09/06/06 1:28 AM ET
Notes: Investment in Nady paying off
Gorzelanny, Gonzalez expected back soon; Wilson available
By Ryan Crawford / MLB.com
"It's just a tremendous acquisition," Jim Tracy said Tuesday.
Since the Pirates acquired Nady from the Mets on July 31, for reliever Roberto Hernandez and starter Oliver Perez, the team has certainly seen positive results.
Nady is hitting .345 in 31 games with the Pirates this season while splitting time at first base and right field. He hit .264 in 75 games with the Mets.
Nady attributed his success to better health and a little luck.
"I had a couple of injuries that kind of set me back for a little bit," Nady said. "I'm trying to have fun and have good at-bats. Sometimes they fall, sometimes they don't."
Tracy said Nady's ability to hit the ball to all fields helps.
"[He hits] gap to gap and foul line to foul line," Tracy said. "He's got a very intriguing approach to hitting and one that you like very much because he becomes very difficult to defend."
That was evident on Monday, when Nady doubled to the right-center-field gap to score three runs against the Cubs.
Nady has nine doubles in 116 at-bats as a Pirate. He had 15 in 265 at-bats with the Mets.
But while he's hitting more doubles, his home run numbers have dropped significantly.
Nady has 15 homers on the season, but only one with his new team.
Tracy isn't very worried about that.
"I'm sure as he goes along you're going to see more than you're seeing," Tracy said. "I just don't want him all of a sudden leaving his feet because of something I suggested in here [to the media]. I want to see that same, solid, consistent approach."
Tracy has also been impressed with the attitude and work ethic the 27-year-old has brought to his young team.
"The presence and the professionalism of the person is outstanding," Tracy said. "He's a winner. ... He understands unselfishness. He knows how to perform in order to give the team a chance to win. There is absolutely nothing not to like about this guy."
Nady said it's strange to be one of the older players on a team.
"It's obviously a little different," Nady said. "I went from a ballclub with a lot of leaders and kind of learned from them and came here with all the young guys, and it's fun to watch these guys continue to improve."
Nady, who has been with three teams in the last two years, was a little surprised at the change of scenery this season, but hopes he's found a home in Pittsburgh.
"You never know with the nature of this game," Nady said. "I'd like to think [I've found a home], but anything can happen at any given time, as I found out at the last minute at the trade deadline. ... I feel like this is where I belong and I'm happy to be here."
Despite that, there's still got to be some jealousy about not playing in October with the Mets, right?
"Not really," Nady said. "I wish everyone the best over there, and I'll see everyone in a couple weeks [when the Mets come to Pittsburgh], which will be nice. But I've got to root for all those guys. Everyone treated me extremely well, so no hard feelings towards anyone."
Hurlers mending: Tracy said closer Mike Gonzalez and starter Tom Gorzelanny showed improvement over the past two days.
"I envision Gorzelanny and Gonzalez pitching again this year," Tracy said after both had positive throwing sessions.
Gonzalez, who is on the disabled list with left elbow tendinitis, threw on flat ground prior to Tuesday's game.
"[He] threw the ball free and easy," Tracy said. "I was on the other end of it."
Gorzelanny, who is also suffering from left elbow tendinitis, threw 40 pitches off a bullpen mound on Monday.
Wilson update: Jack Wilson was feeling better and was available for more than pinch-hitting duties on Tuesday, Tracy said.
The shortstop was an option to enter the game in a double-switch or as a defensive replacement, but was not in the starting lineup.
Wilson took some early infield practice before Tuesday's game and had only one dizzy spell while turning to throw a ball to second base.
Wilson has not started since Aug. 24 because of an inner ear infection.
Roster moves: The Pirates made three additional roster moves following Tuesday's game.
Reliever Juan Perez, catcher Carlos Maldonado and starter Shane Youman got the call to the big-league club after Triple-A Indianapolis lost, 4-0, to Toledo in a one-game playoff for the International League postseason.
Perez, a left-hander, pitched in 47 games this year for Indianapolis and Triple-A Norfolk, posting a 2.37 ERA.
Maldonado had a .283 batting average and six home runs in 103 games for the Indians this year.
The lefty Youman was 4-0 with a 4.04 ERA in seven starts for Indianapolis. He was 7-2 with a 1.51 ERA in 11 starts for Double-A Altoona as well.
The Pirates purchased the contracts of both Maldonado and Youman.
On deck: Lefty Zach Duke (8-13, 4.97 ERA) will start the third game of a four-game series against Cubs southpaw Rich Hill (4-6, 5.23 ERA) at 8:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Ryan Crawford is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.