06/27/12 12:16 AM ET
Sutton hopes to find good fit with Pirates
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
Sutton, who has played every position except pitcher, catcher and center field in his four-year Major League career, was claimed off waivers from the Rays on Sunday. But last month, between stints with the Braves and Rays, he was a Pirate for "about six hours," Sutton said.
On May 20, Sutton was traded twice. He was pulled in the middle of a game with Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves' affiliate, and told he had been traded to the Pirates. Later that night the Pirates called and told him he'd been traded to the Rays.
Pittsburgh was interested in Sutton but at the time did not have room for him on the Major League club. In what manager Clint Hurdle called a classy move by general manager Neal Huntington, Sutton was sent to Tampa Bay, which had an opening for him in the big leagues.
Sutton hit .271 with six RBIs in 18 games with the Rays before they put him on waivers on Friday. His career average is .261, with 16 doubles, three home runs and 30 RBIs.
He made a good first impression on his new club on Tuesday, with a pinch-hit RBI double to left field in the seventh inning.
"Sometimes in life good things work out when you do good things," Hurdle said before the game. "We had the opportunity to reacquire him."
After designating Sutton for assignment, the Rays flew him to Dallas so he could spend a couple of days with his pregnant wife, Staci, who is due in October. He hadn't seen her in two months.
"I found out I got designated at 11:30 [a.m. ET] or [noon], and I was on a flight at 2:20 [p.m. ET]," Sutton said. "[The Rays] were really awesome about it."
But then the Pirates called, and on Tuesday he was back in the same place he was on Friday, in the visitor's clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park. He still has to learn the bunt plays and the signs, but he thinks playing with the Bucs will suit him well.
"To go from a winning team in Tampa to a winning team in Pittsburgh, [which is] a couple games out of first place, is a good transition," he said. "Especially, I think, my skills kind of suit the National League pretty well as far as being able to move around and switch-hit. So I think it will be a good fit."
Upon activating Sutton, the Pirates optioned left-handed reliever Doug Slaten.
Barajas unlikely to go on disabled list
PHILADELPHIA -- Neither Rod Barajas nor manager Clint Hurdle think the bone bruise in Barajas' left knee will put him on the disabled list, but it sounds as though the catcher will be out at least a couple of days.
To deal with Barajas' absence, the Pirates optioned first baseman Matt Hague to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday and called up catcher Eric Fryer. To make room for Fryer on the 40-man roster, left-hander Daniel Moskos was designated for assignment. The organization also optioned left-handed reliever Doug Slaten when they activated infielder Drew Sutton, who was claimed off waivers from the Rays on Sunday.
"We don't think he'll be a DL candidate," Hurdle said. "But we do have a bone contusion to deal with; sometimes they respond sooner than later. But we're in a position now where every game matters, and I don't think it would be fair to Rod or to our club to carry one catcher through this period."
After tests on his knee came back clear, Barajas said, "[It's] just a matter of time -- having it heal and see how we go day by day."
He said the knee felt a little better on Tuesday than it did after Monday night's game.
"[There's] still some soreness there, especially if I sit around for a while, and not moving around it definitely tightens up a little bit," said Barajas, who is hitting .224 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs. "It's a lot better than I thought it would be, so that's a good sign."
Barajas sustained the injury on a play at the plate in the bottom of the first inning of Monday's game, when Jimmy Rollins scored on a single by right fielder Hunter Pence. Though shaken up, Barajas stayed in for the rest of the frame, but Mike McKenry pinch-hit for him in the second and remained in the game at catcher.
"I went to try to block the plate. and [Rollins] slid into the bottom of my shoe and kind of jarred my foot back," Barajas said. "So the bones basically just kind of hit each other, and that's where you get the bone bruise."
Barajas has no problem squatting, but the injury would affect his explosiveness in certain situations, such as trying to block a ball or jumping up to throw a ball to second base.
McKenry started Tuesday's game against the Phillies, with Fryer backing him up.
"This eliminates the burden of responsibility for a short period of time, where Rod can focus on getting well and we have Eric available to catch," Hurdle said.
Mike McKenry, who bruised his right hand on a foul ball on Monday but stayed in the game, is OK, according to manager Clint Hurdle. McKenry played the rest of the game and said afterward that he felt fine.
Andrew McCutchen is in seventh place among National League outfielders in the latest voting update on Tuesday. He has garnered 1,685,543 votes but remains 1,483,074 shy of a starting spot. Voting ends on Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
McCutchen has hits in each of his last four at-bats with runners in scoring position. He hit an RBI single in Monday's loss to the Phillies.
Top prospect Gerrit Cole was scheduled to make his second start with Double-A Altoona on Tuesday night. He won his debut with the Curve on Wednesday.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.