Brad Lincoln ended the 2010 season with arguably one of his best innings pitched in his major league career. In the seventh inning on September 30th against the Marlins he pitched a perfect inning, striking out the side and needed just 15 pitches to do so.
“I went out there with the mindset that I’m just going to throw as hard as I can and see what they can do with it. Coming out of the bullpen is a different style for me. I haven’t really done it in my career and I was a little amped up. My first outing out of the bullpen and I was a little bit over amped for that. I kind of got out of control. I just controlled it this time but used it to my advantage as well and was able to have success.”
Lincoln was dominant.
“It was just one of those nights. I felt good in the bullpen before I got out on the mound. It was just one of those things where everything was clicking and I was able to locate my pitches and put them all away with my breaking ball.”
Did things just click for Lincoln to the point where he thought, ‘now I can trust my stuff, and now I can relax?
“Absolutely. It was one of those things where when I got done with that inning it was kind of refreshment for me and it did make me realize that this is the way it needs to be, this is the way I should go about my business.”
Lincoln started the 2010 season in Triple-A Indy and on June 15th he made his anticipated major league debut. But things didn’t work out so well for Brad. After eight starts with the Bucs’ he was demoted to the Indians to get back to where he was before he was called up. But despite the rough time he had in the majors, he was thankful it happened.
“To clear my head, to learn from the experience. It was a big help for me. To get with Dean [Treanor] and to get my mind back to where it needed to be successful. I think it was a big help. Being able to work with Ray and our side sessions and getting some stuff done. Next year is going to be a big year for me. I’m looking forward to it.”
What does Lincoln plan on working on in the offseason and into spring training?
“First and foremost I’m going to get my body in top shape. Coming into spring I’m going to be battling for a job in that starting rotation. I’m going to get my body in top physical form and then come into spring early and get things going with Ray [Searage], or whoever it may be that’s here. Get that train rolling and be as prepared possible for this upcoming year.”
The Pirates’ have discussed getting some pitching help from the free agent market in the offseason. Lincoln will be battling with Paul Maholm, James McDonald, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Brian Burres, and perhaps others for a spot in that five-man rotation. He remains confident and believes he can be one of those guys.
“If I put my mind to it, I believe I can do anything.”
For some Pirates’ players their regular season may be over, but that doesn’t stop them from continuing to play the game they love. That’s right, winter leagues are about to start.
Arizona Fall League starts on Tuesday, October 12th and several Pirates’ players are playing this season.
Tony Sanchez, Jordy Mercer, Josh Harrison and Andrew Lambo will all be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox.
Sanchez only played in 59 games this season with High-A Bradenton due to a broken jaw which ended his season early. He was off to a great start though, batting .314 with four home runs, 35 RBI.
Mercer spent the 2010 season with Double-A Altoona. He finished the season batting .282 with three home runs and 65 RBI.
Harrison batted .298 with four home runs and 74 RBI this season with Double-A Altoona. The infielder also stole 19 bases.
Lambo was acquired from the Dodgers in the Octavio Dotel trade. He played 26 games for the Altoona Curve batting .275 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
Caribbean Baseball starts on October 12, 2010. Brian Bass, Wil Ledezma, Hector Gimenez and Ronny Cedeno will be playing for the Tigres de Aragua.
Bass had a 12.27 ERA in four games with the Pirates this season. In 7.1 innings he allowed 10 runs on nine hits with 10 walks and struck out five.
Ledezma was 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA in 27 games with the Pirates. Wil allowed 15 runs in 19.2 innings this season with 22 strike outs.
Gimenez finished the 2010 season batting .305 with the Altoona Curve. He hit 16 home runs and drove in 72 RBI.
Cedeno was the starting shortstop for the Pirates in 2010. He hit eight home runs with 38 RBI’s and batted .256.
On Thursday the Pirates’ announced that Bo Porter was interviewed for the open managerial job –the second candidate to interview for the position.
Porter spent the 2010 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks as the third-base coach. He was promoted to bench coach after the Dback’s dismissed A.J. Hinch and Kirk Gibson was promoted to interim manager. Porter was released after the end of the ’10 season.
The Marlins interviewed Porter earlier in the year after they fired Fredi Gonzalez.
Porter, 38, has spent time as hitting coach for the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2005 and manager of the Class-A Advanced Jamestown Jammers in 2006. From 2007-2009 he was the Marlins third-base coach and outfield/base running instructor.
He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 40th round of the 1993 major league draft. Porter’s career lasted three years in which he played for the Cubs, Athletics and Rangers (99, 00, 01). He has a career .214 average with two home runs and eight RBI’s.
I wanted to thank each and every one of you guys out there who read my blog. For the month of September I jumped up to 26 (I was 42 in August). I really appreciate the support.
