The Pirates will face the Houston Astros for the first time this spring in Kissimmee, Fla., at 1:05 pm. Charlie Morton is making his third start (fourth appearance) this spring and is scheduled to throw five innings. He will face Ryan Rowland-Smith.
You can listen to the game live here.
- Chris Snyder is eyeing Tuesday as his return to action since he’s been sidelined with lower back stiffness.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Snyder took swing in the batting cage on Saturday and said his lower back was giving him no problems.
Snyder will do more cage work on Sunday and hopes to be cleared for batting practice on Monday. If all goes well and he does not suffer any set backs, Snyder could play and catch in a minor league game on Tuesday.
Snyder said he should be ready for Opening day (April 1st).
Snyder told Langosch, “If it was any later than early next week then it would have been pushing it. Hopefully everything goes well and stays on track and I can stretch it out. Hopefully get nine innings one of those days. Get rolling.”
- Langosch also reports that James McDonald threw long toss on Saturday (50 throws, 120 feet) and said he felt fine afterwards. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday.
- Members of the 2010 Eastern League Champion Altoona Curve will be honored on Wednesday during a pre-game ceremony at McKechnie Field.
- The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins on Monday at 1:05 in Bradenton, Fla. Paul Maholm will get the start against Brian Duensing. Chris Resop, Jose Veras and Sean Gallagher will follow.
Newest Bucco Garrett Olson throws in the bullpen at McKechnie Field.
- First pitch strikes are important. The league average for the pitching staff throwing an 0-1 count is 59 percent –the Pirates last season did it at 58 percent.
Pitching coach Ray Searage is looking to improve that rate by several percentage points this season.
Searage told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I don’t want us to be 60 (percent). Sixty is average. I want us to be above average.”
Read more on Biertempel’s piece on the importance of first pitch strikes –Good Stuff.
- Manager Clint Hurdle has not yet named an opening day starter, but he has narrowed it down to two: Right-hander Kevin Correia and lefty Paul Maholm.
Hurdle told Biertempfel of the Tribune, “We’re going to watch Paulie pitch Monday and go from there. We’ve looked at a lot of different things. We’ve categorized all the numbers — trajectory ERAs, history in ballparks, history against (hitters). It’s not so much (who’s) our No. 1; it’s what is the best way to set up our rotation as we move forward.”
- Rob Biertempfel of the tribune also reports that Brad Lincoln’s bullpen session was canceled today. His arm remains swollen and painful.
Lincoln was struck with a line drive by Jimmy Rollins during Friday’s game against the Phillies.
Lineup: Tabata CF, Pearce 3B, Walker 2B, Diaz RF, Marte 1B, Doumit C, Fields LF, Cedeno SS, Morton RHP
Pitchers: Morton, Crotta, Leroux, D. McCutchen
Lineup: Bourn CF, Hernandez 2B, Pence RF, Lee 1B, Bogusevic LF, Downs SS, Oswaldo 3b, Quintero C, Rowland-Smith LHP
Pitchers: Rowland-Smith, Lyles, Pendleton
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider
Kevin Correia helped out his own cause in the Pirates 7-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla.
Correia went 2 for 2 at the plate, including a two-run single in the fourth inning.
Kevin Correia told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I just got my bat on the ball. I’ve played in the National League my whole career and I like hitting.”
Manager Clint Hurdle has had the pitchers batting in the lineup since March 6th. Last season, the Pirates pitchers batted just .089 (25-for-279).
“I think it’s a good idea,” Correia said. “When you look back over a season, you’d be surprised at how many times what a pitcher did at the plate was the difference in a big inning.”
Correia’s first two innings were solid –throwing just 26 pitches, 15 for strikes. Although, he did get up several hits, the defense behind him turned two double plays. Correia also had back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth inning. Correia struggled in the fifth. After walking Darnell McDonald (James McDonald’s cousin), he gave up back-to-back-to-back singles from Daniel Nova, Nate Spears and Marco Scutaro. Neil Walker commited an error, which scored another run in the inning.
Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The first inning, I was kind of getting my feel. I felt pretty good after that. Then they barreled a couple of balls in the fifth. But all in all, I felt strong through 80 pitches. At this point, I feel like I could make a regular-season start.”
