Josh Fogg was dropped from the Pirates' rotation yesterday after nearly four seasons to give more starts to rookie Paul Maholm and the previously injured Oliver Perez down the stretch.

Fogg (6-10, 4.97 ERA) learned of the decision hours after losing to the Cubs on Friday night, giving up four runs and eight hits in 51/3 innings. Because of the move, the 28-year-old Fogg is certain the Pirates will trade him during the offseason.

"I feel like it's pretty much written in stone now," Fogg said. "I don't know what they're thinking, but from the signs I'm getting, I don't feel like I'm in the plans for the future. It's unfortunate, I enjoy the organization and I've had a good time here but, right now, it doesn't look good."

Fogg has won only twice in his last 17 starts and is winless since Aug. 11.

The right-hander is 39-41 since being traded by the White Sox to the Pirates before the 2002 season, going 12-12 that season, 10-9 in 2003 and 11-10 last season.

* DELGADO CAN SEE OCTOBER: In terms of numbers, this season looks like any other for Carlos Delgado.

The powerful Marlins first baseman eclipsed the 25-homer mark for the 10th straight season, and is closing in on reaching 100 RBI for the seventh time in eight years.

This year, however, may end up having a very different feel for Delgado. He is second among active players who have never made a postseason appearance; his 1,541 games are 15 shy of Jeromy Burnitz, the leader on that dubious list.

And with four weeks left in the regular season, Delgado's Marlins find themselves right in the thick of the playoff chase -- just as he expected when signing a $52 million, four-year deal with the club last winter.

"I am excited about it, but you've got to keep things in perspective," Delgado said. "You don't want to run out there crazy, like a chicken with no head."

-- From News Services

Pittsburgh's Josh Fogg looks ahead: "From the signs I'm getting, I don't feel like I'm in the plans for the future."