SAN FRANCISCO — Pirates assistant general manager Kevan Graves, filling in during Neal Huntington's weekly radio show Sunday on 93.7 The Fan, cited "biometric data" as the reason why the front office opted to rest the rotation by recalling Clay Holmes from Triple-A to start against a playoff contender Friday at AT&T Park.
Graves said data collected by the Pirates' sports performance team showed pitchers typically take longer to recover after pitching in the high altitude of Coors Field and that the decision was made to position the rotation to succeed over the final six-plus weeks of the season. Holmes allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Giants after the club's previous three starters surrendered a combined seven earned runs, as the Pirates dropped the second game of the series, 13-10.
"This was something that really began to come together shortly after the All-Star break," Graves explained. "It was something we had in motion for really a good window of time. Part of it was the challenge of the hitter’s ballpark, the depth of that lineup in Colorado. The other challenge, obviously, is the altitude and the ability of folks to recover coming out of that ballpark."