An error by the Red Sox first baseman Nate Spears in the fourth inning allowed the Bucs to start a five run rally off Josh Beckett.
Neil Walker reached base on the error, Andrew McCutchen drew a walk, then Lyle Overbay hit a two-RBI double to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead. Matt Diaz and Dusty brown both hit singles. With the bases loaded, Correia hit a two-RBI single, but an error by catcher Jared Saltalamacchia allowed the bases to clear. The Pirates scored five runs, only one was earned by Beckett.
- Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless sixth allowing just one hit while striking out two.
- John Bowker hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his 3rd homer of the spring. He is 9-for-30.
Bowker told Langosch, “It’s going well. I’m trying to just get that rhythm and get the timing down like everybody else.”
- Pedro Alvarez, who has yet to hit a home run this spring, leads the club with six doubles.
- Lyle Overbay extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The first baseman went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
- McKechnie Field set another attendance record today. (previously 6,602 on March 13 vs. Red Sox) 6,644 fans packed the stadium.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Manager Clint Hurdle Is not ready to name an opening day starter yet but it will be either right-hander Kevin Correia or Left-hander Paul Maholm.
Hurdle told Langosch, “We’re getting closer. We’ve categorized all the numbers. We have all the information we need. With us, it’s not so much our No. 1; it’s our best way to set up the rotation as we move forward. We’re still considering some things.”
- Brad Lincoln, who was dealing with stiffness and soreness in his right forearm on Saturday morning, may have to skip his side session on Sunday.
Lincoln told Langosch of MLB.com, “If I was to answer that today, I would say, ‘Probably not,’” Lincoln said, when asked if he’d be ready to pitch on Sunday. “But we’re going to do treatments all day on it and see where it goes. Try to get some of that swelling out of there.”
Lincoln was struck in the right forearm with a line drive by Jimmy Rollins on Friday.
- The Pirates will travel to Kissimmee, Fla. On Sunday to face the Houston Astros at 1:05. Charlie Morton will face Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Evan Meek, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux are scheduled to throw.
Joe Beimel was scheduled to pitch during today’s game against the Red Sox but was scratched due to soreness in his left elbow.
According to Rob Biertempel of the Tribune, Left-hander Joe Beimel did NOT sound optimistic about being ready to start season.
Beimel told Langosch of MLB.com, “It is definitely frustrating and I want to be out there pitching. But at the same time, if I’m pushing too hard to get ready for Opening Day and there is a setback, then I’m gone for a lot longer. I think it’s better to take care of it now and then just go from there.”
Beimel has only made two starts this spring due to left forearm soreness. The issue is believed to be inflammation and not structural related.
“I just decided it would be better not to push it too hard and go out there today and try to throw through it,” Beimel said. “I definitely don’t want to take any steps back and have something serious happen to it. I’m just going to rest today and come in [on Sunday] and see how it feels.”
Tim Kurkjian of ESPN said on Baseball Tonight on Thursday that Andrew McCutchen is a star on the rise.
“I saw him today. Matt Diaz, one of his new teammates told me, ‘this guy, who is hitting 3rd now, might drive in 100 runs, might score 100 runs and his defense is so good he might prevent 100 runs.’ Diaz called him a ’300 run guy’ –which is pretty hard to do. He told me he worked with McCutchen when McCutchen was 15-years-old. And Diaz said he gave him three lessons of hitting and said, ‘I can’t teach you anything else. You got it now.’ He said, ‘his hands at 15 were faster than mine and I was in the big leagues.’ So this kid is a polished ballplayer –not just some really great athlete trying to play baseball.”
*Photo credit: Yahoo! Sports
The Pirates will face the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 in Bradenton, Fla. Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against Josh Beckett. The game will be aired on FSN Pittsburgh.
- According to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, Brad Lincoln does not expect to throw a bullpen session on Sunday. Lincoln was struck in the right forearm with a line drive hit by Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies on Friday.
Lincoln told Biertempfel, “It’s really stiff, worse than yesterday. My strength is still good, though. And there’s no structural damage.”
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Lincoln he will receive treatment today. He was also wearing a protective sleeve on his right arm.
