News: Kingham is still waiting on a second opinion for his injured elbow, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Impact: The doctor Kingham scheduled for the check-in has apparently been very busy over the last three weeks, preventing the young right-hander from receiving a proper diagnosis. Kingham should have more information by the end of the month, but the delayed appointment hasn't been helpful for the pitcher nor the Pirates.
News: Taillon (elbow) three a two-inning simulated game Saturday, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports.
Impact: Taillon continues to make progress with his recovery from Tommy John surgery, with this being one of his most significant steps. An early-June return to the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis remains realistic at this point.
News: Polanco is not in the lineup Sunday against the Mets.
Impact: Polanco has been held out of the lineup the last five times a left-handed starter has taken the mound for the opposing team, and Sunday will be no different with Jon Niese on the hill for the Mets. Over his career, Polanco is batting 90 points lower against left-handed pitching, so it wouldn't be surprising to see this pattern continue until he proves he can hit southpaws.
News: Alvarez is not in the lineup Sunday against the Mets, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports.
Impact: Alvarez will get a routine day off, as manager Clint Hurdle will use a lineup composed entirely of right-handers (minus starting pitcher Francisco Liriano) against Mets' southpaw Jonathan Niese. The absence of Alvarez is not performance-related, at least, as the 28-year-old has collected six base hits (including two home runs) in his last five games.
News: Liriano, who will start Sunday afternoon against the Mets, has allowed 15 earned runs in his last three starts and 15.1 innings.
Impact: The lefty was off to a brilliant start before struggling with his command. Liriano, who pitched in colder weather Tuesday, will start in 80 degrees Sunday afternoon -- he's known as a better warm weather pitcher. New York has posted the second-highest OPS versus left-handed pitching in the NL (.764), but has scored a combined three runs in the series' first two tilts.
News: Lambo (plantar fasciitis), who has been rehabbing at Pirate City, is still not close to returning, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Impact: Manager Clint Hurdle gave little indication about when Lambo might come off the disabled list. "He is still not showing the signs of improvement and progress to get him into any type of game," Hurdle said. Lambo had just one hit in 25 at-bats in a pinch-hitting role for Pittsburgh prior to going on the DL.
News: Harrison extended his hitting streak to 10 games Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, two RBI and his second steal of the season.
Impact: Harrison is on an absolute tear right now, with six multi-hit performances in his last eight games and a .488 (21-for-43) batting average over the course of the streak. After producing very little over the first six weeks of the season, he seems determined to make up for lost time.
News: Burnett was dominant Saturday, giving up just one run on five hits over seven innings and striking out a season-high 10 to pick up his fourth win of the season.
Impact: Burnett continues to impress and has now reeled off eight straight quality starts, while sporting a 1.37 ERA and 53:18 K:BB in 59 innings. He'll have an excellent shot at making it nine straight QS in his next start, on the road against the Padres in pitcher-friendly Petco Park on Thursday.
News: Meadows is hitting .318/.387/.429 in 36 games at High-A Bradenton. He has two homers and four stolen bases so far.
Impact: So far, Meadows has had a really good batting eye, but the power hasn't kicked in yet. The 2013 first-round pick missed much of last season with a hamstring injury, but given that he just turned 20 and is at High-A, he hasn't fallen too far behind in his development.