02/26/2013 3:40 PM ET
Bucs rained out vs. O's; Burnett to start Wednesday
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The rainout of their Tuesday game against the Orioles blended two days of pitching plans for the Pirates, who consequently will throw three of their best arms against the Rays on Wednesday.
A.J. Burnett will make his scheduled start against Tampa Bay in the 1:05 p.m. ET game at McKechnie Field, and he will be followed by Wandy Rodriguez, whose start against Baltimore was washed out.
They will be followed by Gerrit Cole in his Grapefruit League debut, then left-hander Andrew Oliver and a mix of the pitchers who had been due to work either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Considering that the skies opened up Tuesday, drenching McKechnie Field into unplayable status after the Pirates had concluded with their customary pregame work, manager Clint Hurdle took the rainout in stride.
"The idea always is to play nine innings -- but it's not the worst thing," Hurdle said.
The manager also indicated that the Bucs (2-1) would stay with the starting lineup that was to take the field on Tuesday, not the alternate lineup he'd originally planned to use against the Rays.
The held-over batting order:
Marte LF, Walker 2B. McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Jones 1B, G. Sanchez DH, Hawpe RF, McKenry C, Barmes SS.
Martin day to day with soreness in upper body
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Russell Martin was scratched from Tuesday's lineup -- and he will remain on the sidelines on Wednesday -- with some "upper-body soreness," according to manager Clint Hurdle. Hurdle does not consider it serious.
That seemed apparent by the light-hearted way Hurdle discussed Martin's condition, which surfaced when he was spotted throwing the ball underhanded during a morning workout.
"It's upper body. It's hockey season, right?" said Hurdle, declining to specify the catcher's arm as the source of the discomfort. "Just upper body. Arm, ears -- that's all part of the upper body. Just a little soreness right now. He's been getting after it in a crazy fashion."
Martin, who attributed his removal from the lineup to "just the usual bumps and bruises," has made one Grapefruit League appearance, going 0-for-1 with a walk on Sunday against the Braves.
"It's the workload," Hurdle said of the cause of the soreness. "The amount of work he's been doing all over the joint, so we just want to slow him down a little bit. Sometimes you've got to help them help themselves."
Martin signed a two-year, $17 million contract as a free agent in November. He withdrew Sunday from participating in the World Baseball Classic with Team Canada, ostensibly over being unable to have his wish to play shortstop fulfilled.
The Pirates plan to re-evaluate Martin's condition on Thursday.
• Jeff Karstens (biceps tendinitis) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, which would mark his first time on the mound since he reported the soreness early last week.
"I played long toss into the wind three times, and feel fine. No pain," Karstens said.
"It's the next step for him," said Hurdle. "It will be more important to re-evaluate him the day after he throws. We're still very optimistic."
• Charlie Morton, making a steady recovery from his Tommy John surgery, anticipates pitching live batting practice in about 10 days. Facing batters for the first time will be a significant step on the comeback road from the June 14 operation on his right elbow.
• The Pirates did not rush into their decision to sign Jose Contreras and take a chance on the right-hander, who had his own Tommy John surgery on June 20. Contreras first threw in front of team brass in January in Pirate City.
• Lefty Francisco Liriano continues to play "one-armed" catch and anticipates being able to shed the brace from his broken right arm in a week.
• Former Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth was not on the Orioles' travel roster for Tuesday's game -- but Yamaico Navarro, who had 50 at-bats with the Bucs last season, was.
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.