- Some more injury notes, Rob Biertempfel reports:
James McDonald (left side) threw long toss (about 50 throws) today and will try a bullpen session on Sunday.
Chris Snyder (back stiffness) took swing off a tee today. Snyder plans on doing fielding drills on Sunday, hopes to take batting practice on Monday and play in a minor league game Tuesday. Snyder said, “Right now, no pain. Every day in the last three has been a positive progression.”
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that Charlie Morton will throw the first six innings Sunday against the Astros. Even Meek (one inning), Mike Crotta (one or two) and Chris Leroux (one or two) will follow.
Joel Hanrahan will throw one inning on Sunday in a Triple-A game at Pirate City.
Jose Ascanio will throw batting pratice at Pirate City this afternoon.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that left-hander Garrett Olson will arrive in Bradenton, Fla., this evening. He is scheduled to throw a side session on Sunday and make his debut in Monday’s game.
Olson joins Scott Olsen, Joe Beimel, Brian Burres and Justin Thomas as the lefties being considered in the Bullpen.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Langosch, “[Olson's] another guy we’ll get an evaluation on in Spring Training. It’s a player that we have liked for a couple of years. Actually, we tried to acquire him when he was with Baltimore. I’ve tried a couple of times with Seattle. He came available on waivers, and we claimed him.
- Garrett Olson ( @Oly49) tweeted this am: Thank u to all the mariners fans for being awesome and supportive. Gonna miss u all! And to Pirate nation, here I come!
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Overbay 1B, Alvarez 3B, Diaz RF, Cedeno SS, Brown C, Correia RHP
Pitchers: Correia, Hanrahan, Beimel, Nieve, Thomas
Lineup: Scutaro SS, Pedroia 2B, Saltalamaccia C, Youkilis 3B, Cameron DH, McDonald CF, Nava LF, Reddick RF, Spears 1B
Pitchers: Beckett, Aceves, Wheeler
Tuffy Gosewisch, a non-roster invite by the Phillies, hit a walk-off single that scored Erik Kratz for the 3-2 win at Bright house Stadium in Clearwater, Fla., In front of record attendance –10, 828.
Right-hander Chris Leroux entered the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead. He allowed two runs on three hits, picking up the blown save and loss.
Brad Lincoln was pulled after pitching 2.2 innings (he was scheduled to pitch four) after getting hit on the right arm by a line drive hit by Jimmy Rollins (For more on Lincoln’s injury update, read here). Unfortunate timing for the right-hander who is trying to earn the 5th spot in the rotation.
Lincoln, despite only allowing one run on one hit, he did walk two batters –both were lead off walks in the first and third innings.
Brad Lincoln told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The control issue was a factor today. I never really did get in a groove. My arm felt great; it was just I couldn’t find it out there on the mound. I just battled out there today.”
The Pirates starting lineup today was made up of those fighting to make the club. There wont be many opportunities left to prove themselves, as there are 44 men at big league camp with just two weeks until opening day.
Corey Wimberly went 0-for-4 with a RBI, John Bowker 1-for-4 with a RBI and a double, Steve Pearce went 1-for-3 with a walk. Garrett Atkins and Josh Fields went hitless. Pedro Ciriaco and Andy Marte both went 1-for-3.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I think we’re evaluating internally and we’ll keep it internal. We’ll let people know as we do that. Obviously at this point in time, we’re close to having another round-them-up meeting to decide what we’re going to do with our personnel. I like the way everybody has gone about their work. I like that we have been able to move those guys fighting for the bench positions around.”
- During the first inning, Ryan Howard hit a double up the first base line. Jimmy Rollins, who was on second, tried to score home but the relay from Steve Pearce (right) to Pedro Ciriaco (second) to Ryan Doumit was on target. Doumit missed the tag, Rollins missed the plate but Doumit recovered and Rollins was tagged out –that’s a play to see.
- Mike Crotta pitched yet another scoreless inning. He has not allowed a run this spring –8.1 innings and counting.
- Ryan Doumit (strained oblique) caught five innings and went 0-for-2 today. It was reported that he felt fine afterwards.
- MLB Network announced it will air the Pirates version of 30 clubs in 30 days on Tuesday at 11 PM/ET.
