Results tagged ‘ Athletics ’
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
The Pirates reassign Infielders Andy Marte and Corey Wimberly, Left-hand pitcher Brian Burres and Catcher Dusty Brown to minor league camp on Saturday morning.
Marte signed a minor league contract with the Pirates this offseason. Once a highly regarded prospect, he was ranked by Baseball America as one of the top 15 from 2004-2006.
Marte, 27, hit .229 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 170 at-bats with the Cleveland Indians in 2010.
This spring Marte batted .364 with six doubles, five RBI, five walks and six runs scored.
Wimberly was acquired by the Oakland Athletics’ in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ryan Kelly in late December.
Wimberly, 27, hit .284 with three home runs, 57 RBI in 135 games for the A’s Triple-A team in 2010. Wimberly stole 56 bases last season, 259 bags in 563 career games.
This spring he hit .212 with two RBI, six walks and stole four bases in 21 games.
Burres signed a minor league contract this offseason with the Pirates.
Burres went 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 13 starts (20 appearances) with the Pirates last season. In his final seven games, Burres had a 1.89 ERA.
This spring Burres had a nine scoreless inning streak. He allowed six runs on 15 hits over 14.0 innings with five walks and seven strikeouts.
Brown signed a minor league contract this offseason with the Pirates.
Brown, 28, spent the majority of the last three seasons catching with the Red Sox’s Triple-A team. During 2010, he batted .218 with 19 doubles and seven homers.
This spring Brown batted .321 with one double, four RBI in 28 at-bats.
Steve Pearce has won the backup corner infielder position according to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune.
Pearce recently eliminated his leg kick from his swing in hopes it would help him earn him a bench spot. Looks like the adjustment payed off.
This spring Pearce batted .283 with five doubles and three RBI in 46 at-bats.
Pearce told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I’ve surprised myself a little bit, honestly. Going over to third after not having played for so long, it came naturally. In the outfield, I’m moving a lot better. I’ve felt good everywhere they’ve moved me. I think I have exceeded expectations.”
Although the Pirates have not yet made anything official, just one man stands in for the job. Garrett Atkins (released), Andy Marte and Josh Fields (reassigned to minor league camp) were battling for the backup corner infielder position.
Pearce also has the ability to play the corner outfield positions as well. This will mark the first time in his career he has made the opening day roster.
With Burres cut from camp, you would assume that Garrett Olson will be in the Pirates bullpen, he is the only lefty remaining.
That leaves Right-handers Chris Leroux and Mike Crotta fighting for the final spot in the ‘pen.
The Pirates still have not determined whether they will keep a third catcher this season. It all depends on the future of Ryan Doumit (will he be traded or will he be used just as a bench guy). Jason Jaramillo and John Bowker are final two competing for a bench spot.
The are 32 players left at camp.
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle
Former Pirates’ manager Chuck Tanner passed away on Friday at the age of 82.
Tanner managed the Pirates from 1977-85, and led the “We are family” Bucs to a World Series title in 1979 by defeating the Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win the title in seven games.
Tanner also managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Atlanta Braves. He retired with a managerial record of 1352-1381.
A native of the Pittsburgh suburb of New Castle, Tanner’s playing career lasted eight years. He played the outfield for the Braves, Angeles, Indians and Cubs.
Tanner most recently served as a senior adviser to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.
“The news of Chuck’s passing at the age of 81 was met today with heavy hearts by everyone within the Pirates organization,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. “Chuck was much more than a highly successful major league manager who guided the Pirates to the World Series championship in 1979, he was an integral and loved member of the Pirates family.”
“Chuck was a class act who always carried himself with grace, humility and integrity. While no one had a sharper baseball mind, Chuck was loved by his players and the city of Pittsburgh because he was always positive, enthusiastic and optimistic about his Bucs and life in general,” said Pirates president Frank Coonelly.
“My early memories of the Pirates organization are of Chuck’s teams, the way they played the game and the genuine affection they seemed to have for each other,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “This made an impression on me and never did I imagine that I would have a chance to work with Chuck himself.”
