Results tagged ‘ Andy LaRoche ’
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
On Tuesday’s edition of Hot Stove on MLB Network, they showcased the Pittsburgh Pirates in part of the 30 Clubs in 30 Recaps.
Here is what the analysts had to say:
“1992 was the last season in which Pittsburgh finished with a winning record. For a once proud franchise the Buccos have become somewhat of a forgotten team in their own city. It also doesn’t help the Penguins won a Stanley cup two years ago, and Sunday, the Steelers can win their third super bowl in six years. We look back at the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates.”
*Video clips through out the season were showed. Garrett Jones two run homerun on opening day, Evan Meek’s first career save (against the Dodgers), Andrew McCutchen’s hot month of May (.327 avg), the rookie debuts of Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez, the 12 straight losses, Alvarez’s walk-off three run homer against the Rockies, notching the 18th consecutive losing season, John Russell getting fired, and the hiring of Clint Hurdle.
Greg Amsinger: “Another rough season in 2010 for the Pirates. Hence all of these changes:”
Pirates Notable transactions this offseason by MLB Network:
RP Joe Beimel
SP Kevin Correia
OF Matt Diaz
3B Josh Fields
SP Scott Olsen
1B Lyle Overbay
SS Cesar Valdez
SP Zach Duke
SP Dana Eveland
RP Chan Ho Park
3B Andy LaRoche
RP Joe Martinez
OF Lastings Milledge
Amsinger: “Zach Duke is gone. He’s not going to be in that rotation. Andy LaRoche is not going to be at third base. Lastings Milledge is still a free agent so who knows where he’ll go. But you see all the additions. The biggest addition though, is the skipper of this club, Clint Hurdle.”
Todd Zeile: “I agree with you 100 percent. Clint, you heard him in the press conference say, ‘It’s got to turn eventually. We’re not going to back down to anybody.’ That’s the kind of mentality Clint Hurdle has. I think he truly believes in it. I think he instills that kind of confidence in his players –especially young players. In 2002, Clint took over for Buddy Bell, when Buddy Bell was fired. We were on the ropes. We had a bunch of veteran guys that he just let play. But at the same time, we had a guy named Juan Uribe, who we saw in the world series last year, this guy was as raw and unfettered as you could find. Clint found a way to get him to hone in his skills, but still let him play and didn’t destroy his confidence. He made sure he knew every time he walked out there, Clint believed in him. I think he’s got that same kind of capability. Look, realistically, they are looking to the future. While they got a lot of kids on that team that have a lot of potential in the future, including Pedro Alvarez. You showed the highlight of him, Alvarez had a really rough start but finished really strong. A guy like Clint I think can help take him to the next level.”
Al Lieter: “I agree. I love Clint. You mentioned about Alvarez, Greg Smith their scouting director, whole new deal there. Neal Huntington a whole lot different from Dave Littlefield, cleaning up the mess. You have a $40 million payroll. I think about all the additions and what is important. I think what is important is your starting rotation. No question about it. I go to what the Padres did last year. You have really nice quality pitchers like the Padres did in [Clayton] Richard, [Mat] Latos, and [Wade] LeBlanc. You have to get something out of your guys and look for the future. You got James McDonald, nice pickup with the Dodgers. Paul Maholm, making a lot of money right now for what he’s bringing in. Ross Ohlendorf was 1-11. You bring in a guy with some innings, that you can bring in a Kevin Correia that can maybe hold over for the future. This is about draft picks, this is about your player development. Everything that goes on from the bottom up, to eventually find that diamond. That’s what I would be sitting on and I look to the Padres. Last year, two teams under $40 million dollars in payroll: both the Pirates and the Padres. It starts with pitching.”
Harold Reynolds: “It does. It actually starts with draft also. I love what Clint Hurdle can bring to the table. You got to be positive with the young guys. You heard me say, ‘You got to play the young talent’. Some of the guys they are bringing in, the draft they had last year. They had two top picks, you get [Jameson] Taillon and you also get [Stetson] Allie, who should have been a number one pick as well. So they get those two guys to get it going in the minor leagues. It starts with pitching. You can move pitching and you can add players with having good pitching. But I love the fact that guys they have in the big leagues already. With [Andrew] McCutchen, I love [Neil] Walker the second baseman, and you look at Alvarez. Those three guys are a great core to start with and you go from there. The Pirates are on up!
Amsinger: “It’s a great sports city. They love the penguins, of course they love the Steelers, if they can get a winning product there for the Pirates they will come fill the most beautiful ball park in the game.”
