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D. McCutchen on comeback trail |

D. McCutchen on comeback trail

| Sunday, June 20, 2010 12:00 a.m

INDIANAPOLIS – Daniel McCutchen, who opened the 2010 season in the Pirates’ starting rotation but was demoted after allowing 18 runs in 12 innings, is desperate to get back to Pittsburgh.

He struggled through a rough May in Triple-A Indianapolis, going 1-3 with a 5.60 ERA in five starts, allowing 35 hits in 27.1 innings. However in his past two starts, McCutchen has shown why hopes were high for him entering this season. The right-hander has thrown back-to-back solid seven-inning outings, giving up just six hits and three runs combined.

“My body feels a lot better,” said McCutchen, 27. “I hit a bit of a rough patch, but now I’m throwing four pitches for strikes, and my velocity is up. I’m staying positive, getting my work in and just hoping for that call-up. It’s Triple-A. You go out there do your job and hope that’s enough.”

Ex-Pitt star gets hot

Second baseman Jim Negrych certainly isn’t wasting any time adjusting to Triple-A after a June 11 call-up from Double-A Altoona.

The University of Pittsburgh product has eight hits in in 17 at-bats (.471 average), and on Thursday provided the only runs in a 2-0 win over Buffalo with a two-run home run.

In 49 games with Altoona, the 25-year old hit one home run. In just six games at Indianapolis, Negrych already has two homers. A sixth round pick in 2006, Negrych has shown a keen eye at the plate, striking out just 29 times in 152 at-bats, while collecting 22 walks.

On The Rise

With Pedro Alvarez’s promotion to to the parent club, left fielder Quincy Latimore assumes the RBI lead in the Pirates’ farm system with 52. A fourth-round pick in 2007, Latimore, 21, has seven home runs and also leads the Single-A Florida State League in RBI. However, developing plate discipline is still a work in progress. In 61 games this year, Latimore has struck out 68 times.

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