Once they are cleared to throw again, Gorzelanny and Gonzalez will each have to begin throwing programs to rebuild their arm strength. With five weeks left in the season, it is possible that one or both of them have thrown their last competitive pitch of 2006.
"Hopefully, before season's end, we'll have them pitching again," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "We're very, very encouraged by the fact that, with the results that we got from the studies that were done today, we're in a good position with both guys."
Gorzelanny has been sidelined by left elbow stiffness since his last start on Aug. 15. He requested the MRA after his elbow did not respond as he'd hoped following his bullpen session Sunday.
"There were some lingering things that weren't fully recovered. I just wanted to find out if everything is all right," Gorzelanny said.
Gorzelanny, whose DL assignment was made retroactive to Aug. 18, remains hopeful that he'll return to the rotation this season.
"Everything is fine. Everything is perfect," said Gorzelanny. "I'm just going to go back at it, get stronger and get better as soon as I can."
Gonzalez, who has converted each of his 24 save opportunities in his first season as closer, began experiencing tingling during his appearance against Houston on Thursday. An unsatisfactory throwing session Sunday convinced him that it was time to have his elbow examined.
"It's one of those where you want to feel good, but you still feel something in there," Gonzalez said. "To get a piece of mind, I wanted to get it checked out."
Like Gorzelanny, Gonzalez is optimistic that he'll return to the mound again this season.
"It's a definite relief knowing that there's nothing wrong with the ligament," Gonzalez said. "I'm definitely disappointed that I'm going to be out for this time. But, if it is going to get me better and let me finish out the year on a good pace, then I'm fine with that."
Closer by committee: Tracy will not name an interim closer in Gonzalez's absence. Instead, the Bucs skipper will go with a closer by committee.
Matt Capps, Salomon Torres, John Grabow and Damaso Marte could be used to finish out the ninth depending upon favorable matchups.
"Whatever makes sense," said Tracy. "We'll just piece it together right now for the time being."
The rookie Capps, with one save, is the only other current Pirates pitcher to have closed out a game this season. Torres had three saves in 2005, and five for his career. Grabow's lone career save came in 2004. Marte, who has been used primarily as a left-handed specialist, has 31 career saves, including a high of 11 in 2003.
Welcome to The Show: In addition to placing Gonzalez and Gorzelanny on the DL on Monday, the Pirates also designated right-hander Britt Reames for assignment. To fill the three openings in their bullpen, the Bucs promoted right-handers Jonah Bayliss, Marty McLeary and Brian Rogers from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Rogers, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 31 in a trade for Sean Casey, will be pitching for his fourth team in a month. He has gone a combined 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 46 appearances with Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona and Erie.
"It's just been a whirlwind month," said Rogers. "It seems like it's been a whole new team every week. It's just going to take me a while to get some names down."
Rogers learned of his first promotion to the big leagues around midnight Monday morning, just hours after performing a Village People medley during a rookie skit with Indianapolis teammate Jesse Chavez.
"I had lost my phone and [the Indians coaches] were trying to get in touch with me all night. The hotel phone didn't ring either," Rogers explained. "So they were frantically calling me, and somebody knocks on my door and I'm out of it. I open the door and the pitching coach and our trainer were there.
"They said, 'I guess [the Pirates] liked the skit so much they want you to do it in Pittsburgh.' It didn't dawn on me because I was just waking up."
Bayliss went 3-3 with a 2.17 ERA and 23 saves as the Indianapolis closer. He allowed three runs in five innings over three appearances during his first stint with the Pirates earlier this season.
McLeary was 3-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 35 games with Indianapolis, including 13 starts. The right-hander pitched in three big-league games with the San Diego Padres in 2004.
Tracy said that all three pitchers would be used in middle relief roles.
Bucs bits: Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson is continuing to progress from an inner ear infection that has sidelined him since Friday. Wilson will begin doing work on the field in the coming days. It is unlikely, however, that he will be ready for game action until the Pirates' upcoming weekend series in St. Louis. ... Ryan Doumit made his third start of the season at first base Monday. Doumit had started behind the plate Friday and Sunday against the Astros.
On deck: The Pirates and Cubs will continue their three-game series Tuesday night at PNC Park. Bucs lefty Paul Maholm (6-10, 4.82) will take the hill against Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano (14-5, 3.31).