Notes: Dealing with injuries, illness

Notes: Dealing with injuries, illness

PHILADELPHIA -- As Pirates manager Jim Tracy hosted his pregame meeting with members of the media, he might as well have been wearing a "Tracy, M.D." tag pinned to his uniform. With numerous players fighting injuries and another bothered by an illness, it was time for a comprehensive medical update.

Let's begin with starter Tom Gorzelanny, who exited his start on Wednesday in the third inning after the left-hander complained of unyielding stiffness in his left shoulder. Instead of throwing his bullpen session on Friday, which typically comes two days after a start, Gorzelanny played catch with pitching coach Jim Colborn early in the afternoon to see if there was any lingering soreness in that shoulder.

Afterward, Gorzelanny said that the shoulder "felt the same" as it did on Thursday, when the lefty said the shoulder felt normal. Tracy also spoke encouragingly of Gorzelanny's progress.

"He was free and easy, as far as I understand," Tracy said. "There wasn't anything to suggest discomfort of any kind, as far as I understand."

Gorzelanny will throw his bullpen session on Saturday, after which Tracy will make a decision as to whether Gorzelanny will make his scheduled start on Tuesday. The team's off-day on Monday leaves Tracy some flexibility to rearrange the rotation next week if Tracy and Colborn decide that Gorzelanny could use a few extra days to work out any lingering stiffness.

While Gorzelanny continued to progress, Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche showed up at the ballpark still feeling weak and, in his words, "sore from head to toe," from what LaRoche believes was a case of food poisoning in New York.

"It's not as good today as I thought it was going to be," said LaRoche, who was held out of the Pittsburgh lineup for the second straight day. "But it's a little better."

LaRoche, who has lost a few pounds due to illness, took full batting practice with the team and worked out on the stationary bike prior to Friday's game. He is expected to be available off the bench if needed.

"I would still like to play if I can get rid of the soreness and stiffness," said the first baseman, who has an imposing .371 lifetime batting average and six home runs at Citizens Bank Park. "I had no intention of missing two days because of [this]."

What's up Doc? Part II: The injury and illness report didn't stop with the Pirates' parent club, as team doctors down in Bradenton, Fla., have also had their hands full tending to a number of injured Bucs players.

Lefty Zach Duke remains in a two-week routine of throwing every other day on flat ground, a process suggested by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Duke has been on the disabled list with left elbow tendinitis all month.

Duke threw around 50 tosses on flat ground at a distance of 60-75 feet in his latest session, and the young left-hander will remain on flat ground for at least another week until this two week regimen is over.

Third baseman Jose Bautista, who had stitches removed from his left hand earlier in the week, is continuing to hit off the tee and in the cage as he is once again taking swings after suffering a laceration to the right hand on July 15. On Saturday, Bautista will hit off a member of the Bradenton staff for the first time since having the stitches removed.

"It's still a little weak, which is a little understandable," Tracy said of Bautista's hand. "When he gets beyond that, we'll see where he is."

Also in Bradenton is Pirates center fielder Chris Duffy, who has been inactive since the end of June due to a left ankle sprain. Duffy has improved enough to begin running on flat ground, and, in Tracy's words, is "progressing."

Snell nabs trophy... finally: Ian Snell may have to move around some furniture when he returns home, because he is bringing back quite the sizeable souvenir from Pittsburgh. No, Snell didn't do any shopping in the Center City district of Philadelphia on Friday morning. It was his former high school principal and baseball coaches from Camden, Del., who made the 45 minute drive to Philadelphia to deliver the gift.

Selected by the Delaware Sports Writers Association as the 2006 Athlete of the Year, Snell finally received the approximately three-foot-high trophy that came with the honor. Snell, a 2000 graduate of Delaware's Caesar Rodney High School, was unable to accept the trophy back in January because he was taking part in the annual Pirate Fest festivities.

Snell's 14 victories last season were the most wins by a Delaware righty since Huck Betts of Millsboro won 17 games in 1934 for the Boston Braves.

Torres to hire agent: Salomon Torres said that he will be meeting with representatives from the Win International legal firm in Pittsburgh on Monday in order to finalize hiring an agent. With a pending lawsuit and grievance against the Pirates and ongoing legal issues that could complicate a possible trade before Tuesday's deadline, Torres said that he felt it was important to find an agent who understood all the legal intricacies.

Torres' name has been attached to numerous clubs as the non-waiver trade deadline stands less than four days away. Among the clubs that have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Torres are the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Mariners.

Bonds to haunt Bucs? Though Barry Bonds folded up his Pirates jersey 15 years ago, the Pirates may still find themselves swept up in Bonds' pursuit of home run no. 755. FOX announced on Friday that the Aug. 11 contest between the Pirates and Giants in San Francisco has been picked up nationally and will now begin at 3:55 p.m. ET. That Saturday game is one of five straight the two clubs will have against each other -- three in San Francisco followed by a doubleheader at PNC Park on Monday, Aug. 13th.

If he keeps on his current season pace, Bonds would hit No. 755 at home on Aug. 12 against the Pirates.

On deck: Coming off of his best start in his young career, Pirates lefty Shane Youman (2-2, 3.24 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday against Philadelphia righty J.D. Durbin (2-2, 3.33). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.