- The Pirates claimed Left-hander Garrett Olson from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Kevin Hart (shoulder surgery) was placed on the 60-day disabled list (more on Olson here).
- The Pirates will face the Boston Red Sox at McKechnie Field on Saturday. Kevin Correia is scheduled to throw six innings. Josh Beckett will start for the Red Sox. The game will be aired on FSN Pittsburgh.
During the third inning of Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, right-hander Brad Lincoln was struck in the right arm by a line drive hit by Jimmy Rollins. Lincoln proceed to field the ball and tag out Rollins.
Brad Lincoln told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “(Rollins) was slowing down and asked me if I was all right before I even tagged him,” Lincoln said with a laugh.
Manager Clint Hurdle, pitching Coach Ray Searage and the training staff met with Lincoln at the mound. According to Bob Walk, the Pirates Broadcaster, Lincoln was trying to convince them to let him stay in. He was taken out of the game after pitching 2.2 innings.
Lincoln was diagnosed with a right forearm contusion.
Lincoln told Biertempfel of the Tribune, “It got all meat. There was no bone-on-bone or anything like that, which is a good sign. It’s a little tight right now, so we’ll put some ice on it and re-evaluate it tomorrow. Right now, I feel OK to go about my business and do what I need to do. The real test will be how it feels tomorrow.”
Bad timing for Lincoln who was pitching a good game and is also battling for the 5th spot in the rotation. Over 2.2 innings (he was scheduled to throw four) he allowed one run on one hit with two walks. The lone run scored from a leadoff walk to Michael Martinez. Chris Resop replaced Lincoln and gave up an RBI double to Shane Victorino.
Lincoln told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, It is bad timing, but it’s not like we’re ruling out my next start already. I’m not overly concerned about it right now.”
The Pirates have claimed left-hander Garrett Olson from the Seattle Mariners, according to the Herrald Net.
In five appearances (five innings) this spring, Olson allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
The 27-year-old was selected in the 1st round (48th overall) in the 2005 draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
Olsen has been with the Seattle Mariners since 2009 and went 3-8 with a 5.26 ERA in 118.1 innings over the two seasons.
In order to add Olson to the roster, the Pirates have placed Kevin Hart (right shoulder surgery) on the 60-day disabled list.
*Photo credit: AP
The Pirates will face the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 today in Clearwater, Fla. Brad Lincoln will start and is scheduled to throw four innings against Roy Oswalt.
You can listen to the game on a free webcast on MLB.com, The Pirates radio network (104.7) or 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh.
- Lefty Scott Olsen has not made a great impression so far this spring. After being sidelined for several weeks (left hamstring strain), he has made just two starts –and they were not pretty. Through 2.1 innings, Olsen has allowed four runs (two homers) on five hits with three walks. Opponents are batting .417 against him.
With just two weeks until opening day, what is Olsen focused on?
Scott Olsen told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “There are no goals; it’s all about health. That is the goal. I can’t have any goals unless I’m healthy. After two frustrating years in a row, that’s all I want.”
- Pedro Ciriaco, who’s natural position is at shortstop, started at center field on Thursday. Other than batting practice, Ciriaco didn’t have much time to even prep for it. He even had to use Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez glove.
Ciriaco is competing for a utility job and proving that he could play in Center in a pinch, could really help him land a job with the club.
Pedro Ciriaco told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I feel pretty good. It was fun. You’ve got to adjust to whatever position you play. In the infield, everything is quicker. In the outfield, I think you’ve got a little bit more time to read the ball. I got one fly ball and one line drive, so it was easy today.”
- Charlie from BucsDugout chatted with Farm Director Kyle Stark while in Bradenton, Fla. For spring training. You can read part one of the interview here.
- Ryan Doumit will be starting today against the Phillies. Doumit (oblique strain) has not played in a spring training game since March 8th. He did go 3-for-4 with a double and a home run during a minor league game on Thursday at Pirate City.
- According to Pat Gallen of Phillies nation, former Bucco Brandon Moss has been cut from big league camp. Moss, who signed a minor league deal with the Phillies this offseason, batted just .167 (3-for-18) with seven strikeouts.
