It’s finally here: Major league baseball 2011 opening day. Although the Pirates opening day doesn’t kick off until tomorrow, there are several games being played today.
The Pirates had workouts at Wrigley field this afternoon.
News and notes:
- The Pirates made several roster moves today: Right-hand pitcher Jose Veras was added to the 40-man roster. To make room for Veras, the Pirates designated Ramon Aguero for assignment.
Catcher Chris Snyder, Right-hand pitchers Jose Ascanio and Brad Lincoln and left-hander Scott Olsen were placed on the 15-day disabled list.
- Right-hand pitcher James McDonald threw 69 pitches today vs. NYY Triple-A team. He allowed just one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five innings. McDonald (left side soreness) remains on track to pitch on April 5th in St. Louis.
Manager Clint Hurdle said J-Mac will be on about a 85-90 pitch count on Tuesday’s start.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The ball was coming out of his hand real well. He threw healthy. He had some sharp pitches at times. He had some other pitches that weren’t quite as crisp. But yeah, we believe he’s ready to go.”
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Pirates have not yet determined where right-hand pitcher will begin the season in extended spring training or with Triple-A Indianapolis. Lincoln has been sidelined with a right forearm contusion.
- Manager Clint Hurdle also announced the Pirates opening day lineup for Friday. Ryan Doumit will be the starting catcher for the fourth straight season.
He explained his decision of picking Doumit over Jason Jaramillo, who had a great spring, was because of experience. Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I think we’ve got enough young guys breaking in [on Friday] that we’ll rely upon Ryan with some experience behind the plate, We’ll use both. I know both of them have worked very hard, and both of them are trying to take ownership of trying to be the best catcher they can be to handle the staff.”
- Right-hander Kevin Correia, who will be the Pirates opening day starter, told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com the importance of the team starting off strong, “It is nice to get off to a good start. It just kind of gets your confidence rolling going into the year. If you start off losing games, it’s just not conducive to getting on a good streak. When you’re in a position like we are, any time we can win a series, it’s going to be important – especially against division rivals.”
- The Pirates also released seven minor leaguers: Adenson Choruio, Christian Colonel, Casey Erickson, Pat Irvine, Gerlis Rodriguez, Jose Solano and Mike Williams.
- In honor of Hall of Fame Manager Chuck Tanner, who passed away in February, the Pirates will wear a commemorative patch this season. The patch will be black No. 7 enclosed in a gold “Stargell Star”
- Former Buccos Andy LaRoche and Lastings Milledge have made the major league club this season. LaRoche batted .333 in 29 games with the Oakland Athletics. He hit three doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. Laroche will be an utility infielder.
Milledge batted .305 in 19 games this spring with the Chicago White Sox. He hit one double, four home runs and 12 RBI. Milledge will be a back up outfielder.
- John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus and the Beaver County Times believes right-hander Kevin Correia could be the Pirates’ treasure.
- Outfielder Jose Tabata was replaced by pinch runner John Bowker in the 5th inning of Wednesday’s game against the Phillies. Tabata, who stole second base, hit his right ankle on the bag. It was reported that “he had only discomfort.”
- The Pirates have signed pitcher Tim Wood according to MLB Trade Rumors. Wood was released by the Washington Nationals.
The 28-year-old allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 4.1 innings this spring.PNC Park has some new food items at the ballpark this year. Stuffed Pepper Hoagie, Meatball subs, Pulled Pork Perogie snacker; to name a few.
For Vegetarian and Gluten Free people like me, new this year is a Gluten-free beer and a veggie cup with hummus at the Levy Restaurants and a veggie toaster sandwich at Aramark. I love that PNC Park is continuing to cater to Vegetarian and Gluten Free fans.
You can read about all the delicious new foods here.
*Photo credit: @Colin_Dunlap
With the help of Charlie Morton’s solid start and Pedro Alvarez’s two-run homer, the Pirates defeated the Phillies 4-1 at Citizen Bank Park for the final game of the spring.
