Pasco pitcher Matt Gude learned Thursday he needs Tommy John surgery to repair the wear-and-tear on his throwing arm.
Pirates coach Ricky Giles confirmed the injury and said Gude will likely be utilized in some other capacity such as a first baseman or as a designated hitter. Gude, who is expected to put off the surgery to finish his senior season, could pitch if he can cope with the pain.
Gude had a 5.06 ERA in 2009. He pitched 36 innings and allowed 41 hits and 34 runs with 20 strikeouts.
Giles said he expected Gude to be the Pirates' No. 3 or No. 4 pitcher.
The staff was already dealing with the late arrival of senior Brennan Allen, who has tendinitis in his throwing arm.
Giles said Allen missed some crucial time in the fall by attending football camps in hopes of raising his profile as a place kicker. Allen had a 3.06 ERA in '09 allowing 22 runs, 40 hits and leading the Pirates with 47 strikeouts.
Giles said that Kevin Gude and Chris Dious will battle for the No. 1 spot in the pitching rotation.