Results tagged ‘ bluejays ’
The Blue Jays scored three runs in the fourth inning off Paul Maholm, and went on to win 5-3 at McKechine Field in Bradenton Fla., on Wednesday afternoon. The Pirates drop to 8-12 this spring and have lost seven of the last 10 games.
Paul Maholm allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts over five innings.
Maholm pitched well, but ran into trouble in the fourth inning. He walked Eric Thames, who then stole second base. Jose Molina hit a RBI single to left field, then David Cooper hit a two-run homer.
After the game (on twitter) Maholm said, “Had one bad inning today had 2 sliders hammered but able to come back out and throw six pitches for 3 outs. Ready for season.”
“Glad to have a rough inning and make adjustment learned a lot today and feeling better other than one inning.”
Paul Maholm told Rob Biertempfel of the Trib, “It was good to go back out and have a quick inning, get ground balls and fix what was going on. This was the first time all spring — bullpens, game, anything — when I’ve all the sudden gotten out of whack. It’s hard when you know you’re off and you’re trying to compete. I was able to come back and do what I need to do.”
The Pirates scored just three runs (on 11 hits) against the Blue Jays. Neil Walker hit his second homer of the spring in the first inning. Garrett Jones hit a RBI single (scoring Lyle Overbay) in the fourth and Jones drew a bases loaded walk to score the third and final run in the eighth inning.
- Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a double. He is continuing his hot spring (batting .382) and has eight hits in his last 11 at-bats.
- Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.
- Mike Crotta threw a perfect ninth. He has yet to give up a run in 7.1 innings pitched this spring and has allowed just three hits.
- Biertempfel also reports that Pedro Ciriaco will start in Center Field tomorrow at Pirate City in an intrasquad game at 10 am. (No, that’s not a typo). Jeff Karstens is also now scheduled to start and pitch four innings. Brian Burres was originally scheduled to start. No word as to why he was scratched. Tyler Yates, Fernando Nieve and Evan Meek will follow.
Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to pitch five innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen will make their second appearances of the spring. Daniel McCutchen and Sean Gallagher will also throw.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that The Pirates will be wearing green hats on Thursday in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. McKechnie Field will also use green bases.
Andrew McCutchen was spotted posing for a shot in Sports Illustrated.
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider
The Pirates will face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 in Bradenton, Fla., today.
Paul Maholm will start for the Bucs against Kyle Drabek.
According to Rob Biertemepfel of the Trib, Woody Huyke will manage the Pirates this afternoon, as Manager Clint Hurdle spends the day at Pirate City watching minor league camp. Huyke has spent the past 43 years with the Pirates organization.
- Injury updates:
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com,
James McDonald will throw on flat ground on Thursday. He will also to throw a bullpen over the weekend. McDonald tells Langosch, that he feels “way better”.
Chris Snyder is taking it easy today after waking up with back stiffness. He has been hitting and throwing the last two days.
Ryan Doumit (oblique strain) took batting practice this morning. He will also take some at-bats during a minor league game on Thursday. Doumit tells Langosch, “Feel just fine. I knew it was nothing to begin with.”
- During Tuesday’s game against the Orioles, Andrew McCutchen stole second base with Pedro Alvarez (batting fourth) at the plate and no outs. Clearly, McCutchen will still be stealing despite batting third.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “You have to remember who we are,. Our four hitter right now, we want to get runners in scoring position for him. If Pedro is hot and rolling during the season, we might not take as many chances. But we’ve got usable speed and if we can go get a base, we’re planning on going and getting a base.”
“We’ve got to take some chances. Pedro is a power hitter in growth. It’s not like we’re running with [Albert] Pujols up at the plate. It’s a whole different complex, a whole different dynamic. We want to keep this mindset of going, of being aggressive, especially with Andrew. I do think that’s a part of his game that he can continue to open up more and we don’t want to take that away at all if he ends up in the three spot.”
- Left Fielder Jose Tabata is getting more comfortable leading off this spring.
Tabata told Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazete, “I feel comfortable leading off, but I will do whatever they want. If they say lead off, I’ll be there. If they say bat second or third, I want to do whatever I can to help my team.”
Tabata batted .255 when leading off, .328 in the No. 2 spot last season.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Musselman, “I really like his approach leading off. He’s shown some discipline. He’s had some walks. He can hit the ball the other way. He’s a contact hitter. You can use him to hit and run. You can use him various ways. He’s got speed when he gets on.”