Morton allowed just one run (none earned) on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings on Wednesday. Morton’s spring ERA was just 2.62. Although, his great spring stats will be washed away by Friday for opening day, Morton’s confidence will follow him into the regular season.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “He’s pitched well all spring. He’s done a good job all spring. Today he was just efficient. The sinker’s there, the breaking ball was there, the change-up was there at times. But he’s kept the ball down as well as anybody. Pitched to contact as well as anybody. The thing I’m probably most impressed with Charlie is the fact that even though it’s spring, you add the walks and you add the hits and it’s still less than the innings that he’s pitched this spring, which gets your attention.”
Over 24 innings this spring, Morton allowed just 15 hits with six walks.
The Phillies threatened in the 1st inning, with two on and just one out but Morton successfully got out of trouble with a strikeout to Ryan Howard and a fly out to Raul Ibanez.
First baseman Lyle Overbay hit his fourth double of the spring in the 2nd inning. Pedro Alvarez crushed a 89 mph fastball from Cole Hamels to take a 2-0 lead.
Ben Francisco reached second on a two base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez. He then scored on a ground out by Wilson Valdez to cut the lead to 2-1.
Steve Pearce doubled and scored the third run for the Pirates as he was knocked in by minor leaguer Jordy Mercer in the 6th.
The Pirates tacked the fourth and final run in the 9th after outfielder John Bowker hit a sac fly to score Josh Rodriguez.
- The Pirates out hit the Phillies 12-2.
- Steve Pearce hit his sixth double of the spring in the 6th inning.
- The Pirates will kick off the 2011 season by facing the Chicago Cubs for a three game series at Wrigley field, starting on Friday, April 1st at 2:20 ET.
Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against Ryan Dempster.
The Pirates will face the Philadelphia Phillies at 4:05 today. You can listen to the game on the Pirates baseball network (104.7).
Charlie Morton will start for the Bucs against Cole Hamels in the final game of the spring before Opening Day kicks off for the Pirates on April 1st.
- The Pirates optioned right-hander Chris Leroux to Triple-A Indianapolis earlier today (read more here).
- Minor league infielder Jim Negyrch, who publicly asked to be traded if he was not going to start the season with AAA, was traded to the Florida Marlins on Wednesday for catcher Carlos Paulino.
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Overbay 1B, Diaz RF, Alvarez 3B, Jaramillo C Cedeno SS, Morton RHP
Pitchers: Morton, Crotta, Resop, Hanrahan, Hughes
Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Hamels P
Pitchers: Hamels, Contreras, Blanton, Kendrick, Perez, Bastardo
The Pirates optioned Right-hand pitcher Chris Leroux to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Leroux allowed five runs on 13 hits over 10.2 innings with three walks and five strikeouts this spring.
Pitching coach Ray Searage told Mike Radano of MLB.com, “He has a nasty fastball that hits 95. [Leroux] is young and has great stuff. All he needs to work on is his consistency, and then he can really help us.”
The Pirates still have to make a few DL assignments official, and Veteran Jose Veras needs to be added to the 40-man roster, but the roster appears complete.
Here is what the roster will look like for opening day 2011:
Starters: RHP Kevin Correia, LHP Paul Maholm, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Charlie Morton, RHP James McDonald
Relievers: RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Evan Meek, RHP Chris Resop, RHP Jeff Karstens, RHP Jose Veras, LHP Garrett Olson, RHP Mike Crotta
Catchers: Ryan Doumit, Jason Jaramillo
Infielders: Lyle Overbay, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Ronny Cedeno, Josh Rodriguez, Steve Pearce
Outfielders: Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Diaz, Garrett Jones, John Bowker
Pirates play-by-play annoucer Tim Neverett interviewed Right-hand pitcher Charlie Morton prior to Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Here is what they discussed:
Tim Neverett: “Charlie, an interesting 365 days I guess when you look back at the last year for yourself. You head into the season last year with high hopes. Things don’t go your way. You end up going down to Triple-A. Had all kinds of things happen…From where you were a year ago, to where you are now, how far do you think you’ve come?”
Charlie Morton: “I think the struggles forced me to move forward. And taught me a lot about myself, taught me a lot about what really is important. Not only in the game [but] off the field. Going to the Dominican [for winter ball], getting to spend time and play with the guys that I’ve known, a culture that I haven’t really been too familiar with, and getting to see where guys that I’m playing with all these years are coming from. At this time last year, I thought I was ready. I was excited. I worked hard, prepared. To be honest with you, I really don’t know what more I could have done last year coming into the season. Like you said, it just didn’t work out. But what I’m doing is moving on and learning from it.”
