Pirates Notebook: Bonds doubts he will play in Pittsburgh
Saturday, August 11, 2007
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds probably will not play in Pittsburgh next week.
Major League Baseball's new home run king declined to do formal interviews yesterday before facing the Pirates, but he did say he thought it was unlikely he will appear in either game of the San Francisco Giants' doubleheader Monday at PNC Park.
The reason: Bonds is not expected to start this afternoon, but he should play tomorrow. After that, the Giants must make the five-hour flight to Pittsburgh, and that travel might prompt a full day off for Bonds.
The doubleheader Monday, a makeup of two April rainouts, is being squeezed into what had been an off-day for San Francisco, which has a game Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Despite what Bonds said, there is a chance he could play one of the two games in Pittsburgh, as the Giants are down to a three-man bench.
Bonds' absence would be bad news for the Pirates, who had been selling tickets for the doubleheader at a brisk pace because of his pending arrival. The team also has planned a video tribute to Bonds, to be shown a few minutes before the second game, and that doubtless would proceed whether or not he is in attendance.
Maholm, Youman fly early
There is ample precedent for pitchers missing games to fly to the next city a day early, and that is what the Pirates will do for Paul Maholm and Shane Youman, their pitchers in the doubleheader Monday.
Youman, who had been considered a long reliever the past few days despite not being used, pitched a lengthy bullpen session yesterday that ruled him out of any action until the Monday start. He will have been idle 10 days.
Nady makes appearance
Outfielder Xavier Nady appeared in the game last night as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, effectively eliminating the chance the Pirates will place him on the 15-day disabled list because of his strained left hamstring.
He had been held out since a pinch-hit appearance last Saturday in an attempt to ensure he could be backdated to that point, if necessary.
Nady, still discouraged about the progress of the hamstring, expects to have it examined when the Pirates return to Pittsburgh next week.
It seems far from certain that the Pirates will stay with Tony Armas in the rotation. With him pitching tonight and Youman Monday, those performances could loom large in deciding who is in or out.
The Pirates signed starter Victor Zambrano to a minor-league contract and had him pitch immediately for Class AAA Indianapolis last night. Zambrano, 33, went 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA in eight appearances with Toronto. The Blue Jays released him July 9.
Josh Phelps, a first baseman and catcher by trade, has been taking grounders at third base.