Results tagged ‘ blue jays ’
First baseman Lyle Overbay’s decision to come to Pittsburgh this season had a lot to do with Manager Clint Hurdle.
“I’ve got three boys,” Overbay said of his sons who are 7, 6 and 2. “And Clint Hurdle is a man who is, in a sense, raising boys here in this clubhouse. He is an inspirational person and I’d like to coach someday and that is the kind of man I want to surround myself with.”
“Things are changing here and I want to be part of something special,” Overbay said.
Overbay made his major league debut in 2001 with Arizona and spent three years with the Diamondbacks. He then spent two seasons with the Brewers and the last five with the Blue Jays.
“I was with Milwaukee when we lost just as much and my second year there [in 2005], we turned it around. It was like we had won the World Series [finishing 81-81]. That same kind of stepping stone can be done here, things are changing, confidence is here, people here are not accepting losing. It doesn’t take long around these guys to realize it.”
Overbay attended the Bucs mini camp held this week where one of the things that was discussed was trust.
“I want to know where I am and be part of the solution and help,” Overbay said. “One of the questions Clint asked me, and he asked everyone was, ‘Do you trust me?’
“You have to trust him because he’s honest. He tells you where you stand with him. I’m a grown man and if he says something that I might not like, he’s not out there to hurt me, he’s out there to make me better. I understand that and that’s a big part of what is going to be the atmosphere around here — you have to trust Clint.”
Fans were not happy that the Pirates didn’t sign a bigger name free-agent first baseman (like Derek Lee) but instead signed Overbay. Hurdle addressed which players the Pirates acquire:
“At this point in time, people need to realize something,” he said. “We need to identify players who are out there, but who also want to come here, and then we have to go recruit those guys.
“There are a lot of people who say, ‘Well, you should have gone out and tried to get this guy or that guy.’ Well, you know what, maybe that guy never even wanted to come to Pittsburgh. And it is not about another million dollars or another 3 million dollars, there are some guys who are never coming to Pittsburgh. That’s the reality of where we are right now. And the reality is we aren’t going to get them until we start winning.”
Left-hander Wil Ledezma was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Ledezma was designated for assignment on December 23rd in order to add left-handed pitcher Aaron Thompson to the 40-man roster.
The Pirates avoided arbitration with Ledezma in November when they re-signed him to a one-year contract. The deal was worth $700,000 in the majors, $300,000 in the minors, which is now the Blue Jays responsibility.
Ledezma made 27 appearances with the Pirates during the 2010 season. He went 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA through 19.2 innings.
With the loss of Ledezma, the Bucs are left with two left-handed relievers in the pen: Daniel Moskos and Tony Watson. Neither have Major League experience.
Before the DFA of Ledzma, Manager Clint Hurdle said he wanted to add two more southpaw’s to the bullpen.
The Pirates have reached a one-year deal with free agent Lyle Overbay on Tuesday. The financial terms have not been released yet regarding the first baseman.
Overbay hit .243 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs in 154 games last season. The soon to be 34-year-old hit 37 doubles during the 2010 season. He has spent the past five years in Toronto and is a career .274 hitter.
“Lyle Overbay is a solid Major League player, and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively and in the clubhouse,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.
Overbay is a solid defensive first baseman. His .996 fielding percentage ranked 2nd in the American League last season. He also led all first baseman with 150 double plays and 101 assists.
With the signing of Overbay, Garrett Jones will spend the 2010 season platooning in both right field and first base. Huntington said Doumit will assume a bench role and as a back up catcher to Chris Snyder (that is, if the Pirates don’t trade Doumit before the season begins. The Bucs have been shopping Ryan).
Update: Overbay signed a one-year deal worth $5M.
He also had lunch on Tuesday afternoon with Manager Clint Hurdle: “(Hurdle) was a big part of my decision,” Overbay said. “I talked to a lot of people about him. I like that way he goes about it — his honesty, his knowledge of the game, his energy. He made me feel comfortable. I’m an easy-going guy, too, but when it’s time to go after it, I know how to turn the switch. He’s the same way.”
Overbay’s deal is only for one season but, “I’m hoping it will last longer than (one season),” he said.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, seven teams are interested in veteran right hander Octavio Dotel. The Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Orioles, Twins, Pirates and Yankees have reportably inquired.
