Pirates option struggling starter Gorzelanny to Triple-A Indianapolis

Updated: July 5, 2008, 6:45 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, a day after the lefty gave up five runs in the fifth inning in a 9-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tom Gorzelanny

Gorzelanny

"It's something we've been looking at for quite some time," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "We've been trying to get him back on track the last few weeks and get him to be more like the pitcher he was all last year."

Gorzelanny (6-7) has struggled all season after a breakout campaign last year when he went 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA. He got off to a rocky 1-3 start this year and missed time with a strained back. His ERA still stood at 7.38 after a May 28 loss at Cincinnati when he lasted just two outs, the shortest start of his career.

But before Friday's start against Milwaukee, Gorzelanny appeared to be settling into a rhythm. He had gone 1-0 and allowed five runs over 12 innings against the Yankees and Rays, two of the AL's best teams.

Against the Brewers, he allowed the side to bat around in the fifth and walked four batters in the inning.

"We just haven't seen the improvements that we want to," Russell said. "We've seen some improvement, but it's not fair to him or the team or the organization to continue to have him try to figure things out up here."

The Pirates are not planning to make a roster move with two starting pitchers coming off the disabled list on Monday and Tuesday. Lefty Phil Dumatrait (left shoulder bursitis) will return to start Monday's series opener against Houston and righty Ian Snell (right elbow) will return the next day.

Russell said he's not sure who would take Gorzelanny's turn in the rotation on Wednesday. Gorzelanny was only scheduled for one more start before the All-Star break.

"He's obviously a very big part of the organization," Russell said. "We want to get him back to what he's capable of doing."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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