07/04/11 9:30 PM ET
Alvarez, other injured Bucs progressing
By Jenifer Langosch and Laura Myers / MLB.com
Alvarez has just three hits in 16 at-bats, but more importantly, he has not had any recurring issues with his right quad. The Pirates have not indicated when Alvarez will be ready to come off the disabled list, though it likely will not be until after the All-Star break.
Alvarez will now move on to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he will continue his rehab work.
Other injury updates:
Ronny Cedeno (concussion) has still not been cleared to resume exercising, though the shortstop said on Monday that he is feeling better now than he was this weekend. In addition to recovering from the concussion, Cedeno is also now fighting off congestion from a cold.
Jose Tabata (left quad strain) estimated that he is back at 80-percent health, but that he wants to be cautious in his return to the field.
"I don't feel ready, yet," Tabata said. "I think it's more mentality, because I don't want to get hurt again."
He did some light running on Monday, and took some swings in the cage. Tabata is expected to go out on a Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the team after the All-Star break.
Joe Beimel (left elbow inflammation) made his first rehab appearance with Bradenton on Friday, and pitched one scoreless inning and struck out two. He will move on to Double-A Altoona for the next phase of his rehab assignment. If Beimel doesn't rejoin the team this week, he'll likely do so in Houston immediately after the midseason break.
Chris Snyder (back surgery) began workouts last week and said he is feeling great.
"I'm on the road [to recovery]," Snyder added.
Starters far surpassing last year's numbers
PITTSBURGH -- Kevin Correia didn't need to explain the success the Pirates' starters have had in 2011. Reliever Tony Watson did it for him.
Pittsburgh's starters had 32 wins -- 55.2 percent of their decisions -- entering play on Monday. They had just 34 victories all of last season, winning 28.8 percent of their decisions. But as Correia was asked about that fact, Watson interjected.
"Who cares about last year?" he asked, rhetorically.
Clearly not Correia, who was not with the Pirates last season. This year, with 11 wins, he has accounted for 25.6 percent of the starters' victories. That figure is the highest percentage for any Major League pitcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"We're not trying to just be better than we were last year," Correia said. "We're just trying to have as good a year as we can. And by doing that, I'm sure we're going to surpass the wins or the numbers from last season."
The last time a Pirates starter allowed more than four runs in an outing was on June 20, when the Orioles got to Charlie Morton for six runs. The starters' ERA of 3.60 is sixth in the National League.
"I think when everyone's pitching well, you kind of feed off each other," Correia said. "Watching guys go out there and pitch well ... helps you to go out there and pitch well."
The Pirates have not announced starters for their upcoming home series against the Cubs, which begins on Friday. The club could use Thursday's off-day to skip someone in the rotation prior to the All-Star break, a move that would give a starter an extra period of rest. Of that possibility, manager Clint Hurdle said, "Right now, we haven't decided. We're playing it, really, start to start."
Nick Leyva returned to the third-base-coaching box on Monday after spending the last few days watching from the dugout. Leyva had been dealing with some back problems.
Following Monday's game, Charlie Morton and his fiancee, Cindy Weil, were scheduled to host 35 recently returned and soon-to-be deployed military members at PNC Park. The military personnel will take batting practice along with other Pirates players and coaches, and remain at the park for dinner and fireworks.
The Pirates earned win No. 43 on Sunday, marking just the third time since 1999 that the club has had that many victories prior to the All-Star break. It happened most recently in 2008. The Pirates have not had a winning record going into the break since 1992, when they were 49-39.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Laura Myers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.