Notes: Randa activated from DL
Third baseman recovering from bone contusion in foot
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday activated third baseman Joe Randa from the 15-day disabled list.
Randa had been sidelined since early May by a bone contusion in his right foot. He returned to Pittsburgh on Tuesday after going 4-for-8 with a walk during a two-game injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis.
"It was productive," Randa said of his rehab assignment. "I got some ground balls hit to me. I got to run the bases. I had some good, quality at-bats. But you could be down there a week and when you come up to the Major Leagues, it's just not the same. It's going to take me a couple of games to be in Major League speed."
Pirates manager Jim Tracy wasted no time getting Randa back in the lineup. Randa started at third base and batted fifth on Tuesday against St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter. Freddy Sanchez, who will be the team's every day third baseman, moved over to second base on Tuesday in place of Jose Castillo.
"It's important to fill out a lineup against Chris Carpenter that makes a lot of sense," said Tracy. "With what [Randa] did his last couple of days during the course of his rehab and the success that he's had against [Carpenter], it's important to have him in there today."
Randa entered the day batting .286 (10-for-35) with three doubles, two home runs and three RBIs lifetime against Carpenter. Castillo has one hit in 12 career at-bats against the St. Louis right-hander.
With the Pirates scheduled to have just one off-day (June 26) between now and the All-Star break, Tracy thought it was a good time to give Castillo an extra day of rest.
"It's important that you look to find a day off here and there for some of your [starters]," said Tracy.
Duffy reports: Chris Duffy traveled from his home in Glendale, Ariz., to the Pirates' facilities in Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday, nearly a month after refusing to accept an assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis on May 14.
Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said Tuesday that there was no set timetable for Duffy to return to action with Indianapolis.
"[When] we have an opportunity to see him and evaluate what kind of shape he is in both from a conditioning standpoint and from a baseball standpoint, we'll get a better feel," said Littlefield. "But there is no real read on that right now."
Pirates player development director Brian Graham will be among a number of Pirates staff members on hand at Pirates City to monitor Duffy's progress while the center fielder works out individually and in group activities with the team's recently signed draft picks.
Tracy, who Duffy accused of trying to change his hitting approach, said that he has tried unsuccessfully to reach Duffy via phone. Tracy added that he harbors no ill will whatsoever for Duffy.
"There is no reason in the world for him not to feel like he has to have any reservations whatsoever with talking to me or anyone else within the walls of this building [PNC Park]," said Tracy. "The slate is completely clean.
"I'm very hopeful that everything will work out."
Wells continues to progress: Right-hander Kip Wells could be back in the Pittsburgh starting rotation within the next two weeks. Wells, who had surgery in March to treat a blood clot below his throwing shoulder, tossed six shutout innings Saturday at Class A Lynchburg and threw a bullpen session at PNC Park on Monday under the guidance of pitching coach Jim Colborn.
Wells is expected to throw approximately 90 pitches in a rehab start with Altoona on Thursday. If there are no setbacks, Wells will return to Pittsburgh for another bullpen session before completing his rehab assignment with Indianapolis next Tuesday.
"I feel good about everything," said Wells. "It's just a matter of continuing to focus on what I need to get accomplished and build off of each outing.
"I need to get another 15-20 pitches to my pitch count. The intensity is going to go up and hopefully the quality of the stuff doesn't go down."
While there remains a possibility that Wells could make two starts with Indianapolis, it appears more likely that he will be activated from the disabled list during the final week of June.
Bucs bits: Infielder Yurendell DeCaster was optioned to Indianapolis on Tuesday to make room for Randa on the 25-man active roster. DeCaster has gone 0-for-2 in three games with the Pirates this season. ... Outfielder Jeromy Burnitz continues to be bothered by his left calf, which tightened up on him during the game on Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. Although Burnitz has received the majority of playing time against right-handed pitchers in the past two weeks, Tracy said he would have likely started Craig Wilson against Carpenter on Tuesday even if Burnitz was 100 percent healthy. Wilson has gone 5-for-17 with a double lifetime against Carpenter, while Burnitz is 4-for-22 all-time versus Carpenter. "I guess that doesn't make it a platoon, does it?" Tracy asked reporters. ... Astros manager Phil Garner has been given permission by Major League Baseball to add former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner to his coaching staff for the All-Star Game on July 11 at PNC Park. ... The Pirates agreed to terms Tuesday with outfielder James Barksdale, their 15th round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. The Pirates have now signed 18 of their 50 picks in the draft.
Quote of the day: "It's definitely flattering, especially given the market that we're in. I know it's not easy to pick up a couple hundred thousand votes every week. But I've got a ways to go. I'd love to start, but as long as I'm there in some capacity I'd be happy." -- Jason Bay, on the fan support he's received while ascending to the sixth spot in the All-Star balloting for National League outfielders.
On deck: Bucs lefty Zach Duke (4-6, 4.25 ERA) will face off against Cardinals right-hander Sidney Ponson (4-1, 3.54 ERA) Wednesday night in the second game of the three-game series at PNC Park at 7:05 p.m ET.
Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.