- Ross Ohlendorf (three or four innings) will start on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. Joe Beimel (one), Scott Olsen (one or two), Daniel McCutchen (one or two) and Sean Gallagher (one or two) will follow.
- Brian Burres will pitch the first four innings Thursday at Pirate City. Tyler Yates (two), Fernande Nieve, Jeff Karstens (three or four) and Evan Meek (two) also will throw.
Lineup: Patterson CF, McCoy SS, Encarnacion 3B, Thames LF, Molina DH, Cooper 1B, Arencibia C, Tolisano RF, Diaz 2B
Pitchers: Drabek, Villanueva, Janssen, Henn, Lewis
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Overbay 1B, Jones RF, Cedeno SS, Brown C, Maholm, LHP
Pitchers: Maholm, Hanrahan, Resop, Veras, Crotta
*Photo credit: @Colin_Dunlap
Left-handers Joe Beimel (left forearm soreness) and Scott Olsen (left hamstring strain) finally made their spring debuts on Monday afternoon, each allowing an earned run in the 8-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.
Beimel’s outing went well, despite the numbers in the box score. He did allow Jake Fox to hit a solo-home run off his very first pitch (fastball over the plate) but that was his only earned run of the inning. Three runs did score, but two were unearned and he struck out two.
Reliever Joe Beimel told Rob Biertempfel of the Trib, “That was messed up. First pitch of spring and he swings and hits a homer off me. I wasn’t too happy about that.”
It felt amazing,” Beimel said. “It really did. It might not have looked like it but I felt like everything was coming out pretty good. I was missing up a little bit, but for the first outing, I was actually pretty excited about it.”
“I just have to fine-tune things from here,” Beimel said. “I think stuff-wise, I felt like the ball was coming out pretty good. That’s usually what you have to build up to. I think I’m right on track.”
Olsen needed just 11 pitches to get through the eighth inning. He retired the first two batters, then allowed a solo home run to Nick Green. After the homer, Broadcaster Bob Walk said, “That was the furthest ball we’ve seen hit this afternoon. It cleared everything.”
Olsen allowed a triple to Josh Bell before getting out of the inning.
Kevin Correia started for the Pirates. Through five innings he allowed four runs on seven hits with a strikeout. After three great innings, Correia ran into trouble in the fourth. He allowed a RBI single by Markakis, as sac fly hit by Vladi Guerrero and a RBI single by Mark Reynolds. He also even threw a wild pitch.
Starter Kevin Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The command was good. Everything was pretty good except one inning, when I kind of got a little quick to the plate trying to keep the running game down. I know that’s something that I tend to do when guys get on base, so I need to work on it before the season starts.”
“I’d say I’m two starts away from being ready for a regular-season game,” Correia said. “My pitch count was better today. I threw one less pitch than I did last outing and I went one more inning. The runs are one thing, but I want to stay out there as long as possible. So to get the pitch count down today was one of my main goals.”
- James McDonald will skip a turn in the starting rotation this week. McDonald injured his side while throwing a pitch in the third inning of Friday’s game. The Pirates have not announced the exact injury or the severity of it.
The Bucs did issue a statement on saying that McDonald is feeling better, but they did not say whether he may be at risk to miss any additional starts.
- Charlie Morton today threw four innings (63 pitches) in a minor league camp game at Pirate City. He allowed three runs –all off a home run. Otherwise, it was reported that he was sharp.
- It was a good day for Steve Pearce who hit 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and Jason Jaramillo who had a double and a RBI.
- Evan Meek had a nice bounce back inning of work. He allowed just one hit with no runs or walks with one strikeout.
- Andrew McCutchen proved today that there are no limits to his talent. After Randy Winn hit a solo-home run to center, McCutchen who jumped to try to catch the ball, lost his glove over the wall. With no one around to retrieve it, he took the matter into his own hands and leaped over the wall to get it himself.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “He’s got six tools. We saw the sixth tool today.”
- Pedro Ciriaco made an outstanding throw to Alvarez to get Nick Markakis at third base (he was trying to stretch a double into a triple).
He’s got a gun,” Hurdle said. “The arm strength is there. It’s a big arm. And it took a big arm to make that play. That’s one thing we’ve seen from Pedro.”