Neverett: “Well I know last year certainly was full of disappointments. You probably had some of those moments where you thought you were doing everything right and then, the results weren’t there. How tough was that on you mentally?”
Morton: “It was hard because I know for a fact last year I put more into baseball emotionally, physically and mentally than I ever had before…It wasn’t one of those things were you kind of shake it off. You hit a wall, you get back up and you go again and you go through it. It wasn’t like that. It was like, I hit a wall and I didn’t know what to do because I had put so much time into it, I invested so much time into it –In between starts, bullpens and video studying, working out. I really didn’t have much more to offer to preparation or anything like that. It was more like I was beating my head against the wall opposed to run through it. In that sense it was really difficult. There was a lot of soul searching. I wondered what I wanted to do with my life. If this was where me dedicating everything I had to baseball was going to leave me, what am I going to do? If it’s not working out, what am I going to do? The one thing that I did learn was despite struggling, guys from the other side were telling me that I have all the talent in the world to do what I want to do in this game…The direction I wanted to go was made more clear especially when I came back and had some success at the end of the year. Trying to figure out what worked and what kind of individual I wanted to be on the field. Who I wanted to be. What kind of pitcher I wanted to be. And in that sense, I guess it was kind of necessary because up into that point last year, I was trying to be what other people thought I was trying to be, what other people wanted me to be. As opposed to really embracing what I could do with a baseball. The results have yet to be seen but I’m really looking forward to this year because I feel like I’ve kind of been given the reins a little bit more. I feel like I’m more in a position to do what I feel is right and what I feel I am and who I am. Last year definitely forced me to determine who I was because it was sink or swim.”
Neverett: “Your spring this year, a lot of folks said you approached it like a different guy, like a different pitcher. What have you done differently in terms of the mental preparation. I know last year one of the criticisms that maybe you thought a little bit much. You had a too much in your head instead of going out there and pitching…What have you done differently this year that has turned into a very good results in spring training heading into the season?”
Morton: “I think I kind of narrowed down what I wanted to be, who I wanted to be…There are so many things that happened last year…I basically lived at the ballpark. Even when I wasn’t there, I was thinking about baseball, how to get better. I think it was necessary for me to think about things…I think in terms of, ‘don’t think just throw’, theoretically you can do that but I wouldn’t be learning anything. There were times last year where that’s what I was doing. It didn’t work out. You can’t really change the nature of a person. I understand the desire for people to perceive me as an over thinker or overly analytical and that leading to struggles. Really the only thing that’s going to allow me to fully get to where I want to be is for me to do it. Is for me, not someone else to do it. Would it be nice to go out there with a blank mind, not remember what happened before. Not be thinking about mistakes. Not to be thinking about possible negative outcomes. Would that be great? Yeah. It would be great, but it wouldn’t be human. I learned last year that it’s okay to have fears and to be anxious and all that stuff. Whereas before it was perceived as some type of weakness or something like that. I learned you really have to embrace what you are and allow that to give you what you need to succeed. You have to take those failures and embrace what happened as opposed to trying to shut them away somewhere. For me, Yeah, I wish I could have. I wish I could have come to the ballpark after giving up 10 runs in an inning or two innings, or whatever it was, and just move on but it’s not realistic.”
Neverett: “We’ve seen some really good results already this year. We’ve seen a guy who’s out there determined to win. Working with pitching coach Ray Searage, what has he told you? What advice has he given you going into the season?”
Morton: “One of the things we’ve been working on early in spring training was my mechanics. Ray and Jim Benedict, our pitching coordinator, they got together, I’m not sure who else was involved but we lowered my arm angle a little bit. Trying to make the way I was throwing a little more natural. Get my timing better because mechanically I’m rotational except for my arm angle which is trying to be over the top. I’m trying to be 6’5″, 230. I throw 95, so let it fly. But the thing is, I tried that last year and it just didn’t work. We dropped my arm angle a little bit. Ray has kind of stepped back and give me some space. I think he knows I care. I think everybody here that knows me, knows I care. I almost care so much that it might not be beneficial. What Ray has done is focused on one or two things. And that was fastball down and away to a righty, a go-to pitch when I’m behind in the count and just staying aggressive. I’ve been throwing a lot of sinkers down in the zone and getting a lot of ground balls.”