Pirates Projected Rotation (According to MLB Network)
Andy LaRoche signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s on Monday. He also receives an invite to spring training.
LaRoche spent the past three seasons in Pittsburgh where he played third base, second base and first base for the Bucs. He batted .206 with four home runs and 16 RBI during the 2010 season.
The Pirates had until 11:59 on Thursday to decide whether to tender/non tender a contract for 2011 to Ross Ohlendorf, Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens, Ronny Cedeno and Lastings Milledge.
Pittsburgh originally had nine players that were facing arbitration this offseason. Wil Ledezma was signed to a one-year deal, while Zach Duke (who has signed a one-year deal plus a mutual option for 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks), Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young were designated for assignment and removed from the roster.
Jeff Karstens agreed to a one-year $1.1 million contract for 2011 (He made $457,000 last year). Karstens went 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA during 19 starts with the Pirates (26 appearances) through 122.1 innings. It is uncertain whether Karstens will remain a starter for 2011 or if he will be used out of the bullpen as long relief.
Ronny Cedeno agreed to a one-year deal which includes and club option for 2012. He batted .256 with eight home runs and 38 RBI with the Pirates in 2010. “We have identified upgrading our infield defense as a top priority and are working aggressively to accomplish that upgrade,’ Frank Coonelly said on Thursday afternoon. The Pirates are rumored to be interested in J.J Hardy and Jason Bartlett and will continue to explore options. Cedeno could be used in a trade or as a utility infielder if the right guy is found. “He has the ability to play the position,” Huntington said. “He shows flashes of the defense. He shows flashes of the offense. At some point in time, the consistency is either going to come or it’s not going to come. There are stretches of time where we feel like it’s just about there, and then we have some games that are less than ideal.”
Ross Ohlendorf was tendered a contract. He had a few stints on the disabled list and was considered a “very unlucky pitcher” in 2010 (referring to his 1-11 record and 4.07 ERA).
Joel Hanrahan was tendered a contract. He finished the 2010 season with a 3.62 ERA and six saves. Hanrahan also struck out 100 batters (a career high) in 69.2 innings.
Lastings Milledge was non-tendered by the Bucs, making him a free-agent. Milledge batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBI (.320 AVG against lefties) His below average offense along with his lack of power were both concerns of the Pirates.
General Manager Neal Huntington: “We spent a lot of time analyzing Lastings Milledge as compared with the potential alternatives for the expected role and determined it was worth further exploration of the alternatives. We remain open to continuing dialogue with Lastings.”
Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal and Brian Burres were also non-tendered by the Bucs, becoming free-agents.
Huntington on Donnie Veal: “Everything is on schedule with Donnie’s rehabilitation. We made a tough business decision, but we are optimistic we will be able to re-sign Donnie.”
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.
The Pirates Designated Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young for assignment on Friday.
This shouldn’t come to much surprise to Pirates fans –they all had a unproductive season and were due a pay raise.
Duke, 27, is coming off of his career worst season in the majors. He finished 2010 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA. Duke had a great rookie season –8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 2005– but since then he averages a 4.06 ERA each season. (Despite the numbers, Duke was a good guy. Him and his wife did many great things for the city of Pittsburgh. I wish nothing but the best for him and hope he does well with another team. Also, a healthy first child as his wife is pregnant.)
“I am truly thankful for the opportunity the Pirates have given me and genuinely enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh,” Duke said in a statement. “I understand this business decision and wish the Pirates and my friends still on the team the best of luck in the future.”
“We know that it’s not going to be easy to find a quality upgrade, and we know it’s going to be a challenge to find a guy who can pitch 180 innings,” Huntington said. “We plan to reinvest the money that was supposed to go to Zach Duke into the club, but we’ll take the same logical approach into signing a free agent as we did in deciding not to tender him a contract. Just as we made our decision not to offer a contract to Zach Duke, we’ll only spend that money if it is on the right player at the right price.”
Andy LaRoche was also part of the Jason Bay trade, who came from the Dodgers. He was the starting third baseman in 2009 but lost his job to Pedro Alvarez when he was brought up from the minors in July of the 2010 season. LaRoche batted .206 with four homers and 16 RBIs –primarily off the bench– last season.
“[It was] another difficult [decision] because Andy is a talented player,” Huntington said. “For whatever reason, it just hasn’t clicked here in Pittsburgh. In Andy’s case, I really believe he’s going to land on his feet somewhere and become a productive Major League player.”
Delwyn Young was acquired from the Dodgers and was used primarily as a pinch-hitter. Although he is capable to play several positions he wasn’t defensively good at any of them. Young hit .262 off the bench and .254 when he started games for the Bucs.