If any of you guys have feedback on what you would like to see more of/less of, please let me know.
Thanks again and congrats to all the other leaders. You can read the full list here.
I chaged my picture after this was created. That’s me first row, third one over from the left. In the FSN booth with Steve Blass.
President Frank Coonelly held his monthly online chat on Wednesday. If you missed it, here are a few of the interesting questions.
The team made some improvements and showed some growth, but has a glaring lack of starting pitching going into 2011. The team made some improvements and showed some growth, but has a glaring lack of starting pitching going into 2011.
“We agree that, despite what was an incredibly frustrating and disappointing season, a solid core of position players have emerged that showed growth in the system and are players about whom we are excited moving forward. For the second consecutive year, we had multiple players — this year Jose Tabata, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez — who should receive serious consideration for top rookie honors. I also agree that our pitching, particularly our starting pitching, was extremely poor and made it difficult for this team to win on a consistent basis. Fortunately, a strength of our Minor League system is the starting pitching that helped the Altoona Curve win the Eastern League this year, particularly Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris and Jeff Locke. While the strong performances of these young pitchers bode well for our rotation in the near future, it is far from certain that any of them will be ready to join the rotation out of Spring Training. As a result, we will look to add starting pitching this offseason, either through the free agent market or the trade market. James McDonald obviously was a bright spot after joining the rotation in August and Ross Ohlendorf, who pitched much better than his record would otherwise indicate, will be ready to rejoin the rotation in the spring. Our fans, including season-ticket holders like yourself, should know that one of Neal Huntington’s highest priorities this offseason is to improve the pitching staff.”
Do you see any of the current coaches being retained by the new manager?
“There are quality baseball men and quality individuals on our coaching staff who are highly valued by the organization. I certainly can foresee members of last year’s staff having a role on the staff in 2011 or otherwise within the organization. In fairness to the staff members, Neal informed them that they were free to explore other opportunities. But he also told them that they were highly valued by the organization and that we would working hard to select a new manager as expeditiously as possible so that we could provide them with a definitive answer in terms of their role with the Pirates.”
Are there any plans to move Pedro Alvarez, whose defense was suspect at times, to first base and sign a free-agent third baseman?
“There are no current plans to move Pedro to first base. Our focus remains putting Pedro in a position to stay at third base for his entire career. Pedro made several above-average-to-spectacular plays at third base this season but, at the same time, struggled at times. While this is not unexpected for a player in his first Major League season, we need Pedro and the rest of our fielders to play superior defense if we are going to play winning baseball. Pedro understands the importance of conditioning to his ability to stay at third base and we are confident that he will work extremely hard this offseason to put himself in a position to be an above-average defender at third base. As we have said, Pedro has all of the physical tools necessary to be an above-average defensive third baseman, and he is much more valuable to our organization if he is able to stay there. Pedro’s aspirations are aligned with ours in that he views himself as a third baseman and is determined to demonstrate that he should stay at third base. As you look at the list of free-agent players eligible this offseason, it is much easier to find a quality bat who can play first base on the free-agent market.”
Now that it has been confirmed (by Pirates’ President Frank Coonelly) that Andy Van Slyke has not been interviewed for the open manager position, there has been some other reports of potential candidates.
The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette is reporting these potential candidates:
· Baltimore Orioles coach and interim manager Juan Samuel –He told the Baltimore Sun that he is likely to interview soon with the Pirates’ and Brewers’.
· Ted Simmons –who was the Pirates’ General Manager from 1992-1993 and served as the Padres bench coach said:
“I made myself clear, I would hope to manage in the 2011 season. I would go and manage anywhere”
· John Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach said:
“No official contact has been made — [and] any further comment regarding their position should come from the Pirates themselves.”
· Ken Macha, who will not return to the Brewers as Manager in 2011 said:
“The last time this job was open, I was home [and out of work in 2007]. My policy is, I’m not really going to politick in the paper. Let it all play out at their end. I respect what they’re going to do.” There was contact between he and the Pirates in ’05, but not ’07.
· Phil Garner, who was the member of the 1979 Pirates’ World Championship team and has also managed the Brewers, Tigers and most recently the Astros (2004-07) said on MLB Network radio that the Pirates have not called him but:
“I’d like to sit down with the owner and the GM and say, ‘OK, boys, how’s that [current approach] working for us? Let’s do something totally different. And I mean different training.’ I’ve got some ideas I don’t even want to talk about, because I don’t want anybody else to hear them.”
I asked President Frank Coonelly if he could confirm the Van Slyke rumor (being interviewed as potential manager position –check earlier post) and if he could discuss any other candidate for the job. This is what he said:
“I am not sure how that rumor started but it is not true. To date, the only candidate that we have interviewed has been Eric Wedge. We will announce to our fans each candidate that we interview at the completion of that interview.”