*Photo credit: Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, 1490 News blog
Ross Ohlendorf’s struggles this spring continued as he threw 94 pitches over four innings as the Pirates lost to the Phillies 8-5 at Citizen Bank Park in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Ohlendorf has only thrown five innings in a start this spring once. He allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk and a strikeout over four innings.
Ohlendorf has now allowed 24 runs (20 earned) on 34 hits over 18.1 innings this spring.
Ohlendorf told Mike Radano of MLB.com, “I wish Spring Training had gone better, but I feel as if I’m ready. I feel like tonight, that even though the results were similar to my other starts, I feel like I threw the ball much better.”
“Where I didn’t do well is I threw too many pitches. I felt that with the exception of a couple of at-bats, I wasn’t getting hit as hard as I was in the last game, and the ball was coming out much better, and [catcher Ryan] Doumit did, too. I’m definitely heading in the right direction.”
Manager Clint Hurdle is not concered with Ohlendorf’s spring struggles. Hurdle told Mike Radano of MLB.com, “I have no concerns or misgivings. He’s in our starting rotation. I’ve seen guys have springs in which they didn’t get anybody out, and when the season started they rolled right through it.”
Lyle Overbay came through with a two-RBI double in the 1st inning off of Roy Oswalt to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead. Both Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez walked in the inning.
Jimmy Rollins successfully stole second base in the bottom of the 1st inning. Catcher Ryan Doumit’s throw to second went into center field allowing Luis Castillo to score and put the Phillies on the board.
Right Fielder Ben Francisco homered off Ohlendorf in the 2nd inning to tie the game at two. Ohlendorf continued struggled in the 2nd. Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Luis Castillo hit a grounder to short, an easy double play to end the inning, but Ronny Cedeno bobbled the ball allowing a run to score. Jimmy Rollins hit a sac fly to score Ruis and give the Phillies a 4-2 lead.
Two more runs scored in the 4th inning off of Ohlendorf, who hit Rollins, his third batter of the night. Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins both hit RBI singles in the inning.
Josh Rodriguez and Jose Tabata drew back-to-back walks in the 5th. Neil Walker hit a single, but advanced to third base on an error by the Francisco. Both Rodriguez and Tabata scored. Andrew McCutchen followed with a RBI single to cut the lead to 6-5.
Chris Leroux’s leadoff walk to Victorino scored on a ground out by Rollins in the 6th. Leroux was pulled after just 1/3 of an inning.
Former Bucco Erik Kratz scored off of Evan Meek in the 8th. The Phillies went on to win 8-5.
- Jose Tabata went 0-for-2 with three walks and two runs.
- Neil Walker reached base four times tonight. He went 3-for-4 with a RBI, a walk and two runs scored.
- Right-hander Kevin Correia, who will be the Pirates opening day starter in Chicago, is eager to get the season started right. He will be facing the Cub’s Ryan Dempster on April 1st.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I’d trade in an Opening Day start for a good start. If we’re going to turn this thing around, it would be nice to win that first game. It’s exciting, but you can’t get caught up too much in it. You’ve got to approach it like any other start.”
- Although it hasn’t been officially announced, Mike Crotta has made the Pirates 25-man roster according to reports. Crotta, who has never pitched above AAA, has had himself a great spring. He’s allowed just two earned runs over 12.1 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Crotta told Mike Radano of MLB.com, “I feel like [Spring Training] couldn’t have gone better for me. I [went to Florida] in the beginning of December because I had some elbow issue to work through. From the first day, I’ve just worked with [Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage] on getting the right mentality to be a reliever, and working on getting the ball down in the zone.”
“I’ve learned a lot this spring, and it’s something I can take with me into my career. It’s awesome to be here, and the whole experience is awesome. From the plane ride to playing in a game, it’s all just awesome. I’m ready to go.”
- Corey Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports that Pirates pitching prospects Jeff Locke and Bryan Morris will start the season with Double-A Altoona. Left-hander Justin Wilson is still undetermined whether he will go back to Altoona, or start the year with Triple-A.