The Pirates added Tony Watson, Daniel Moskos, Kyle McPherson, Jeff Locke and Michael Crotta to the Pirates’ 40-man roster. It is currently full.
Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch will be answering fan’s questions on a weekly basis until Spring Training starts. Below are a few of the questions I thought were interesting from this weeks inbox. You can read the entire transcript here.
What do you think are in the plans for Milledge, Delwyn Young and LaRoche?
This is a good question, but a tough one to answer given that the Pirates are still evaluating how each might fit into the team’s long-term plans. All three of those players are arbitration-eligible, so each is due a decent pay bump as a result. It’s not a guarantee, however, that each will be offered arbitration.
I think it’s a safe bet that Milledge will be tendered a contract given that the outfielder is still just 25 years old and could be an option if the Pirates decide to go with a platoon in right field. He was acquired just a year and a half ago, and I can’t see the Pirates giving up on him just yet.
Young fills a good role off the bench for Pittsburgh, but the club ultimately has to decide if the pinch-hits are worth the increase in salary. If the Pirates believe they can get that offense from other internal options for less money, there’s always a chance Young could be on his way elsewhere.
LaRoche’s situation is most tenuous, and how he fares down in winter ball will weigh heavily in the Pirates’ evaluation about whether to keep the infielder around. LaRoche is playing all four infield positions in Venezuela. His only shot at hanging onto a roster spot with the Pirates is to show them that he can be an effective extra infielder and that he can hit without consistent at-bats. LaRoche definitely didn’t show the latter in 2010; consequently, don’t be surprised if he is gone before Spring Training.
Are the Pirates sure enough on some of their younger players to consider offering them long-term contracts?
It’s not common for teams to begin approaching players with less than one year of Major League service time about signing long-term deals. Yes, it happens occasionally — as it did a few years back with Evan Longoria and the Rays — but it’s not the norm. That said, it’s probably a bit too early to expect extensions being offered to Pedro Alvarez or Jose Tabata, even though each is still viewed as integral pieces of the club’s future.
McCutchen, however, could be a different case. The outfielder has now played more than a year and a half in the Majors and would seem to be a prime candidate for a contract extension in the next year or two. He is still under the team’s control for five more seasons, but by inking him to a long-term deal now, the Pirates would get two things. They would have financial certainty (in other words, they will know exactly how much will be allocated to McCutchen’s salary each season). And they could try to buy out a year or two of free agency from the center fielder.
Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan could also be candidates for multiyear deals, possibly something similar to the two-year deal given to Matt Capps in 2008. Like McCutchen, Meek and Hanrahan have had sustained success for more than one year and have shown signs that such success isn’t a fluke.
The Pirates made a series of roster moves on Wednesday and one of them was a one-year deal with Wil Ledezma. USA Today is reporting that the deal is for $700,000 (in the majors) and $300,000 (in the minors). Ledezma is out of options and is currently on the 40-man roster.
Ross Ohlendorf is arbitration eligible and has qualified for super-two status. Ohlendorf qualifies a year early and will receive a bigger salary then other players with three years of service time.
To be eligible for super-two status the player must rank in the top 17 percent of players who have two to three years of service time and at least 86 days service time, the previous year. Instead of the usual three years of arbitration, Ohlendorf will be eligible for four years.
The six years of service time are still required and they do not become free agents earlier than other players. Click here for a list of the past “super-two” players.
Ohlendorf made $439,000 for the 2010 season but given the amount of time missed due to injuries, he may not receive as much as other super-two players. Ohlendorf was 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA.
The Pirates have nine arbitration eligible players this season. They include: Zach Duke, Ronny Cedeno, Andy LaRoche, Jeff Karstens, Joel Hanrahan, Wil Ledezma (signed a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration), Ross Ohlendorf (super-two), Lastings Milledge and Delwyn Young.
It’s no surprise that the Pirates have a lot of work to do during the off-season. But first, I wanted to discuss the bucco’s who are arbitration eligible.
Ronny Cedeno, Wil Ledezma, Ross Ohlendorf, Joel Hanrahan, Lastings Milledge, Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young and Jeff Kartstens are all arbitration eligible.
Cedeno –who was never consistent all season and had plenty of hot streaks and slumps– batted .256 with eight home runs and 38 RBI. He made $1.125 M for the 2010 season.
Ledezma made 27 appearances’ with the Pirates this season and was 0-3 with a 6.83 ERA. In 19.2 innings pitched he struck out 22. Ledezma made $400,000 in 2010.
