6/8/2013 4:29 P.M. ET
Karstens undergoes surgery, further weakening staff
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- One of Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's daily rituals -- providing updates on the club's injured players -- ended Saturday with this bulletin item: Jeff Karstens had surgery on his right arm a day earlier.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache debrided Karstens' rotator cuff and labrum Friday in Los Angeles. The initial prognosis is for Karstens to be able to begin a throwing program in 10-12 weeks -- the latest in a string of disheartening developments for the popular and combative pitcher.
Karstens has been sidelined all year, including Spring Training, with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Karstens is now clearly out of the picture, but rehab continues for two other right-handers working their way back to the Pirates' depleted rotation:
• Charlie Morton's scheduled rehab start Saturday night, in which he is expected to throw 95 pitches for Triple-A Indianapolis, could be his last. It will have him in line to face the Giants on Thursday on regular rest.
• James McDonald, considerably farther away, gets his next turn Tuesday, when he is expected to throw six innings or 90 pitches for Indianapolis.
The Pirates announced they will call up top prospect Gerrit Cole to have him fill the other hole in the rotation and make his Major League debut Tuesday against San Francisco. It places Cole and McDonald on parallel pitching schedules, affording the Bucs flexibility for ensuing moves.
Injuries to Wandy Rodriguez (tight forearm) and Jeanmar Gomez (on the DL with forearm tightness) have left A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke as the tenured parts of a five-man rotation.
Bucs place Hughes on DL, recall Presley
CHICAGO -- The Pirates on Saturday placed right-handed reliever Jared Hughes on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Replacing Hughes, who had been part of a bloated nine-man bullpen for the past few days, is outfielder Alex Presley, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Hughes had pitched twice since his latest call-up from Indianapolis on Monday, working 2 2/3 innings in a pair of appearances in Atlanta earlier this week.
This will be Presley's third big-league stint this season. He was the Pirates' Opening Day left fielder in 2012 and made an impact during his previous brief stay. He had last been recalled on May 31, and started two games, including going 3-for-5 on June 1 against the Reds.
Presley had been optioned back to Indianapolis when Hughes was recalled, on Monday.
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.