Tommy Lasorda tweeted upon hearing the news of Tanner’s death: “Rest in Peace Chuck Tanner. I loved you like a brother. You taught me a lot about managing, and I always appreciated it.”
“The Tanner family would like to express their sincere thanks to friends, fans, and the entire baseball community for their thoughts and prayers during Chuck’s recent illness,” Bruce Tanner said. “He will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather to his family, and a good friend to every life he touched. In baseball we will remember his eternal optimism and his passion for the game.”
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 acquired Corey Wimberly from the Oakland Athletics’ in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ryan Kelly. He will also receive a non-roster invite to Spring Training.
Wimberly, 27, can play five different positions: shortstop, third base, second base, left field and center field. He hit .284 with three home runs, 57 RBI in 135 games for the A’s Triple-A team. Wimberly stole 56 bases last season, 259 bags in 563 career games.
Kelly, 23, was drafted by the Pirates in the 26th round of the 2006 draft. He went 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA through 75 innings during the 2010 season with Class A-West Virginia.
According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Pirates have re-signed Tyler Yates to a minor league contract.
Yates missed the entire 2010 season and most of the 2009 season due to his second Tommy John Surgery.
Yates, 33, pitched in just 15 games for the Bucs in the 2009 season, going 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA. He allowed 14 hits, 12 runs (10 earned) through 12 innings. He last pitched for the Pirates on May 15th, 2009.
Drafted in the 23rd round of the 1998 draft by the Oakland Athletics, Yates was acquired from the Braves in May of 2008 for minor league pitcher Todd Redmond.
Yates, in five major league seasons, has a career 5.12 ERA.
Aki Iwamura has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles on Friday. The 32-year-old had a disappointing 2010 season batting just 173 in 229 plate appearances between the Pirates and Athletics’.
Erin Andrews was interviewed by Fanhouse recently in which she defended sideline reporters and why we are important. I really enjoy watching her because she is good at what she does and she is a positive influence in the industry. Andrews is speaking out on the recent controversies involving females working in sports, “Why can’t you worry about the way you look and also like sports?”
Defend the importance of sideline reporters.
Sideline reporters are needed for a couple of very important things. I don’t think they’re needed for the ‘fluff’ stories, everyone reads those stories all week long in the newspaper. I don’t think they’re needed for that. When they’re needed – a prime example was when Dennis Dixon was leading the (2007) Heisman race, looks like Oregon’s going to win the national championship then he blows out his knee. Oregon said he’s OK. I’m down there watching, I’m reading the trainers’ lips to him. The trainer starts crying. Right there and then I report it. I knew it was over. The guys upstairs in the booth, they didn’t see that; the cameras didn’t see that. The biggest thing sideline reporters bring are things the guys up there and the camera can’t see.
What are your thoughts about those who criticize attractive female reporters?
I think it’s hilarious that you can’t worry about getting your roots done, working out, worrying about what shoes you’re wearing and have cool jewelry and know sports. I think it’s weird you can’t do those things. Why can’t you worry about the way you look and also like sports? We (females) can multi-task, right? I used to harp on this – I want to prove to people that I know more, that I’m not here because of what I look like or that (it’s because) I’m a female.
I think one of the things that taught me a lot about all the work I’ve done and the (working) relationships I have in the industry last year when I was going through the worst experience of my life (the stalking). I got phone calls from coaches – that I thought never really cared too much about me or gave a second thought – coaching me as their players. Saying ‘you better get back on the sidelines, we want to see you on the sidelines. Don’t let this idiot win. The game will not be all right unless you’re working the sidelines’ and that really proved to me … I don’t care what the naysayers say, I don’t care what message boards have to say, I don’t care what some media has to say, these coaches want me back. So I’ve proved to them, I know my stuff.
On Tuesday, the Pirates interviewed Ken Macha and Jeff Banister for the managerial job –the fourth and fifth candidates since John Russell was relieved on October 4th.
