Notes: Gerut looks to fit in
New acquisition excited to part of young Pirates team
ATLANTA -- Somewhere between Chicago and Atlanta, Jody Gerut's equipment bag is wondering where its owner is. As a result of what Gerut called "a little mix-up," his bag did not make it to Turner Field for Monday's series finale with the Braves.
That means his Bucs debut will have to be put on hold for a day, when Pittsburgh returns home for a three-game set with San Diego.
One day after being traded to the Cubs for Matt Lawton, Gerut said he is looking forward to filling the void of a player who was loved by his teammates.
"I know that [Lawton] was really happy here; he was having a lot of fun here," Gerut said Monday. "I just have to look to fit in."
Fitting in seems to come naturally to the 27-year-old, who made his Major League debut in 2003 with the Indians. That season, he batted .279 with 22 home runs and 75 RBI.
Numbers like those from a young player are part of the reason Lloyd McClendon is excited to see Gerut.
"With Jody, we think he's a fine young player, with some power, and he's a certain part of what we're trying to build here," McClendon said. "If you look around at the composition of this club, most of these guys are in that range of 22 to 25 [years old]. They are young players that are very talented, and they're getting better together.
The trade from the Cubs on Sunday was the second in two weeks for Gerut. On July 19, he was traded to Chicago from Cleveland after batting .275 (38-for-138) with one home run and 12 RBIs in 44 games. In 11 games with the Cubs, he batted .071 (1-for-14).
Although Gerut, a native of the Chicago area, is excited about the trade and recognizes it as a good opportunity for him as a young player, he also said that in a way it was a little disheartening.
"It's unfortunate, considering [Chicago is] where I'm from, but that's the nature of the business. I'm with a new team that really seems to be a great group of guys, and I think that I'm going to be happy," he said.
All-Stars come out for logo: Shortly before the start of Tuesday's home game with San Diego, the Bucs and Major League Baseball will unveil the 2006 All-Star Game logo for the Midsummer Classic that will be played at PNC Park next season.
On hand for the ceremony will be Pirates 2005 All-Star Jason Bay and All-Stars from past years, including seven-time All-Star Bill Mazeroski, three-time All-Star Bob Friend and 2004 All-Star Jack Wilson.
Following the on-field ceremony, all of the participants (excluding Bay, Wilson, 1972 All-Star Steve Blass and 1988 All-Star Bob Walk) will be at PNC Park's Riverwalk to sign autographs for fans.
In addition, all fans in attendance Tuesday night will receive a 2006 MLB All-Star static window decal.
Bringing the All-Star Game to Pittsburgh is another notch on owner Kevin McClatchy's belt, McClendon said.
"He's done a tremendous job of revitalizing Pittsburgh baseball, getting the new stadium and getting the All-Star Game," McClendon said. "[The All-Star Game] should be a tremendous impact for the economy, and also it should help us from a financial standpoint with revenues, and maybe we'll be able to do a little bit more next year in terms of getting a few more talented players."
The Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates $52.3 million of positive economic revenue for the region.
Next season will mark the fifth time the Bucs have hosted the All-Star Game, and the weekend will include the John Hancock All-Star FanFest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, a Futures Game, the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and celebrity softball game and the Gatorade Workout Day, featuring the Century 21 Home Run Derby.
List of Tuesday's participants:
Jason Bay - 2005 All-Star
Steve Blass - 1972 All-Star
Elroy Face - 1959, '60 & '61 All-Star
Bob Friend - 1956, '58, & '60 All-Star
Dave Giusti - 1973 All-Star
Bill Mazeroski - 1958, '59, '60, '62, '63, '64 & '67 All-Star
Al Oliver - 1972, '75 & '76 All-Star
Rick Reuschel - 1987 All-Star
Manny Sanguillen - 1971, '72 & '75 All-Star
Kent Tekulve - 1980 All-Star
Frank Thomas - 1954, '55 & '58 All-Star
Bob Walk - 1988 All-Star
Jack Wilson - 2004 All-Star
Run generator? With an RBI in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the Braves, left-handed starter Josh Fogg drove in his second run in as many games.
It was enough for Lloyd McClendon to praise the work his young pitchers have done offensively.
"From an athletic standpoint, they're handling the bat, they're fielding their position and running the bases well," McClendon said. "Fogg and [Kip] Wells, in particular, are guys that came from the American League and never had to do those type of things, and they continue to get better."
On deck: Wells (6-11, 4.65 ERA) will try to get Pittsburgh on track when he faces San Diego's Jake Peavy (8-4, 3.28) on Tuesday in the series opener at home. Wells is 4-3 at PNC Park this season.
Coley Harvey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.