Lineup: Wimberly CF, Bowker LF, Pearce RF, Doumit C, Atkins 3B, Marte 1B, Rodriguez 2B, Ciriaco SS, Lincoln RHP
Pitchers: Lincoln, Resop, Veras, Crotta, Leroux
*As Rob Biertempfel of the Trib pointed out, perhaps a last chance for these players to show Hurdle what they got? Another round of cuts should be happening soon. Doumit is the only “regular” in the lineup and Biertempfel even calls it a “trade showcase”
Lineup: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Gload RF, Orr 3B, Ruiz C, Martinez 2B, Oswalt RHP
Pitchers: Oswalt, Baez, Romero, Contreras, Madson
The Baltimore Orioles offense pounded the Pirates on Thursday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla., as they combined for 20 hits in the 13-3 loss by the Bucs at McKechnie Field.
Ross Ohlendorf was scheduled to pitch five innings but he outing was cut short due to his high pitch count (he only threw three innings). Ohlendorf allowed six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. His sinker was effective in the first inning (enduced a double play) and had a 1-2-3 second.
Ohlendorf ran into trouble in the third. He allowed two runs to score before Jose Tabata misplayed a routine fly ball in the sun –It should have been the third out. From there, the O’s rallied. Matt Weiters hit a two-RBI single and Jake Fox hit a two-run homer.
Ross Ohlendorf told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette, I feel like I kept the ball down. The results really weren’t that indicative of that. I would have preferred to have thrown more [innings] but I think I should be OK.”
“I would like the results to be good, but I am much more concerned with how I am throwing. … I feel like I made good pitches for the most part.”
Scott Olsen and Joe Beimel (in their second spring appearance) also took a beating.
Olsen allowed three runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout. Olsen was scheduled to throw two innings but was pulled after 1.1. He issued back-to-back walks and at one point threw six straight balls. Olsen also allowed Jake Fox to homer, his second of the game.
Is there still time for Olsen to be stretched out to be considered for the fifth spot in the rotation? Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Trib, “I don’t know. He very well may be. I can’t say no. I’ll leave the speculation out there for people who want to speculate. We’ll give him the ball again and see where he takes it.”
Beimel allowed three runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout in the eighth inning.
- Andrew McCutchen has reached base safely in 10 straight games.
- Jason Jaramillo went 1-for-2 with a RBI and a walk. He is 9-for-16 with four doubles, five RBI and three walks (.529 avg).
- Brian Burres pitched four shutout innings in the Pirates ultrasquad game at Pirate City today. He allowed two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Brian Burres told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “There are a couple things that I still want to continue to do. But as far as where I am now, I think I’ve done a pretty decent job this spring trying to do the things that I’ve wanted to do.”
Burres has yet to give up a run this spring over nine innings and the opponents are batting just .179 against him.
- Jeff Karstens threw three scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
- Evan Meek and Fernando Nieve threw scoreless frames as well.
- So far, Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia are the only pitchers to have thrown five-inning starts. The others: Brad Lincoln (four innings scheduled tomorrow), Charlie Morton (four), Ohlendorf (three) and James McDonald (three).
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “We’ve got work to do. We’re not throwing enough strikes. We don’t have good enough command right now. I have no idea what our pitch count was today, but we threw way too many pitches today. We’d like to see our starters lengthen things out. There is work to be done. That’s what Spring Training is for. That’s why you have the amount of games that you have, and that’s why these starters have to keep building up their pitch counts.”
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that Ryan Doumit is scheduled to play against the Phillies on Friday. Doumit (strained oblique) has been sidelined since March 8th.
Doumit went 3-for-4 (double and a homer) in a minor league game today. Manager Clint Hurdle told Biertempfel, “We just needed him to see pitches and make sure he’s getting his swing off with no hesitation.”
- Corey Wimberly, John Bowker, Steve Pearce, Andy Marte, Ryan Doumit, Garrett Atkins, Josh Rodriguez and Pedro Ciriaco will start tomorrow against Philly. The positions have not yet been announced. As Biertempfel points out (Doumit excluded), perhaps a last chance before to show Hurdle what they got? Another round of cuts should be happening soon.
Brad Lincoln (four innings) will get the start against Roy Oswalt. Chris Resop, Jose Veras, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux will follow.