Quick Hits: Pirates, Atchison, Astros

The Pirates are over .500 at 18-17. Here are some links for Monday night, as we wonder how long they can maintain a winning record…

  • Pirates starters have been pitching well and manager Clint Hurdle tells MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch that pitching can be contagious, just like hitting. GM Neal Huntington has acquired two of his starters in the last year: James McDonald (trade) and Kevin Correia (free agency).
  • As Jonathan Mayo explains at MLB.com, potential changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement could make drafted players more eager to sign. One scouting director expects to see a few more signings than usual in 2011. 
  • Red Sox reliever Scott Atchison was added to Boston's Triple-A roster after being optioned to the minors, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com (on Twitter). The Red Sox designated Atchison for assignment Friday in what was "a purely procedural move," according to Speier.
  • Houston attorney Kenny Friedman told Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner that he maintains interest in buying the Astros. Though Jim Crane now has an exclusive negotiating window during which he can buy the team, Friedman, the father of Rays executive Andrew Friedman, is working on his bid.