“Out of respect for the process, we will not be commenting further on the substance of individual interviews until a manager is selected. I know that Pirates fans are intensely interested in who the next manager of the club will be and we are intensely focused in selecting the person who can help lead the major league team to the championship caliber club that are Pirates fans deserve.”
Coonelly went on to say, “There is no set number of candidates that we are looking to interview. We were able to schedule an interview with Eric Wedge yesterday and did so immediately because Eric is a very qualified candidate who is also having discussions with other clubs. We are early in our process of compiling a complete list of candidates to consider. Once that complete list is compiled, we will have a better sense of the number of candidates to move to the next step of the interview process. Our focus is to consider all qualified candidates so that we find the right person to lead this young club.”
Now before you get all excited in the fact that Andy Van Slyke could be the Pirates’ new manager I must inform you that it is purely speculation right now.
This was tweeted on Tuesday night: “Buddy of mine at Pirates event at PNC yesterday saw Van Slyke- asked if he was there for mgr interview. Said ‘no comment’”
The Pirates’ have not confirmed whether this is true. And normally I would not post on this matter unless it was a credible source but it does make me wonder. Are the Pirates’ interviewing other potential managerial candidates without letting the public know?
Until the Club confirms or denies the story I guess we will just have to wait and wonder…
On Tuesday afternoon the Pirates’ interviewed former Indians’ manager Eric Wedge –the first to be interviewed for the new managerial job with the Bucs.
The club did not discuss any other information regarding the meeting nor did they provide how many others will be interviewed for the position.
In 1998 Wedge made his managerial debut with the Columbus RedStixxx –the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians– where he was named manager of the year.
He was promoted to managing the Double-A Akron Aeros in 2000. Wedge continued to climb the organization.
In 2001 he was promoted to manage the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. He was named International League manager of the year as well as Baseball America’s Triple-A Manger of the year.
On October 29, 2002, Wedge was named the Manager of the Cleveland Indians. The young ball club continued to improve under his lead in the first three years as manager. A 68-94 record in 2003, 80-82 in 2004 and 93-69 in 2005.
Wedge was released by the Indians’ in 2009 (a record of 561-573). With the club he was named AL Manager of the Year and also led the Indians to the American League Championship Series in 2007. (The Indians beat the Yankees in four games to win the ALDS)
On Monday afternoon I arrived at PNC Park giddy like it was opening day. It’s only been a week since the Pirates played their last home game of the 2010 season, but to me, it has seemed much longer than that.
As a season ticket holder I was invited to “Field Day” at the ballpark. We were invited to take batting practice, shag balls and have lunch on the field. It was such a cool experience so I wanted to share it with you guys.
My first stop was the vistors dugout (Previously, when I got the VIP tour by FSN, I had a photo taken in the Pirates’ dugout).
My next stop was to take batting pratice on the field. It was starting to rain so I figured I would only get a few swings in.
Ahh. So many beauties to choose from.
With only one person in front of me, the rain started pretty heavy and we were moved into the indoor batting cages. (Just my luck!) But don’t worry, I didn’t let it rain on my parade.
Right before my turn: We got to use the players bats and helmets.
The machine was throwing way off the plate and it took about 10-15 pitches before I was given a pitch to hit. I connected with a few, which I was pretty proud of. I grew up as a pitcher so needless to say, I wasn’t very good at batting. The next round, Joe the Pirates’ in-game announcer threw to me and he had to jump out of the way a few times. (Sorry Joe!) He did throw throw a little inside and nailed me on the side of my kneecap. It’s already starting to bruise but I shook it off and launched the neck pitch. I was congratulated by some of the guys watching. I can hang with the boys too!
Here are some close ups of a few of the bats that we were allowed to use.
After batting practice we were taken into the visitors’ clubhouse for lunch. (Apparently, the Pirates clubhouse still had some players stuff in it so that is why we had to eat in the visitors instead. Ross Ohlendorf was spotted walking in the tunnels and a few others were also at the ballpark when we were there.)
Another point I wanted to make. I found out about the firing of John Russell while hanging out in the clubhouse. How weird is that?
Anyways, here are some views of the visitors’ clubhouse.
I ventured around the clubhouse and spotted the bathrooms, weight room and training room.
After I was done adventuring around the clubhouse, I made my way over to “my locker”. Where I sat and ate. I even hung up my purse and backpack to make it more homey, but there was one thing missing. Ah. My name! Oh yes, the baseball nerd in me put my name in the slot. Hey, all the guys in the clubhouse got a kick out of it.
The rain never stopped so we weren’t allowed to go back out on the field for catch and to shag balls. So i wondered back out to the dugout to stare at the gorgeous stadium one last time. I’ll miss you PNC Park, until next year. XO