Eveland to make Pirates debut Monday
Recently acquired starter gets call in makeup game vs. Cubs
PITTSBURGH -- Dana Eveland will start for the Pirates Monday in their makeup game with the Cubs, necessary because of the rainout Wednesday. Eveland joined the team Friday, three days after being acquired from the Blue Jays for reliever Ronald Uviedo.
Left-hander Brian Burres was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for Eveland on the 25-man roster.
Eveland, also a left-hander, started six games for the Jays this season, going 3-4 with a 6.45 ERA over 44 2/3 innings. He was designated for assignment May 24 after three straight rough outings -- in which he was the losing the pitcher -- that totaled 9 1/3 innings. He gave up 17 earned runs on 23 hits, walking 10 while striking out just five.
"I'm completely confident still," Eveland said. "Every time I take the ball, even after a couple bad starts in a row, I still have total confidence. It's part of the game. You're going to have your ups and downs. You're going to have bad starts."
The 26-year-old Eveland, who said his fastball now tops out around 89 mph, threw two innings in an extended spring training game on Thursday in Bradenton, Fla. Manager John Russell said the plan is to keep using him as a starter if all goes well.
"It sounds like they're going to give me a good opportunity to take the ball, hopefully every five days, as long as things go the way they should," Eveland said. "I threw the ball pretty well for the most part this year, minus my last three starts, so still felt good, still felt confident, so I'm ready to go."
Sanchez comes home to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH -- Freddy Sanchez had to take a cab, not his personal car, to PNC Park on Friday night. He admittedly almost walked past the visitors' clubhouse -- habit, of course. But while the second baseman may be donning different colors, arriving by different transport and sitting on the first-base line this weekend, he has come home.
"It feels great to be back," Sanchez said shortly before playing in Pittsburgh for the first time since being traded to the Giants. "I've had all my best baseball memories here. There are so many memories, so many relationships, so many friendships that we built here, that it's coming home. This is like me coming home for the first time. That feeling never fades away."
Sanchez, who was swapped for Minor League pitcher Tim Alderson at the Trade Deadline last year, spent parts of six seasons in Pittsburgh. He was an All-Star in three of them and claimed the National League batting title in 2006. Sanchez finished his Pirates career with a .301 batting average and with a particular affinity for the city.
That explains why Sanchez had his wife, Alissa, and their two children travel back to Pittsburgh with him for the weekend. They are spending Saturday at an event for the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a charitable organization that Sanchez was deeply involved in during his time with the Pirates.
Sanchez has played just 14 games for San Francisco this season, as he spent the early part of the season still recovering from left shoulder surgery. He has hit safely in 11 of those 14 games, with a .327 average overall.
The second baseman is clearly excited at the prospect of participating in a playoff race later this season, something he never experienced during his time with the Pirates. That's not to say, though, that Sanchez has forgotten his time here in Pittsburgh. Rather, he's done everything he can to watch his former teammates as often as possible.
"I keep a real close eye on those guys," Sanchez said. "I wish them the best. There are a lot of friends on this team that I watch and want to do well. These fans deserve for them to do well."
Karstens to get call opposite Strasburg
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have set their rotation for the next five days, and it will be Jeff Karstens who opposes Stephen Strasburg when the Nationals' phenom makes his Major League debut on Tuesday.
Tuesday's start was supposed to go Zach Duke until Wednesday's rainout foiled the team's rotation plans. Duke, Paul Maholm and Ross Ohlendorf had to be pushed back and are all pitching in this weekend's series against the Giants. Pittsburgh will now use newly acquired lefty Dana Eveland in Monday's makeup game before sending Karstens to the mound for a game that will be televised nationally on MLB Network.
"Jeff seems to rise to occasion," manager John Russell said. "He's very good about blocking things out. I think he really likes that atmosphere."
Russell would not commit to his rotation plans beyond these next five days. The club has off-days scheduled on June 14 and June 21, which could allow the Pirates to forgo using a fifth starter twice later this month. As the rotation gets settled, Russell also noted that he'd like to make sure he splits up his left-handed starters appropriately. Right now the Pirates have three lefty starters -- Duke, Maholm and Eveland.
Veal's Tommy John surgery a success
PITTSBURGH -- Donnie Veal underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Friday, one day after Dr. James Andrews diagnosed the left-hander with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.
Veal is scheduled to report to Bradenton, Fla., next week to begin his rehabilitation program. His recovery process is expected to take 12-18 months, which is typical for this type of procedure.
This means that not only will Veal miss the remainder of the 2010 season, but the 25-year-old starter will also miss part -- if not all -- of 2011, too. That news hit manager John Russell particularly hard, given the improvements Veal had made since sneaking through '09 as a Rule 5 Draft pick.
"It crushed me. It really did," Russell said. "I think everybody was really excited about what he was doing. To get that news is devastating to me. He's a great kid. He worked awfully hard to get to where he is.
"It's a setback, but knowing Donnie, he'll bounce back. He's a very resilient kid. He's been through a lot in his life. I think mentally he'll be able to battle through this, as well as physically."
Veal was 3-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine Triple-A starts before being shut down.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Associate reporter Matt Fortuna contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.