DENVER -- Ross Ohlendorf exited Wednesday's start against the Rockies after being struck on the right side of the head by Troy Tulowitzki's line drive in the first. However, the right-hander is optimistic that the only playing time he'll miss came during the team's subsequent 6-2 win.

Ohlendorf has been diagnosed with a bad contusion and abrasion on the right side of the head. But after Wednesday's game, there was no immediate talk of placing Ohlendorf on the disabled list. Of course, he will have to be reevaluated over the next few days before any final determination is made.

"I think he got, obviously, very lucky," manager John Russell said. "It shook him a little bit. We'll have to reevaluate him through the night and [on Thursday]. We'll see how he's doing. Again, I think he's very fortunate."

Ohlendorf's next scheduled start would be at home on Monday, and for now, Ohlendorf is expecting to make it.

"That's certainly my hope and my plan," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen the next day or so."

A CT scan done on Ohlendorf at nearby Rose Hospital came back negative. Ohlendorf seemed to be aided by the fact that the liner didn't hit him squarely in the head. He described it as more of a deflection, evident by the fact that the ball ricocheted into right field after it struck.

The Pirates had already seen a similar situation play itself out this season. Starter Chris Jakubauskas was struck in the head by a Lance Berkman line drive in the first inning of an April 24 game in Houston and immediately left that game.

The difference, which was noted by several players on Wednesday, was that Jakubauskas was hit more directly. The right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list immediately after the occurrence and still has not come off the DL.

Having seen how a similar incident affected Jakubauskas, Ohlendorf realized how fortunate he was to be out of the hospital and able to celebrate the Pirates' 6-2 win with his teammates less just three hours after the scary moment.

"Considering I got hit in the head, I feel like I am really lucky with where it hit me," he said. "I feel fine. I guess I got lucky."

Prospect Hernandez out for the season

DENVER -- Pirates outfield prospect Gorkys Hernandez will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his right ring finger on Sunday. Hernandez is scheduled to undergo surgery that will sideline him for eight-to-12 weeks.

Hernandez, who was acquired in the Nate McLouth trade last summer, recently represented the organization in the All-Star Futures Game and was nearing the end of his most productive month this season. Hernandez's .325 batting average in July had pushed his season average up to .266. He had driven in 26 and stolen 17 bases in 92 games this season.

If he can recover on schedule, Hernandez will likely make up for some of the lost playing time by playing winter ball, which he has done in each of the last three offseasons.

Russell would welcome change to schedule

DENVER -- The Pirates' 2011 schedule won't be released until mid-September, but it has become public knowledge this week that Major League Baseball is planning to open the season on a Thursday or Friday next year as opposed to at the start of a new week.

Moving Opening Day up a few days will cut off the final exhibition games of Spring Training. The primary purpose of the change is to ensure that the season ends early enough for all three playoff rounds to finish before the end of October.

The 2009 World Series ended on Nov. 4, and this year's Fall Classic could run as late this if it goes to a decisive seventh game. Asked about the proposed schedule change, manager John Russell seemed entirely in favor of the earlier starting and ending dates.

"I think keeping baseball in October is good," he said. "Spring Training is, I think, long enough. If you're talking a week earlier, you'd have to adjust some things. But three days, I think it's a good thing."

Worth noting

The organization promoted reliever Derek Hankins to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. Hankins, 27, had a 1.82 ERA in 26 appearances (six starts) with Double-A Altoona before the promotion. In 79 innings, the right-hander struck out 48 and walked 27. ... Infielder Shelby Ford has been sent down to Class A Bradenton after playing 55 games with Altoona this season. It was just last year that Ford began the season in Triple-A and was talked about as being the Pirates' second baseman of the future. It appears he is out of any such plans now. ... Lefty Brian Bass, who briefly spent time on the Major League roster earlier this season, has been demoted from Triple-A to Double-A. ... The Pirates announced that they will cover all service fees on online and phone ticket orders from Aug. 2-8. ... The start time for Pittsburgh's game against the Cardinals on Saturday has been moved back to 7:22 ET because of a pregame ceremony to honor Whitey Herzog, who was recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. ... Prior to Wednesday's game, manager John Russell spent some time visiting with a youth baseball team from Norman, Okla. Russell grew up in Norman and played baseball at the University of Oklahoma. The 14-and-under team was in Denver to play in a local tournament.