MILWAUKEE -- Charlie Morton is on a detailed, meticulous two-lane rehab road, making his way back from Tommy John surgery 11 months ago and a more recent case of shoulder discomfort.
Morton does his work diligently. He doesn't look for, nor wants to accept, any excuse to skip a scheduled routine. It just so happened that wife Cindy's medical team scheduled a C-section delivery for Thursday, the same day Morton was due to pitch a bullpen session at PNC Park.
Morton sought out manager Clint Hurdle on Wednesday -- to reassure him he'd be taking that turn.
"I need to stay on schedule," Morton told Hurdle.
"But isn't your wife having the C-section?" Hurdle asked.
"I think I'll be able to get here to throw the 'pen. I'll make it," Morton said.
At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Morton was on the phone to Hurdle in the Pirates' clubhouse.
"I don't think I'll make it," he said.
"What?" Hurdle said, with mock anger. "You said you'll be here at 11. We're all waiting on you."
Charles Alfred Morton V was born Thursday morning, a healthy 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches. It's the couple's first child.
Morton threw his bullpen Friday morning in PNC Park.
"They said he looked like he hadn't had a whole lot of sleep the last day and a half," Hurdle said, grinning.
Morton will make his next rehab start on Sunday, for Triple-A Indianapolis in Buffalo. He is slated to go six innings or 90 pitches. If he stays on schedule, he will make one more rehab start on May 31, then join the Bucs.
Bucs' Class A affiliate combines for 24 K's in game
MILWAUKEE -- Even in this year of the whiff in the Majors, there was plenty of opportunity on Thursday night to focus the spotlight on West Virginia, the Pirates' Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.
The Power came up with 24 reasons: one for each strikeout its four pitchers combined for in a 12-inning, 3-2 victory over Lakewood. The team total was the second-highest in the league's history, going back to 1960.
The Bucs love props going out to their organization, at any level.
"They're getting some national attention. That's good. It's fun to watch from afar," said manager Clint Hurdle.
The first five innings and first 12 strikeouts belonged to Tyler Glasnow, a 19-year-old right-hander from Southern California who tops the SAL with his .122 opponents' batting average.
"He's a young man finding his way, learning and continuing to develop," Hurdle said of the 6-foot-7 righty, the Pirates' fifth-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. "We like him. He's one of the many on the pitching side who has gotten out of the blocks very clean."
Picking up Glasnow were Josh Smith (four K's in three innings), Jason Creasy (six in 2 2/3) and Thomas Harlan (two in 1 1/3).
Glasnow is a product of Hart High School, the alma mater of, among others, the Royals' James Shields, Indians prospect Trevor Bauer and Pirates icon Bob Walk.
First number/Last word
• 23-10: The Pirates' record in games decided by three runs or fewer, entering Friday's action, the best in the Majors.
• "He's in a very good place, compared to where he was in the past. It's experience and maturity, good judgment. He's a unique talent." -- Hurdle on Andrew McCutchen, whose strikeouts are dramatically down (21 in 172 at-bats entering Friday) at a time they are soaring all over the Majors.
• Starling Marte reached base at least twice in each of the Pirates' first 47 games, the most ever for the team's leadoff batter (records date back to 1916), and tying him with Paul Waner's 1928 pace for the most for any Pittsburgh player regardless of batting-order position.
• Jeff Karstens (shoulder discomfort) is with the Indians in Buffalo, but does not yet have a scheduled pitching day.
• Infielder Chase d'Arnaud (thumb ligament) has been reassigned to Indianapolis on the last lap of his own rehab.
• James McDonald breezed through his bullpen session Friday afternoon in Miller Park, and has been scheduled to make his first rehab start on Monday, for Double-A Altoona.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.