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Bisons' game Sunday in Rochester is off as Red Wings step aside for Pettitte rehab start

4:45 UPDATE: International League president Randy Mobley has confirmed the information to The Buffalo News.

Here's one from the bizarro world of minor-league scheduling: The Rochester Red Wings are postponing Sunday's game with the Buffalo Bisons in Frontier Field to allow New York Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte to make a rehab start with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the displaced Yankees' game against Pawtucket.

The link above is to the latest report on the situation from good friend of the blog Jim Mandelaro of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The Bisons and Red Wings are scheduled for a 1:05 start and will now play a doubleheader Saturday night, with the time to be announced.

The Bisons certainly did not want to play Sunday night, as they have an early-morning flight to Atlanta Monday to start a road trip against Gwinnett. The Yankees, meanwhile, did not want Pettitte to have to wait through a potential extra-inning game between Buffalo and Rochester to make his start.

Follow the bouncing ball for a minute here: Scranton, remember, has no home stadium this year and is barnstorming mostly around Western New York. It has 37 games in Rochester and seven at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, with Sunday's 1:05 first pitch against the PawSox scheduled to be one of them. But New York GM Brian Cashman said this afternoon on ESPN Radio in New York that Pettitte would pitch Sunday and that the game would be moved to Rochester.

"All of the teams involved have been part of the conversation," IL president Randy Mobley told The News late this afternoon from his office in Dublin, Ohio. "And this office has as well to make sure there were no rules being violated for things like travel and such."

The Bisons and Red Wings have yet to officially comment on the switch but are in the process of formulating releases. This is, of course, highly unusual for a team to push aside its own team and fans to accommodate a barnstorming group, although the Red Wings probably are figuring they'll have a better gate for Pettitte than they would for a standard-issue Buffalo-Rochester game.

"I don't have any concern about that at this time because I know the Rochester club discussed it with their affiliate (the Minnesota Twins)," Mobley said. "The Rochester club was concerned with that also. They didn't want to do anything to offend their own parent team so they made sure to keep them informed."

---Mike Harrington

Harvey on the hill for Bisons

Red-hot right-hander Matt Harvey, the Mets' No. 1 pick in 2010, is on the mound tonight as the Bisons host the Syracuse Chiefs in Coca-Cola Field. Harvey is 2-1, 4.85 in five starts this season -- but 2-0, 2.08 with 15 strikeouts and just three walks over 13 innings of his last two.

Chris Schwinden blew up again today for the Mets in an 8-1 loss in Houston and the rotation up top needs help. What about Harvey? I say that would be waaaaaaaaaay too soon. Harvey enters tonight with just 86 pro innings above Class A ball. SNY broadcaster and ex-Mets starter Ron Darling shot down any move with Harvey, or Jeurys Familia, on this afternoon's postgame show when he said, "Don't you dare touch them yet."

I would agree. We need to see more from Harvey and especially Familia, a lot more. From a selfish standpoint, it would be nice to see more of them here. This is just Harvey's second home start of the season; and he lasted just 3 2/3 innings of his first one, the 10-9 win over Pawtucket on April 15. And his next two figure to be on the road as well, Monday at Gwinnett and May 12 against Charlotte. We don't figure to see him here again until May 17 against the G-Braves.

Elsewhere on the Buffalo roster, catcher Rob Johnson has returned from a stint on the disabled list after a sprained knee and will catch Harvey tonight. Vinny Rottino carries a 12-game hitting streak into the game. As for Syracuse, St. Francis product Jim Negrych is not in tonight's starting lineup. Here's the Buffalo lineup:

Bobby Scales, 2b
Vinny Rottino,  lf
Valentino Pascucci, 1b
Fred Lewis, rf
Zach Lutz, 3b
Dustin Martin, cf
Rob Johnson,  c
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Matt Harvey, p

---Mike Harrington

Negrych in town with Syracuse to face Bisons

Here's one that completely slipped under my transaction wire until broadcasters Ben Wagner of the Bisons and Jason Benetti of Syracuse just gave me a heads-up: Former St. Francis High and University of Pittsburgh star Jim Negrych got promoted to Triple-A Sunday by the Washington Nationals and is in town this week with the Chiefs.

The Nationals promoted infielder Tyler Moore and megaprospect Bryce Harper and that created openings in Triple-A. Negrych was 3 for 5 in three games at Harrisburg. He went to spring training with the Marlins but was cut in late March.

Negyrch is not in tonight's lineup. (Read my earlier post on how the Bisons shape up tonight in gunning for their fifth straight win). He had a good debut for the Chiefs in Monday's 12-4 win over Charlotte as he went 1 for 4 but reached base five times on a two-run single, two walks and two errors.

We last saw Negyrch here in 2010 with Indianapolis, where he hit .295 in 48 games after a promotion up the Pirates' chain from Double-A Altoona and even homered in a game to beat the Bisons. He spent all of last year at Double-A Jacksonville in the Marlins chain, batting .304 with five homers and 46 RBIs in 121 games. He's a career .302 in six minor-league seasons.

---Mike Harrington

Bisons go for fifth straight, Take Two

After Monday night's rainout against Rochester, the Bisons are back in Coca-Cola Field this evening trying to win five games in a row for the first time since 2010 as they open a series with the Bryce Harper-less Syracuse Chiefs.

Garrett Olson (0-1) is on the mound for the Bisons, who have won three straight series. Syracuse is last in the IL North but coming off a 12-4 win Monday against Charlotte that saw the Chiefs pile up 11 runs in the first three innings. 

Be sure to catch up on my story in today's paper on the versatile Vinny Rottino. He's back in his normal left field slot tonight but should have a chance at some point to catch here. Rottino, remember, enters tonight's game on an 11-game hitting streak while Val Pascucci is on a 13-gamer.

Here's the Herd lineup:

Bobby Scales,  2b (leads all of minor-league baseball with .413 average)
Vinny Rottino, lf 
Valentino Pascucci, rf
Josh Satin,  1b
Zach Lutz, 3b
Fred Lewis, cf
Lucas May, c
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Garrett Olson, p

---Mike Harrington

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |