PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates placed right-hander Ross Ohlendorf on the 15-day disabled list early Saturday and recalled Daniel McCutchen to start in his place against the Cincinnati Reds later that evening.
Ohlendorf was scratched from his most recent turn in the rotation Monday due to back spasms. The team held out hope his condition would improve, but finally made the move to call up McCutchen.
The move is retroactive to April 12, so Ohlendorf will be eligible to come off the disabled list April 27.
"He's coming along and starting to make some progress," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We'll keep working with him and getting him ready and hopefully at some point get him a rehab start and have him ready when his DL time is up. We'll keep our fingers crossed."
McCutchen, acquired along with Ohlendorf in a trade with the New York Yankees in 2008, began the season on the Pirates' roster but was demoted the day after allowing nine runs in 3 1-3 innings during his lone start April 11 at Arizona. He is 1-3 with a 5.90 ERA in six career starts, all in the past eight months with Pittsburgh.
Lefty Brian Burres had his contract purchased from Triple-A Indianapolis to make a spot start in Ohlendorf's place Tuesday. He will stay with the team in a long relief role. Due to scheduled days off, the Pirates won't need a fifth starter until close to the time Ohlendorf is eligible to return.
Also, third baseman Andy LaRoche was not in the lineup Saturday after leaving Friday night's win in the second inning due to back spasms. Russell said there was a chance he also would miss Sunday's game. Delwyn Young made his second career start at third base in his place.