Nova back in rotation
PITTSBURGH — Ivan Nova’s hiatus from the Pirates’ rotation lasted for just one start.
Nova will return to the rotation and take his normal turn Sunday in St. Louis. Manager Clint Hurdle revealed that before Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
Nova was skipped from his normal spot on Tuesday in deference to ongoing struggles that started in mid-June. Hurdle said he thought fatigue might be a factor on Nova’s poor performances. Nova said he wasn’t tired.
Steven Brault took the start against the Cubs.
Nova said he kept to his regular routine.
“Same workouts,” he said. “I kept working hard.”
Brault pitched five innings against the Cubs, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks. He didn’t strike out anybody.
“(Brault) kept pitching and stayed aggressive,” Hurdle said. “That’s one of the things about Steven. He stays aggressive.”
Brault could substitute for another of the Pirates’ starters, Hurdle said. The staff has also discussed the possibility of using six starters through the end of the season to give each of the pitchers an extra day of rest.
However, that sixth starter is more likely to be Tyler Glasnow when he is called up from Class AAA Indianapolis.
“We’ll see how it can work out,” Hurdle said.
Former pitcher Kent Tekulve, the Pirates’ all-time save leader, announced on Tuesday night that he will retire from his television analyst job with AT&T SportsNet at the end of the season.
Tekulve, 70, has been working on Pirates TV for the last 10 years.
He had a heart transplant three years ago, but said that is not a direct factor in his decision.
“This has nothing to do with health,” he told Trib Total Media. “My health is fine.”
Rather, Tekulve said he’s anxious to experience a summer that isn’t dictated by the baseball schedule. He has seven grandchildren and would like to spend more time with them.
After retiring as a player, he worked in the Pirates’ front office and served as a TV commentator for the Philadelphia Phillies. He also spent a year as an administrator with the independent Washington Wild Things.
Tekulve has been a spring training instructor for the Pirates for several seasons. He is also listed in the team directory as the president of the Pirates Alumni Association.
Tekulve saved three of the Pirates’ four victories in the 1979 World Series.
One possible candidate to take the job with AT&T SportsNet is long-time baseball executive Jack Zduriencik, a New Castle native who was general manager of the Seattle Mariners.
Zduriencik has filled in on TV and is co-hosting the pre-game and post-game shows on the Pirates’ flagship radio station this season.
Pirates uniformed personnel and front office staff spent a part of Wednesday doing community work in honor of the MLB-wide Roberto Clemente Day.
Hurdle and Josh Harrison were among the participants. Harrison is Pittsburgh’s nominee for the MLB annual Clemente award.
Reliever George Kontos could be activated from the disabled list as soon as today. He’s been out with a groin strain.
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