Denard Span CF SF 1 hour ago
Span is out of the lineup for Thursday's series finale against Atlanta, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Span earns a day off after starting the past four games in center, including a 3-for-5 day with a triple and one run scored during Wednesday's contest. In his place, Gorkys Hernandez will get the start while batting eighth.
Chase Whitley RP TB 1 hour ago
Whitley notched his second save in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Reds, firing 1.2 scoreless innings and recording a strikeout.
Whitley was locked in, ringing up five outs on just 14 pitches, 12 of which he threw for strikes. The 28-year-old right-hander maintains a solid 2.81 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, although he had surrendered at least one earned run in three of the five outings prior to his current two-appearance scoreless streak. Despite the occasional hiccup, Whitley has proven to be a versatile, multi-inning option for manager Kevin Cash, logging five holds, two victories and a pair of saves in as many chances.
OUTDanny Espinosa 2B/SS LAA 1 hour ago
Espinosa will get a day off Thursday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.
Espinosa currently has a six-game hit streak going, but takes the day off Thursday in favor of Cliff Pennington at second base. On the year, Espinosa is hitting just .176/.247/.307 with six home runs and 27 RBI, but due to Pennington's lack of production, will continue to get a majority of starts at the keystone.
Will Craig 1B PIT 1 hour ago
Craig, 22, is batting .286/.389/.423 with five home runs and 33 RBI through 62 games for High-A Bradenton
The polished college bat skipped Low-A all together, though has had a bit of a power outage thus far at this level. In fact, this was always the fear with Craig; that he would not hit for enough power to stick at a corner infield position. The Pirates seem less worried about this fact than other organizations (see Josh Bell, John Jaso, etc) but as a result Craig may not offer much other than a decent average.
Taylor Featherston 2B TB 2 hours ago
Featherston went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Reds.
Featherston is parlaying his current opportunity with the Rays into some decent production, as he's now slashing .273/.346/.591 and has hit safely in five of his last seven games. The 27-year-old's stint with the big-league club could be fairly lengthy one if he can continue offering serviceable production, as Matt Duffy (heel) remains without a clear timetable for return.
OUTBradley Zimmer OF CLE 2 hours ago
Zimmer is out of the lineup Thursday.
After going 2-for-4 with two runs during Wednesday's affair with the Orioles, Zimmer will take a seat for the final game of the series. Erik Gonzalez fills in at left field while batting eighth.
Ariel Hernandez SP CIN 2 hours ago
After a perfect eighth inning Wednesday, Hernandez has retired all 14 batters that he's faced so far this season.
Hernandez has been hard to hit both in the majors on the minors, but in 33 innings at Double-A Pensacola he has walked 20 batters, suggesting that despite his great debut, there's still more refining necessary. Nonetheless, he has a live enough arm that it's not hard to project he could be helpful in a late-inning relief role.
10DBen Zobrist 2B/LF/RF CHC 2 hours ago
Zobrist (wrist) will go on a brief rehab assignment before returning from the disabled list, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
While there was a chance Zobrist would return from the disabled list over the weekend, that now seems unlikely given he stayed back in Chicago when the Cubs traveled to Miami for their upcoming series against the Marlins. He's expected to head out on a short rehab assignment when his wrist is healthy, though it's unclear when and where that will be at this point.
Brett Cumberland C ATL 2 hours ago
Cumberland, 21, is slashing .263/.432/.531 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI through 55 games for Low-A Rome.
Cumberland has shown excellent power production along with the ability to take a walk during his first taste of full-season ball. he is still striking out too much though, fanning 61 times during those 55 contests. It also remains to be seen if he will be able to hit for average at the higher levels. Nevertheless, his power and plate discipline offer some value, particularly from the catching position.
Steven Souza Jr. RF TB 2 hours ago
Souza went 3-for-5 with two RBI from a pair of run-scoring singles and also roped a double and scored in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Reds.
Souza's bat has been hot over the last week-plus, as he's hit safely in eight of his last nine games, including a trio of multi-hit efforts in his last four contests. The 27-year-old slugger's June effort is a welcome change from a month of May in which he hit just .216, and all three components of his current .272/.380/.504 season line -- as well as his .884 OPS -- represent career highs.