Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young have cleared waivers are now officially free-agents.
The Pirates removed LaRoche and Young from the 40-man designating them for assignment on November 19th.
LaRoche was the Pirates opening day third baseman but lost his job to Pedro Alvarez. He batted .206 with four homers and 16 RBIs last season.
Young hit .236 with seven homers and 28 RBIs primarily as a pinch-hitting role.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was named to the Topp’s Major League Rookie All-star Team.
It is the second straight year a Bucs player has been named to the starting roster. (Andrew McCutchen was chosen in 2009)
Walker is the 17th Pirates player to earn a spot on the team since 1959 when Topp’s starting handing out the award.
In 110 games with the Bucs, Walker hit .296 with 12 homers, 29 doubles, 66 RBIs and 57 runs scored.
The complete roster for the Topp’s Major league Rookie All-Star team is: 1B Gaby Sanchez, 3B Danny Valencia, SS Starlin Castro, OF Austin Jackson, OF Mike Stanton, OF Jason Heyward, C Buster Posey, RHP Stephen Strasburg, LHP Jaime Garcia and RP Neftali Perez.
The Pirates have until midnight on Thursday whether to tender the contracts of: Karstens, Cedeno, Hanrhan, Ohlendorf and Milledge.
The five Buccos are all arbitration-eligible.
Karstens went 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA. He made $401,500.
Ronny Cedeno batted .256 with eight home runs and 38 RBI. He made $1.125 million.
Joel Hanrahan went 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA. He had 100 strike outs in 69.2 innings with six saves. He made $453,000.
Ross Ohlendorf went 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA. He made $439,000.
Lastings Milledge batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBI. He made $452,000.
Monday I was invited to PNC Park for a season ticket holder event where we took batting practice in the batting cages and hung out in the Pirates clubhouse after.
Neil Walker and Garrett Jones were in attendance at the event.
Taking batting pratice in the cages. They had the machine pitching at 70 MPH, which I could not catch up to at all. What do you expect from a pitcher?
The Pirates logo inside the Pirates clubhouse.
Inside the Pirates clubhouse. They had a lot of food for us to munch on.
Garrett Jones and I.
Neil Walker and I.
Standing at Evan Meek’s locker.
Standing at Pedro Alvarez’s locker. His walk-off three run homerun against the Rockies is one of my favorite all-time baseball moments to be in attendance at.
Standing at Joel Hanrhan’s locker.
Outside New Pirates manager Clint Hurdle’s office. A Pirates fan wrote a note to Mr. Hurdle.
The Pirates training room.
I love the quote on the door. The Pirates workout room.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had a live web chat for fans on Monday at 3 PM. Here are a few of the questions. You can read the entire chat transcript here.
You said you were “at a loss for words” after hitting your first Major League home run. Now that it’s been several months later, can you describe the feeling you had rounding the bases in front of your hometown crowd and family?
Neil Walker: Obviously, I was extremely elated after hitting my first home run at PNC Park. It has been my dream to put on a Pirates uniform since I was five years old, and to think back now on what was going through my head as I was rounding the bases, I was just sort of floating off the ground and nothing was even going through my head. The fact that we won and seeing how excited that my teammates were for me made it all the more enjoyable. But to be able to share that moment with the city of Pittsburgh was an extremely special moment for me.
Congrats on the amazing rookie season. What impact do you believe Clint Hurdle will have on the team this upcoming year?
Neil Walker: Speaking with Clint and knowing his background, I believe that he’ll bring strong character to this team and I’m very excited to get to work come this Spring Training. He has shown with his time in Colorado that he’s found a way to bring a team together and win baseball games on a regular basis. I believe he can do the same here in Pittsburgh.
Will you be working with Bill Mazeroski in Spring Training on turning the double plays at second base?
Neil Walker: Yes, I will get an opportunity to work with Maz this Spring Training. Every year, he comes down and works with the infielders and does a tremendous job. But more so, to hear him speak about his playing days, especially his World Series season, is something that I think all players cherish.
Do you do any offseason workouts?
Neil Walker: Yes, I have a workout schedule each week that consists of four days a week. Lifting weights, hitting, cardio, are all things that I focus on during the offseason, as well as rest and relaxation.
The Royals have released former Pirates first rounder Bryan Bullington so that he can sign with the Hiroshima Carp.
Bullington, 30, was signed first overall in the 2002 draft by the Bucs. He has a 5.62 ERA in 81 2/3 innings for the Pirates, Royals, Indians and Blue Jays.
The Pirates have traded Pitcher Zach Duke to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later on Wednesday.
Duke was designated for assignment on Friday and was arbitration eligible for the third time this offseason. (Duke made $4.3 Million for the 2010 season)
Duke was selected in the 20th round of the 2001 draft. He ends his time in a Pirates uniform with a 45-70 record and 4.54 ERA in 160 games. Duke is coming off a career worst 2010 season going 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA.
The Pirates have finally announced their coaching staff for the 2011 season.
Jeff Banister will return for his 26th season in the Bucs Organization as third base coach. Banister took over as bench coach for the Pirates in 2010 when Gary Varsho was fired. He has also served as a coach and manager in the minors as well as a field instructor at both levels.
Ray Searage will return as Pitching coach. Searage took over as pitching coach after Joe Kerrigan was fired in August. He has spent the past seven years as pitching coach in various minor league levels. Searage has been in professional baseball for 33 years.
Heberto Andrade will return as bullpen coach for his eighth season with the club.
The new additions to the coaching staff are: Nick Leyva (third-base coach), Gregg Ritchie (hitting coach), Euclides Rojas (bullpen coach), Luis Silverio (first-base coach) and Mark Strittmatter (coach).
Ritchie joined the Pirates organization before the 2006 season as minor league hitting coordinator. Ritchie previous spent 10 years as the White Sox minor league hitting coach.
Rojas became the Bucs Latin American field coordinator in 2005. He also spent two seasons as the Red Sox bullpen coach,
Levya spent the last three seasons in Toronto as the club’s bench coach and third-base coach. He has a decade of managerial experience in the majors.
Silverio will handle the out fielding and base running for the 2011 season. He has spent the past 35 years in the Royals organization.
Strittmatter will serve as Hurdle’s extra coach as well as work as well as the pitchers hitting coach. Strittmatter will also assist with the catching staff and help with the hitting staff.
Tony Beasley, Luis Dorante, Carlos Garcia and Don Long were asked to not return to the Pirates staff.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker will have a live chat on Monday November 29th at 3PM ET. You can send him your questions and register/login in here.
Former Pirates left-hander Dana Eveland signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. He receives an invite to Spring Training and compete for a spot on the opening day roster either as a fifth starter or as a reliever in the bullpen.
Eveland, 27, finished the 2010 season with the Bucs Triple-A Indians. Eveland made three appearances with the Pirates (one start) posting an 8.38 ERA.
He has a career 16-22 and a 5.74 ERA record with five different major league teams.