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Pirates send Gorzelanny to Triple-A

Pirates send Gorzelanny to Triple-A

ATLANTA -- The addition of Charlie Morton cost lefty Tom Gorzelanny his roster spot with the Pirates, though it actually enabled them to get Gorzelanny back into the role envisioned for him in long term.

Gorzelanny is on his way back to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he will rejoin the rotation immediately. Seeing that it's been just about a month since Gorzelanny last made a start, he'll have to build his arm back up before being able to pitch deep in games.

What was intended to be a short stay with the Pirates, who called Gorzelanny up on May 17 to provide long-relief help, ended up lasting much longer because of additional injuries that befell other relievers. And now that it's all said and done, the organization's hope is that Gorzelanny can use the bullpen mentality he developed over the past few weeks and bring it with him into his starts.

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"The challenge to Tom was to take that same focus and intensity to Triple-A and put it into his starts," manager John Russell said. "Not trying to be too fine, but just get after the hitters. I think he learned a lot."

Gorzelanny made nine appearances, going 3-1 and allowing five earned runs, four walks and striking out seven in 8 2/3 innings. His last appearance came on Tuesday, when Gorzelanny pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

"I felt pretty good out there every time I went out and I think it was a positive visit," said Gorzelanny, a 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2007. "[I need to] keep the same intensity I've had out here since I've been up, use that when I'm starting and just keep building off what I did here and what I did earlier in the year in Indy."

Despite Gorzelanny's success in the bullpen, the Pirates never wavered from their intent on keeping him in a starting role.

"We do not want to give up on Tom as a starter," Russell said. "We want to give him every opportunity at his age to be a starter and not to give up on him. We still think he has a lot of potential to being a very good starter for us."

Before joining the Pirates, Gorzelanny went 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in seven Triple-A starts. It was in the past three of those seven starts, however, when the left-hander finally began improving his efficiency and showing signs of being the Major League starter that he once was.

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

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