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Pirates Report, 09/09/00

Saturday, September 09, 2000

By the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Today's game: Reds vs. Pirates, 7:05 p.m., Three Rivers Stadium. No TV; KDKA-AM (1020) and Pirates Radio Network. Steve Parris (10-14) starts for the Reds, Kris Benson (9-11) for the Pirates.

The Pirates completed their September call-up process yesterday by adding OF Adam Hyzdu and relief P Brian Smith to their active roster. Hyzdu, 28, is in his 11th professional season and made his major-league debut in the second game, starting in left field. Smith, who will turn 28 a week from tomorrow, also arrived with no major-league experience.

Smith, a right-hander, spent six seasons in the Toronto organization before the Pirates picked him in the Rule Five draft in December. As a Rule Five selection, he could have spent this whole season with the Pirates or be offered back to the Blue Jays. But he had shoulder surgery following last season and wasn't going to be ready to pitch until July. So the Pirates did not offer him a contract, making him a free agent. Then he signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates. "I knew I wasn't going to be able to contend for a job in spring training," Smith said, explaining his decision to take the free-agent/minor-league contract route. "It wasn't in my best interests to try to go to another team." Smith, noted for having a good sinker, made 22 appearances for Class AA Altoona and was 3-4 with 12 saves and an 0.99 earned run average.

Hyzdu, from Cincinnati's Moeller High School, batted .290 with 39 doubles, 31 home runs and 106 RBIs for Altoona this season. Last year, in 91 games with Altoona, Hyzdu hit .316 with 24 home runs and 78 RBIs. The Curve retired his uniform No. 16 after its final game this season. "That was a little overwhelming," Hyzdu said. "To be that appreciated, I was really touched. They did it up big time. I was very impressed." Hyzdu hit 22 career home runs at Moeller, breaking Ken Griffey Jr.'s school record. Hyzdu's reaction at finally being in the big leagues after 11 years? "Quite honestly, my first feeling was relief," he said. "The last five years, over and over I was asked, 'How come you don't get a chance?' It was something I couldn't answer."

Left-hander Chris Peters had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow Thursday to shave down a bone spur. "Everything else was fine," Peters said. "There was no ligament damage. Peters said he should be able to begin throwing in six to eight weeks and actually able to pitch in about three months. Peters went to Class AAA Nashville almost two weeks ago on a rehabilitation assignment. He was to make two starts for the Sounds, then return and start in one game of the doubleheader last night if his elbow cooperated. "It just didn't take too long for it to break down," said Peters, who made one start for Nashville. "I could hardly play catch at all [after that start]. It's disappointing. Going through another surgery was the last thing I wanted to do. But I had no choice." Peters had shoulder surgery last winter.

Infielder Mike Benjamin, who hasn't played since Aug. 20 because of low back pain, had an MRI yesterday morning and was awaiting the results.

First-base coach Tommy Sandt, who had knee surgery before the Pirates went on their West Coast trip, said he isn't ready to resume his duties. "Not while we're on a winning streak," he said.

Manager Gene Lamont said Bronson Arroyo, who started the second game last night, will start again Thursday night in Houston, with Todd Ritchie starting Wednesday night against St. Louis here. After Arroyo's start in Houston, it's likely the Pirates will revert to a five-man starting rotation for the remaining games.

Between games of the doubleheader, the Pirates honored Lanny Frattare, the team's play-by-play broadcaster since 1976. Frattare, in his 25th season with the Pirates, has done play-by-play for more than 3,600 Major League Baseball games. Frattare holds an annual golf tournament at St. Clair Country Club that has raised over $1 million in 14 years. Proceeds benefit The Parent & Child Guidance Center and the Al J. Frattare Memorial Foundation, which honors Frattare's father. Frattare is scheduled to be inducted into the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame Oct. 14. Ithaca is Frattare's alma mater.

The Pirates announced yesterday that people who currently do not have season tickets at Three Rivers Stadium can reserve the option to purchase season tickets at PNC Park by making a $200 per seat refundable deposit. People wishing to make the deposit can contact the Pirates, 412-321-BUCS. More information is available on the team's Web site (www.pirateball.com).

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT

Thursday's result

LYNCHBURG (66-72) lost at Myrtle Beach, 2-1, in the first game of the best-of-five Carolina League championship series. Starter Jason Haynie allowed three hits, two walks and a run in six innings. Chris Spurling lost in relief, walking two batters and allowing a two-out run in the ninth. 1B Carlos Rivera had two hits. SS Luis Lorenzana had the Hillcats' lone RBI.



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