jeremy Anders is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.