- The Pirates have an off day on Tuesday. Wednesday Paul Maholm will start against the Toronto Blue Jays. Jeff Karstens, Joel Hanrahan are scheduled to pitch.
Kyle Drabek (son of former Bucco Doug Drabek) will be pitching for the Jays. Former Pirate closer Octavio Dotel is also scheduled to throw.
It was not a good day for the Pirates, as the Bucs lost twice today in their split squad games.
Ross Ohlendorf started against the Philadelphia Phillies and was scheduled to pitch four innings. Ohlendorf only lasted two plus as he was charged with four runs on five hits with three walks. Despite the ugly box score, most of the five hits were not hard hit (John Bowker also lost a catch in the light).
“The results aren’t necessarily the box score,” Ohlendorf said. “It might be how hard they hit the ball. Like today, most of the hits I didn’t feel like were hit that hard. I definitely wish it would have gone better today. I threw a lot more pitches than I should have.”
Ohlendorf needed 35 pitches to get through the first and his 60 pitch count only got him through to third inning.
The Pirates scored four runs on five hits and lost to the Phillies 11-4.
Jeff Locke started for the Bucs against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. He allowed one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts over two innings.
It was noted that Locke threw 29 of his 41 pitches for strikes.
Manager Clint Hurdle had this to say about Locke throwing so many first-pitch strikes: “That’s one of the things we have not been doing well overall as a staff. We had a little glitch, bumped it up over 60 percent, closer to 65, then we went south. He came in there and filled up the zone. The first-pitch fastball strikes were impressive and the fact that he was finishing his fastball. He was working both sides and spun the ball pretty effectively. It was a good outing and fun to watch him today.”
The Pirates blew a 4-1 lead and went on to lose 6-4. If my memory serves me correctly, that is the third blown lead in the past three games (Saturday vs. Blue Jays, Friday vs. Rays, although they went on to win and Thursdays vs. Orioles).
- Will Carroll of (@InjuryReports) had this interesting tweet on Saturday afternoon: From Pirates camp: No worries on McCutchen’s wrist, McDonald is more concerning from long term, full season perspective.
- The Pirates said on Saturday they would reevaluate James McDonald over the next few days and after which the club would release more information about his status.
The team is going to be extra cautious with McDonald, but he said today he felt good enough to get back to work right away.
“I feel like I can,” said McDonald, who the Pirates are counting on to be a main cog in the team’s rotation. “When I was pitching, it kind of grabbed a little bit. They said, ‘It’s spring, not the season, so let’s just take it slow.’”
- Andrew McCutchen was back in the lineup on Saturday, after being pulled in the third inning of yesterday’s game with soreness in his right wrist. X-Rays came back negative and McCutchen, who wasn’t initially scheduled to play today, convinced the staff that he was healthy to play.
“I can hit, I can throw, I can do anything,” McCutchen said. “It’s fine. I just wanted to get it checked to make sure it’s nothing serious. It ended up being nothing serious, just nerve irritation. I was definitely nervous, because I’ve never dealt with anything with my wrist before.”
“The hand was a non-issue,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s good to go.”
McCutchen started in center field and went 2-for-3 with a double, two-run homer and two runs scored. He is now batting .321 this spring.
- Catcher Chris Snyder was scratched from the lineup due to tightness in his lower back. He is listed as day to day. Snyder received treatment at McKechnie field today. The Pirates will update his status on Sunday.
- Lyle Overbay hit his third homerun this spring off of Phillies’ Worley in the fourth inning.
- Corey Wimberly picked up two more hits today. After going 0-for-13, Wimberly has five hits in his last six at-bats.
The Pirates will face the Boston Red Sox in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday. Brad Lincoln will start against Josh Beckett.
- Keith Olbermann tweeted a photo of Pirates minor league infielder Jeremy Farrell with his Father (Toronto Blue Jays Manager) John Farrell.
- The Pirates have split-squad games this afternoon. You can watch the Phillie game on MLB TV here, or listen to the Blue Jays game here.
Ross Ohlendorf will start (four innings) against the Phillies. He’ll be followed by Jose Veras (one or two innings), Aaron Thompson (two) and Tyler Yates (one).
Jeff Locke (two innings) will start the other game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. He’ll be followed by Sean Gallagher (two or three), Daniel McCutchen (two), Ramon Aguero (one) and Mike Crotta (two or three).
