--SS Ronny Cedeno has struggled in all facets in the early going, picking up exactly where he left off late last season, when nearly every ball hit his way was an adventure. "Part of the reason we continue to give him the opportunity is that if it clicks, we've got a pretty good major league shortstop," GM Neal Huntington said. "In the interim, we've got a major league shortstop. Whether we like it or not, he's not as far behind the average shortstop that you might like to feel he is."
--C Chris Snyder is expected to come off the disabled list soon, as he is playing -- and playing well, with an 8-for-20 start -- for Class A Bradenton while showing no sign of the strained lower back that shut him down in mid-March. When he returns, it is virtually certain that C Jason Jaramillo will be demoted.
--1B Steve Pearce is still awaiting his first start of the season, but he is doing anything but complaining. In fact, he was complimentary of manager Clint Hurdle's approach to making out the lineup. "We've got some guys going really well right now, and you like to have a manager who sticks with the hot hand," Pearce said. "I know my role as a bench guy. I'll be ready when I'm needed."
--LF Jose Tabata batted .274 out of the leadoff spot last season, but that was only in emergency duty, seldom sustained. This season, he is off to one of the best starts in baseball -- .342 average, seven walks, five steals -- and manager Clint Hurdle merits some of the credit for having placed Tabata atop the order. "I just went with a gut feeling, wanted to see how he would do," Hurdle said. "He's been great."
--SS Chase d'Arnaud, the Pirates' top prospect at his position, is batting .381 (8-for-21) through Indianapolis' first six games, with two triples and two doubles. Seeing him rebound from a subpar 2010 would be important to the organization, given the dearth of quality shortstops. "Chase dug himself a hole last season, and we hope to see him get back to where we think he can be," Huntington said.
BY THE NUMBERS
48 -- Ryan Doumit's career home runs as a catcher, tied for fourth in franchise history with Smoky Burgess and Manny Sanguillen. Top of the list is Jason Kendall, with 66.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's not like I have a poopy arm or something. The strength is there." -- CF Andrew McCutchen, in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article examining his five-tool potential.
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