Ohlendorf –who finished his season the disabled list– was 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA. Ross was referred to as the “unluckiest pitcher” due to receiving many losses and no-decisions after making quality starts. Ohlendorf made $439,000 in 2010.
Hanrahan was nasty for the Pirates during the 2010 season. He was 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA and had six saves. Hanrahan spent most of the season as the set-up man in the 8th inning and split closing duties with Evan Meek when Octavio Dotel was traded. Joel finished the season with a career high 100 strike outs. He made $453,000.
Milledge’s season ended early due to a strained oblique. The outfielder batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBI. Milledge –who was a much better hitter with RISP– has yet to prove he has enough power to handle a corner outfield position. He made $452,000 in 2010.
LaRoche lost his starting job when the Pirates promoted Pedro Alvarez to the majors. The third baseman turned utility man paying second base and first base on occasion. He was also used a pinch-hitter, in 41 at-bats he had only three RBI and batted .146. LaRoche made $451,000 for the 2010 season.
Delwyn Young in 191 at-bats batted .236 with seven home runs and 36 RBI. He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter but did start in right field and second base on occasion. Young made $444,500.
Karstens was 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA during the 2010 season. He made only one start in September because of arm fatigue. Karstens made $401,500.
After winning 7-of-9 in the Pirates final home stand of the season, you hope some of that momentum carries through onto the final road games of the year. And it did as the Buccos battled the Red Birds but a few mistakes ended up being costly in the 6-4 loss to the Cardinals.
A mistake -an unfortunate act, an incorrect act or decision, an error, a misunderstanding
Unfortunately for the Bucs, the mistakes made during Monday night’s game ending up costing the Pirates their eighth win in the past 10 games.
An unfortunate act; Charlie Morton was pitching a pretty good game until the sixth inning got a little rocky. After intentionally walking Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday took Morton’s one bad pitch –a changeup– into the stands for a two-run home run that tied the game at four.
“I wanted it to go a little more inside,” Morton said afterward. “It just didn’t do anything. It stayed there for him, and he did what he does.”
An incorrect act or decision;The Pirates had the bases loaded in the seventh inning, one out, and John Bowker was up next. Manager John Russell pulled Bowker and replaced him with righty- Andy LaRoche. Two problems with this scenario. The first, LaRoche is a horrible pinch hitter and he has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats. The second, Reyes was allowing lefties to bat .307 against him. To replace Bowker (lefty) with LaRoche (righty) is mind boggling. Andy LaRoche hit into an inning ending double-play.
What was Russell’s reasoning for this move? Or what didn’t he use Young or Doumit’s bat from the bench instead?
“Ryan and Delwyn aren’t as efficient versus left-handed pitchers,” Russell explained. “Andy got a big sac fly for us [on Sunday], and he’s feeling better at the plate. We tried to match up the best way he could.”
“It would have been nice to push a run across there — at least one, maybe more,” Russell said. “We couldn’t do it.”
An error; In the seventh inning, a routine grounder was hit to shortstop Ronny Cedeno. His throw sailed way over the head of 6’4″ Garrett Jones and the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run.
“I’ve got to make that play,” said Cedeno, who has committed an error in three straight games. “It cost us the game. I have to be better than that.”
“I didn’t get a good route or get in a good position to field the ball,” he said. “I was coming in, and the guy can run. I’m trying to make the play, but it was bad.”
The Cardinals scored an insurance run in the eighth inning when Chan Ho Park’s pitch hit off Jay’s foot and flew to the backstop. Doumit tried to argue with the ump, but it was ruled as a wild-pitch. Re-plays clearly showed it was fouled off his foot. (Why didn’t John Russell argue that call, by the way?)
The crucial mistakes allowed the Cardinals to win the game, 6-4 –keeping them one game from being eliminated from the post-season. The mistakes also overshadowed some good performances on the night as well.
Pedro Alvarez –who was the N.L. Player of the Week– had yet another monstrous game. He went 3-for-3 with two RBI, a walk, and a homerun that was estimated to go 427 feet.
“I’m just glad I’ve been putting some good pieces on some good balls,” Alvarez said. “This game has slowed down a lot more. I’m just learning how to play this game at this next level.”
Charlie Morton –despite allowing the two-run homerun to Holliday– pitched a decent outing. Four runs on 10 hits, struck out four through six innings pitched.
“I feel like instead of finishing a game and being confused by what happened — and frustrated in general — well, now I know,” Morton said. “I made a stupid pitch. I didn’t execute.”
The Pirates have only four road wins since the All-Star break and need to finish the season 3-6 in order to match the worst road record set in 1963 by the Mets.