SAN DIEGO -- Following a crazy weekend that saw a 19-inning game, a handful of injuries and the birth of Jordy Mercer's son, the Pirates are finally starting to restore order to an active roster that has been, well, very active of late. First of all, manager Clint Hurdle has his rotation set for the next week, no easy feat after he had to use Monday's scheduled starter, Wandy Rodriguez, in Sunday's 19-inning game and slide reliever Kevin Correia into that starting spot. Hurdle has pegged Rodriguez to get back on the mound Friday for the Pirates' series opener with the Brewers in Pittsburgh. He'll be followed by Jeff Karstens, who started Sunday's game, on Saturday, and Erik Bedard will take the hill on Sunday.
That gives the Pirates a starting corps of A.J. Burnett, James McDonald and Rodriguez for another crucial series with the Cardinals next week. In addition to reining in the havoc wreaked on his starting rotation, Hurdle is beginning to see his bullpen return to full strength. Callups Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson filled in aptly on Monday, giving arms like Jared Hughes and Chris Resop a much-needed break after being used heavily Sunday. McPherson and Wilson were sent back to Triple-A on Tuesday in favor of experienced relievers Daniel McCutchen and Chad Qualls, who will reclaim his spot in the 'pen after being placed on the bereavement list last week. While Hurdle said he does not consider Hughes and Resop available Tuesday if it's at all avoidable (Hughes worked two innings Sunday and Resop three), the Pirates' skipper does see the rest of his relief corps as being available. After his 4 1/3 innings on Monday and two the day before, Correia will get a few days' rest before returning to the bullpen. The Pirates also anticipate the return of infielder Jordy Mercer, who left Sunday to be with his wife due to the birth of his son, Maverick Lee. Hurdle says he expects Mercer to rejoin the club Friday after his three days of paternity leave and the club's off-day Thursday.