Dotel, 37, spent the 2010 season with the Pirates, Dodgers and Rockies while posting a 4.08 ERA. He had 21 saves as the Bucs closer.
According to multiple sources, the Pirates are inquiring heavy on relievers. The Bucs are rumored to be interested in: J.J. Putz, Kevin Gregg, Jeremy Accardo, Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Aaron Heilman.
Putz, who the Pirates inquired about last season, went 7-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 52 innings with the White Sox in 2010.
Gregg was 2-6 with a 3.51 ERA through 51 innings with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kobayashi posted a 2.21 ERA in 61 innings in Japan this year.
Heilman is interested in starting again. His career stats as a reliever: 3.77 ERA in 461 innings and as a starter: 5.93 ERA in 133.2 innings.
The Royals have released former Pirates first rounder Bryan Bullington so that he can sign with the Hiroshima Carp.
Bullington, 30, was signed first overall in the 2002 draft by the Bucs. He has a 5.62 ERA in 81 2/3 innings for the Pirates, Royals, Indians and Blue Jays.
According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, The Pirates are set to make the following four moves to Clint Hurdle’s coaching staff: Ray Searage as pitching coach, Gregg Ritchie as hitting coach, Jeff Banister as third base coach and Nick Leyva as bench coach.
Searage took over as the Bucs pitching coach when Joe Kerrigan was fired. Since then, players have made improvements and spoken out on how they enjoy his “old school technique” where he focuses on things one pitch at a time. (Brad Lincoln and Charlie Morton made huge strides while working with Searage)
Ritchie has spent the past three years as the Pirates minor league hitting coordinator. He has worked with the teams young players and according to sources was important to management. This will be Ritchies first job in the major leagues.
Banister has spent the past 25 years in the Pirates system and took over as bench coach after Gary Varsho was fired. Banister was also the other finalist for the Manager position.
Leyva served under Cito Gaston in Toronto since 2008. He is a former minor league player and has spent over a decade as a major league baseball coach.
The Pirates still need to fill positions for first base coach and bullpen coach, as well as the titles for infield and outfield instructors.
You can now add Carlos Tosca to the list of Manager candidates the Pirates have interviewed in the past two weeks.
Tosca, 57, was a minor league Manager for 17 seasons before getting his first Major league managerial experience in 2002 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was dismissed during the 2004 season compiling a 191-191 record.
From 2005-06, Tosca served as the Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach. Since 2007, he has served next to then manager, Fredi Gonzalez, who was named Braves coach in place of Bobby Cox. Tosca was hired by Gonzalez to serve as Atlanta’s new bench coach.
Tosca is the seventh to be interviewed. The list includes Wedge, Porter, Gibbons, Banister, Macha and Sveum.
On Monday, John Gibbons, the current bench coach for the Kansas City Royals, interviewed with the Bucs for the managerial job.
“Gibby” spent four seasons as the Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2004-2008. In 2006, Gibbsons’ and the Blue Jays finished the season in second place (87-75) –the first time placing higher than third since 1993. He was fired in June of 2008 and finished with a record of 305-305.
Gibbons has had several controversies with players (Dave Bush in 2005, Shea Hillenbrand and Ted Lilly in 2006 and Frank Thomas in 2008) while serving as the Blue Jays Manager.
Gibby, 48, was selected by the Mets in the 24th round of the 1980 Draft. He retired in 1990 due to injuries with a .220 average, 11 home runs and two RBI.
Daniel McCutchen made his first start last night in a little mover a month. The expectations weren’t so high, let’s just be honest. Since he was moved to the bullpen, the longest outing he has pitched was four innings. And against the Cardinals line-up, well, I was hoping for five decent innings from him.
McCutchen pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and struck out five (which included a strike-out swinging from Albert Pujols) Daniel picked up his second win on the season and the Pirates won 5-2.
“I didn’t feel a whole lot of pressure,” McCutchen said. “I wasn’t thinking about how deep I was going to go in the game. I was just trying to focus on every hitter and every inning at the time.”
“He did a good job,” Cards manager Tony La Russa said. “As I remember, we scratched out a run here and a run there [last time facing him], but he’s an impressive looking young pitcher.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The Pirates took 2-of-3 from the Cardinals. The last time they won a series against St. Louis was May of 2009.