(The interview panel includes General Manager Neal Huntington, President Frank Coonelly, as well as farm and scouting directors)
Macha has strong ties with Pittsburgh; he was born in Monroeville, PA and is a current resident of the steel city. Macha also went to the University of Pittsburgh and was selected by the Bucs in the 6th round of the 1972 draft. The third baseman is a career .258 hitter with one home run and 35 RBI during his six years in the majors.
Macha was fired from Managing the Brewers at the end of the 2010 season after serving as the skipper since 2008 (Milwaukee finished below .500 in both ’09 and ’10). He also managed the Oakland Athletics from 2003-2006. In his six years combined as manager, his record is 525-447.
Banister has spent the past 25 years in the Pirates organization. During that span he was a minor league coach from 1994-1999, from 99-02 Banister served as the Pirates major league field coordinator, and was the minor league field coordinator from 2002-2010. He was named interim bench coach after the Pirates fired Gary Varsho this past August.
Drafted by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 1986 draft, Banister made one only major league appearance –in 1991, as a pinch-hitter.
It is clear that Banister wants to remain with the Pirates:
“That’s an obvious yes,” Banister said. “There’s a lot of guys I know very well who’ve come up through our system that are there. They’ve developed, they continue to develop. They’re not finished by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to continue that if Neal, [president] Frank [Coonelly] and [owner] Bob [Nutting] allow that to happen.
“My passion is for this organization and where I think we can go and where I think we are going. It’s unfinished for me. I grew up in this uniform and there are a lot of things I think we can and will do. I’m sure some people think we are a ways away. I see it every day, and I know we’re not that far away. There’s a really strong nucleus of talented athletes that take the field every day. There is some finishing that needs to go along with their Major League experience before they truly know what it takes to win on an every-day basis. Hopefully, I’m part of that, in whatever capacity that is.”
Now that we have seen five candidates interview for the manager job (Wedge, Porter, Gibbons, Macha and Banister) I was curious what the Pirates’ fans thought of potentially one of these guys being the new Pirates manager. So I jumped on twitter and asked the questions: What do you think of Ken Macha as the new Manager and of the five that interviewed who would you like see get the job? Here are some of the responses I got:
@Laclips: I want van slyke
Unfortunately, President Frank Coonelly denied the rumor of Van Slyke interviewing with the Bucs. I would love to see him as a base coach though.
@ClevelandROC (on Macha) he was a loser in both oakland and milwaukee…and apparently, players don’t relate to him at all. you need that with a young team. They need someone much more dynamic. They need someone who will inspire the younger players and help them grow. i hope they go after some like boston pitching coach john farrell. he has a lot of experience with young pitchers…
Farrell has not been interviewed as of yet by the Pirates but according to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette he is a potential candidate.
@PiratesProspects (on Macha) He’s not good at dealing with young players.
@pghsportstavern theres better candidates out there especially for young players than ken macha. i like wedge’s work with younger rebuilding teams.
@damntheman44 Bannister cause he knows the players well and has served in many roles in player development.
@3rdboss I heart Ken Macha. The question should be why would Macha want to manage the Pirates?? I’d love to see Macha.
My take would be that since he grew up in Pittsburgh he would probably enjoy managing the team he watched as a little boy. (He also interviewed as manager in 2006). I would also think a manager would enjoy takig pride in helping turn the franchise around.
@tonyframpton If I were Neal, Wedge. But I’d like to interview F. Gonzalez first.
@djpeck21 Of those interviewed? Wedge. Love what he did with young CLE team. Runner-up: Porter/Bannister tie. Want no part of Gibbons/Macha.
And of course..It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have a negative comment against the Pirates:
@ej6687 Yeah, if they hire Ken Macha, I think I’ll just pass on watching next season…..
I personally don’t think a “good” manager makes much of a difference as far as wins and losses go, talent plays a much bigger role. So if watching the young guys like McCutchen, Alvarez, Walker, Tabata (and many more in the minors and on their way)doesn’t draw your attention, I’m not sure what will.
Another Possible candidate? Pirates’ beat writer Jenifer Langosh blogged about Giants’ bench coach Ron Wotus’ interest in managing the Bucs.
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.