The Indianapolis Indians hit town tonight to open a four-game series with St. Francis product Jim Negrych in tow and doing well (Negrych is 5 for 13 in five games with two doubles and a homer). His new team is not. Indy was swept in four straight by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre heading into this series and is seriously depleted after callups by the parent Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Bucs, of course, are going nowhere for the 18th straight year and dropped their 10th straight game with a disgraceful six-error showing Wednesday against the White Sox. Manager John Russell and GM Neil Huntington are in trouble, with lots of talk that Russell could be gone as soon as this weekend. So in the last week, they've called up their prospects to at least show ownership and the fans there's some future to look forward to. That's all anyone has had in Pittsburgh for a long time.
Top pitching prospect Brad Lincoln and outfield prospect Jose Tabata got the call last week. And third baseman Pedro Alvarez, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, made his big-league debut Wednesday night as he was told to head to Pittsburgh just before the Indy team bus pulled out of Scranton Tuesday night for the trip to Buffalo.
So the Pirates fans out there, and I know there are still a few in Buffalo, won't get to see many of the top Bucs prospects here this weekend. But they can at least cheer for the hometown guy.