Catcher Tony Sanchez and Starling Marte, ranked as the Pirates No. 2 and No. 4 prospects by Baseball America, will start in Double-A.
Another interesting move will be with shortstop Chase D’Arnaud. If the Pirates decide that Pedro Ciriaco will be the everyday shortstop in Indianapolis, then D’ARnaud will start the season at Double-A again.
- The Pirates will face the Phillies again tomorrow for the final exhibition game before opening day kicks off on Friday. Charlie Morton will start for the Bucs against Cole Hamels.
The Pirates face the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen Bank Park tonight at 7:05 pm for first of two exhibition games. You can listen to the game on the Pirates radio network 104.7.
The Bucs will send right-hander Ross Ohlendorf to the mound to face Roy Oswalt.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette is reporting that Right-hander Mike Crotta will make the 25-man roster. The Pirates have not officially announced the news (read more here).
- With just a few days until opening day, Manager Clint Hurdle is ready to win. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com asked Hurdle what he learned about the team through spring training that he didn’t already know, he said,
“These guys are ready to win. They’re ready to win.”
“You break things down on paper — we don’t have the names that other teams have. We don’t have the pedigrees, the back of the bubblegum cards that other teams have. But I have learned through playing the game, coaching the game and managing the game that the beauty of it is that the game is not played on paper. All we’ve got to be is better than the team that night we’re playing them. That’s one message we’re revisiting just about daily this spring.”
- Charlie Morton will face Cole Hamels tomorrow against the Phillies in the final exhibition game. Opening Day will kick off on April 1st in Chicago against the Cubs. I’ll be making the trip so if you’ll be there feel free to say hello.
- The Pirates sent a dozen minor league players to Philly for the exhibition series. This gives Hurdle ample players to use for backups. Most of the regular players will not play on Wednesday (or very limited) in order to be rested up for opening day on Friday.
Those players who traveled North with the ball club are: infielders Brian Friday, Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Benji Gonzalez; outfielders Brad Chalk and Starling Marte; catchers Eric Fryer and Kris Watts; and pitchers Anthony Claggett, Mike Colla, Michael Dubee and Jared Hughes.
- Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association adapted new protocols regarding concussions. There will be a seven-day disabled list for concussions that goes into effect on opening day (read more here).
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Overbay 1B, Alvarez 3B, Jones RF, Doumit C, Cedeno SS, Ohlendorf RHP
Pitchers: Ohlendorf, Veras, Meek
Lineup: Victorino CF, Castillo 2B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Orr 3B, Ruiz C, Oswalt RHP
Pitchers: Oswalt, TBA
(Jose Tabata, Ronny Cedeno) Bundle up guys, the temperature tonight in Philly is supposed to be 33 degrees.
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider
Dejan Kovaceivc of the Post Gazette reports that Right-hander Mike Crotta will make the 25-man roster. The Pirates have not yet made the announcement.
With that move, Right-hander Chris Leroux looks to be the odd man out unless James McDonald isn’t healthy enough to start with the team or they decide to not use Garrett Olson (the only lefty).
Crotta, a 26-year-old right-hander, spent the 2010 season with both Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis where he went 7-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 28 starts (156.2 innings) combined.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com after just two appearances this spring, “He’s definitely got the attention of some people. He’s pitching with purpose.”
Crotta has allowed just three runs (two earned) over 12.1 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Leroux allowed five runs on 13 hits over 10.2 innings with three walks and five strikeouts this spring.
Leroux told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com recently, “I’ve been working on a lot on my mechanics, [which are] almost totally different than I used to be when I came into camp. I’m working on following through. I tend to come up when I finish, and that leaves the ball up sometimes. My front step, I need to keep my front side closed, and it’s just a bunch of different things. My mind’s racing a mile a minute when I’m out there.”
“I always like to think that I have a chance of making it. But now with all my mechanical changes, I realize that it’s going to be a process.”
Nothing is official just yet, but the pitching staff for 2011 would look as follows:
Starters: Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, James McDonald
Bullpen: Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Jeff Karstens, Chris Resop, Jose Veras, Garrett Olson, Mike Crotta
*Photo Credit: Yahoo!Sports
The Pirates traded Infielder Josh Fields to the Colorado Rockies on Monday for cash, or a player to be named later.