- Andrew McCutchen, who was pulled in the third inning of Friday’s game due to discomfort in his left wrist, is back in the lineup today (Go ahead Pirate faithful and breathe a sigh of relief). For precautionary reasons, McCutchen did have X-Rays and they believe it was nerve related.
“I can hit, I can throw, I can do anything,” McCutchen said. “It’s fine. I just wanted to get it checked to make sure it’s nothing serious. It ended up being nothing serious, just nerve irritation.”
McCutchen woke up Friday morning with the wrist sore. He is not sure how the minor injury happened.
- The Pirates have not yet discussed the injury of James McDonald, who was also exited the game yesterday due to pain in his left side. There is no time table as to when he will return but McDonald “will be re-evaluated over the next couple days”.
“I’m not going to be doing anything on the field today, but I feel like I’m capable,” McDonald said.
Phillies at Pirates:
Lineup: Presley CF, Jones RF, Alvarez 3B, Overbay 1B, Walker 2B, Bowker LF, Cedeno SS, Jaramillo C, Ohlendorf RHP
Pitchers: Ohlendorf, Veras, Thompson, Yates
Lineup: Orr 2B, Gload DH, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Moss RF, Mayberry CF, Valdez 3B, Kratz C, Galvis SS
Pitchers: Worley, Herndon, Mathieson, Zagurski
Pirates at Blue Jays:
Lineup: Tabata LF, Rodriguez 2B, A. McCutchen CF, Diaz RF, Marte 3B, Fields 1B, Atkins DH,
Snyder C, Dusty Brown C, Wimberly SS
Pitchers: Locke, Gallagher, D. McCutchen, Aguero, Crotta
Lineup: Podsednik LF, Davis CF, Snider DH, Rivera RF, Encarnacion 1B, Lawrie 3B, Arenibia C, McCoy SS, Diaz 2B
Pitchers: Romero, TBA
- First baseman Aaron Baker, who announced on twitter Friday night that he would be traveling with the team to Dunedin, Fla., for his first big league spring training Pirates game, tweeted a picture of the bus ride.
Steve Pearce knocked in Andrew Lambo from third in the ninth inning for the go-ahead run in the 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Friday.
The Pirates combined for 15 hits –the most this season and picked up their 7th victory this spring. The seven wins tie the total of wins the Bucs had last year, with 19 games still remaining.
The Bucs greeted Rays’ Wade Davis win runs rather quickly. They tacked on four on seven hits through the first two innings.
Davis pitched three innings allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks.
James McDonald’s outing started off well –a 1-2-3 first inning for the right-hander. McDonald was pulled after just two innings, four hits, two runs (one earned) with two walks, after suffering discomfort in his left side. Manager Clint Hurdle, along with the training staff met him off the mound and he walked off the field holding his left hip. McDonald could be suffering from an oblique injury, but at this time, the Pirates have not announced any more information.
Brian Burres pitched three shutout innings, giving up just two hits. He did walk four and struck out one.
The Pirates at one point had a comfortable 7-2 lead over the Rays, but things began to unraveled quickly from the bullpen.
Daniel Moskos allowed four runs on three hits with one walk and a strike out. The pitching staff combined for eight walks this afternoon.
Fernando Nieve picked up the save after pitching a scoreless frame, allowing just one hit.
- Scott Olsen completed his second live batting practice session Friday morning without any issues.
- John Bowker hit a pinch hit two-run homer in the Bucs 8-7 win over the Rays, extending his hit streak to five games. Bowker is battling for a bench spot on the roster this year.
- Pedro Alvarez continues his hot bat this spring. He went 1-for-3 with a RBI. Alvarez is batting .310 in 10 games this year.
- Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a RBI. He was pulled in the third inning due to discomfort in his left wrist. He, along with McDonald were taken back to Bradenton for further tests. No additional information on their injuries has been announced. You can read more on their injuries here.
- Ryan Doumit was officially diagnosed with a right oblique strain on Friday. The Pirates said he will be reevaluated on March 16th –which means it’s unlikely to get any playing time before then.
Doumit said on Friday that the injury was not serious but, “These things can get a lot worse if you’re not careful with them, so I’m going to play it safe.”
- The Pirates have 20 stolen bases so far this spring (15 games).
- Corey Wimberly, who picked up his first hit of the spring on Thursday, went 2-for-3 with a stolen base. He was also picked off at third base.