Poor Tony La Russa. The Cardinals are in the pennant race, currently 3.5 games back. They probally thought they would come to Pittsburgh and sweep the Pirates; easy, and make some ground in the NL Central. Woops. Your welcome Reds.
“To go out and to play like we did, and pitch like we did against that lineup, is something that we strive for and what we’re working toward doing on a daily basis,” said Neil Walker, whose handprint was all over this victory. “Obviously, teams like the Cardinals have shown from a professional standpoint that they’re able to do it. To know how we played these last couple days is something that we’re striving for.”
The Pittsburgh Kid, Neil Walker did it once again. Tuesday night he delievered the game winning runs, Wed night was no different. In the third inning, Synder reached base by a hit by pitch. Daniel McCutchen reached on a bunt attempt that Pujols tried to get the Synder at second, but was unsucessful. Andrew McCutchen hit a dribbler twoards the third base line.
The bases were loaded and Walker stepped up to the plate.
“As a competitive baseball player, that’s anybody’s dream to come up with the bases loaded,” he said. “To be able to have the opportunity the last couple of nights, to have some guys in scoring position, has been great. Approach doesn’t change. Just try to put the barrel on the ball.”
Walker didn’t treat Westbrook very kindly. Neil launched the sinker off the wall in center field. If it was elevated by a few feet it would have been a grand slam. Walker settled for a bases clearing triple.
Walker upped his batting average with runners on base to .381.
“You want to be aggressive, you want to be energized, but you want to stay within yourself and let the process of the swing and the at-bat take over,” Russell said, pointing to Walker’s steady approach as the reason behind his success in such critical spots. “Good things happen when you do that.”
Jose Tabata had a bases-loaded hit in the fourth and Garrett Jones’ solo homer in the eighth gave the Pirates the 5-2 Victory.
“He threw a great game,” manager John Russell said. “He was sharp, the ball was down, you have to tip your hat. For him to go out and pitch six innings against that team and shut them down was outstanding. I can’t say enough about what he did.”
“A lot of it goes to (catcher Chris) Snyder,” McCutchen said. “I felt like he had a good game plan and knew what I was capable of doing. He didn’t ask me to do too much but really kept them off-balance with all the pitches early in innings. Going to off-speeds early, I was able to throw for strikes and stay ahead in the count for the most part.”
The Pirates bullpen pitched well again last night too.
Chris Resop pitched 1/3 of an inning. He did give up a solo-Home run to Lopez in the seventh. To be fair, it was a cheap home run as it hit off the foul poul.
Ledezma came in and finished off the seventh, gave up two hits and struck out one.
Evan Meek pitched a perfect eighth inning. He retired the heart of the lineup, including Pujols and Holliday.
“Things seem a lot different now,” reliever Evan Meek said. “This past week, we started having this meeting going over the night before.”
“And guys start talking,” Meek said. ” ‘This guy had a heads-up play doing this.’ Or ‘This guy had a big hit.’ We’re starting to pay attention to what guys are doing. It’s not so much individuals. It’s more of a team.”
Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth inning, although it wasn’t a save oppurtunity. He gave up one run on two hits and the Buccos won 5-2.
News and Notes:
- The Pirates have an off-day on Thursday. They have a three game road series against the Brewers and Cubs before the return back to PNC Park on Septemeber 3rd.
- Altoona Curve’s Broadcaster quit during the middle of the game -Pirates Prospects
- (Via @LangoschMLB) In case you’re curious: No, Pirates D. McCutchen didn’t earn another start w/ his sharp outing Wed; Russell says back to the ‘pen for Cutch.
- Former Bucco, and award winner of FLUKE SEASON, Jose Bautista is talking crap on the Pirates -ESPN
- Like Jason Heyward? Why Not Pedro Alvarez? -Bloomberg Sports
- Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 15-day DL and Brian Burres was re-called from Triple-A Indy. Burres was called up for the third time this season and will be used primarily out of the Bullpen.
- The Pirates still have not decided on who will start in place of Ohlendorf on Sunday. Charlie Morton or Brad Lincoln are options or the Pirates could use Burres or Gallagher if they are not used much in the pen’.
- 4th round pick Nick Kingham made his pro debut on Wed: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
The Pirates have finalized their deal with Columbian shortstop Dilson Herrera. The 16 year old will get a $220,000 bonus.