Fields was reassigned to minor league camp last Friday. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Pirates had told him they would help him try to find an opportunity elsewhere if he wanted.
Fields signed a minor league contract with the Pirates this offseason. Fields missed most of the 2010 season, recovering from hip surgery that he had in April. He played in 13 games (with the Kansas City Royals), post surgery, where he went 15-for-49 (.306 avg) with three homers and six RBIs.
This spring, Fields batted .172 with one double, two RBI and struck out 11 times in 29 at-bats.
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle
The Pirates lost their final Grapefruit League game of the Spring on Monday against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., 4-3.
Anthony Claggett, who was in from minor league camp, came in to close the game in the 9th inning. After allowing a lead off walk, Brian Roberts hit a triple, scoring the tying run. Clagget gave up a single off his foot and Roberts scored the game winning run.
The Pirates drop to 11-20 this spring.
Jeff Karstens started for the Pirates and he allowed just one run (none earned) on five hits with one walk and one strikeout over 4.2 innings. His ERA this spring is 1.54. Karstens was scheduled to throw about 50 pitches. The Pirates wanted him stretched on in case James McDonald is not healthy enough to start April 5th in St. Louis.
The Pirates played small ball in the first inning. Jose Tabata lead off with a double off of Lefty Francisco Lorianio. Neil Walker hit a sac bunt, advancing Tabata to third base and Andrew McCutchen hit a sac fly to take a 1-0 lead.
Lorianio allowed the Bucs to score two more runs in the 4th inning. A lead off double by Neil Walker followed by First baseman Steve Pearce, who hit a double, scoring Walker. Matt Diaz hit a bloop single into right field to score Pearce.
In the fifth inning, Denard Span advanced to second base on a bad throw by shortstop Ronny Cedeno. Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit a RBI single cutting the lead to 3-1.
Mike Crotta, who is fighting for one of the final spots in the bullpen, allowed Brandon Roberts to double home Brian Dozier, who walked in his previous at-bat.
Claggett allowed Roberts to triple in the game tying run after a lead off walk. Lehmann hit the go-ahead run off of Clagget’s foot to win the game, 4-3.
- In the bottom of the first inning, Denard Span laid down a perfect bunt but catcher Jason Jaramillo made an unbelievable throw to get Span at first base.
- If you watched the MLB Network broadcast, Former Bucco closer Matt Capps was interviewed by the Twins Broadcasters. When asked about his former club, and if he talked to a lot of the team still, he said: “A lot of the players. Most of Clint Hurdle’s staff are guys I had coming up through the minors. Ray Searage is a guy I give a lot of credit to turning my career around. In ’04 and ’05, essentially getting me to the big leagues. He’s the pitching coach now. Jeff Banister’s over there. He was the field coordinator when I was there. [Euclides] Rojas, the bullpen coach there was the pitching coordinator when I was there. He helped me out quite a bit. A lot of good friends. People over there in that uniform [are] good people.”
- Giger Counters of the Altoona Mirror reports that Pirates minor leaguer Jim Negyrch says he wants to play in Triple-A or he wants the Bucs to release him so he can find a job elsewhere.
Negyrch, 26, was playing for the Double-A team on Monday.
Negyrch told Counters of the Altoona Mirror, “Obviously I feel like I’ve done enough in Double-A, so if I’m not in Indianapolis then, I’ve gotten permission then hopefully I’ll be able to get my release and hopefully play someplace else.”
You can read more of the story and interview with Negyrch here.
- Right-hander Nathan Adcock, who the Royals took from the Pirates in the Rule-5 draft, has made the big league club. Adcock has not pitched above High-A in his career but Kansas City believes he is ready to throw at the big league level.
Adcock must stay with the Royals for the entire season or else they will have to offer him back to the Pirates for half of what they payed ($25,000).
- Following the game today, the Pirates will fly to Philadelphia. The Bucs will play two exhibition games against the Phillies on Tuesday (7:05 PM) and Wednesday. Ross Ohlendorf will face Roy Oswalt on the 29th, Charlie Morton will face Cole Hamels on the 30th.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette wrote a great feature on the Pirates Top three prospects: Right-handers Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie and Catcher Tony Sanchez. Read it here.