- Josh Rodriguez replaced Ronny Cedeno in the fifth after being sidelined for several days. Hurdle: “We’re just happy to get him back. He’s been out a few days; he was dinged up a little bit, and we had to shut him down. … He made a couple nice plays at short today, moved around well. He seems to be physically fit; we just need a long look at him.”
- Chris Leroux entered the eighth inning with a 7-6 lead. He allowed two hits, a walk and the tying run to score. According to reports, Leroux walked off the mound, covered his mouth with his glove, and let out quite the howl.
Leroux is fighting for a spot in the Bucs’ bullpen this year, and has been working on, well, everything.
“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,” the 6-foot-6 right-hander said. “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,” Leroux said, “but now with all my mechanical changes, I realize that it’s going to be a process.”
Leroux has allowed two runs over five innings on six hits with three walks.
- Ross Ohlendorf will start Saturday (four innings) in a split-squad game against the Phillies. He’ll be followed by Jose Veras (one or two innings), Aaron Thompson (two) and Tyler Yates (one).
Jeff Locke (two innings) will start the other game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. He’ll be followed by Sean Gallagher (two or three), Daniel McCutchen (two), Ramon Aguero (one) and Mike Crotta (two or three).
The Pirates struck a total of 13 times on Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at McKechnie Field.
No player struck out more than once. That’s a pretty rare feat –but not in a good way.
James McDonald started for the Bucs and he had a rough time from the first pitch he threw (ball). It took him 29 pitches to get out of the first inning in which he allowed two runs, three hits, a walk and a strike out. After a 1-2-3 second, Manager Clint Hurdle pulled him in the third inning after throwing 52 pitches.
“I’ve got to focus on getting strike one,” said McDonald, who had thrown two scoreless innings his first time out. “Early innings, just I got a little out of whack.”
“I was pleased with some of the pitches I threw,” McDonald said. “Some of the results to me were good. It might not look that good out there because they hit it in play. But it was the pitch I wanted and I executed it. Things are going fine.”
Former Pirates third baseman Jose Bautista 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.
The Blue Jays Ricky Romero sailed through four innings allowing one hit and no runs. He struck out six and walked two.
- James McDonald, who is 1-for-33 at the plate lifetime, wants to have at least 10 hits this season.
“I vowed that I would get at least 10 hits,” McDonald said. “If I can be decent at hitting and at least get my bunts down, I can help this team.”
- Corey Wimberly made his first start this spring at shortstop today and it didn’t go so well. He made a bad throw to first baseman Josh Fields in the third inning which sailed over his head. The error cost the Pirates two unearned runs.
Wimberly is 0-for-12 this spring with four walks and two stolen bases. He is battling for an extra infielder spot on the roster.
“We’re just going to keep working with him,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We ran him out for a bunch of innings and couldn’t get him a groundball and they came in bunches today. We’ve got to loosen him up a little bit so he’ll be able to pick up some rhythm and timing at short. At the end of the day, we’ve got to be able to have him at short. We’ve got to be able to have him at centerfield.”
- Aaron Thompson is quietly having himself a nice spring training. Through three innings of work he hasn’t allowed a hit, run or walk, and has struck out three.
- Joel Hanrahan had a nice outing allowing no hits or runs in the fourth inning.
- Justin Wilson bounced back from his last trip to the mound, he struck out three and walked one in the seventh.
- Gift Ngoepe, the south African player the Pirates signed in 2008, pinch hit for Jeff Locke in the 9th inning (struck out).
- The Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays at McKechnie field on Monday at 1:05. Ross Ohlendorf will get the start for the Bucs.
Right hander Evan Meek is scheduled to make his spring training debut tomorrow. Meek has been sidelined with a tight right calf and will pitch one inning following Ohlendorf.
Jose Veras, Tyler Yates, Michael Crotta and Daniel Moskos will follow.
- The Pirates will face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, FLA.
You can watch the game for free at home today MLB.tv.
ROOT Sports (formally FSN Pittsburgh) will air the game today –the first of four spring training games this year.
- James McDonald will start for the Bucs, followed by Joel Hanrahan, Chris Resop, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke, and Justin Thomas.
Ricky Romero will start for the Blue Jays.
- Dusty Brown, who the Pirates signed as a minor league free agent this offseason, has spent the past 10 years in the Red Sox organization. This spring, he has been getting familiar with his new pitching staff.
“The young guys in camp really have good stuff,” Brown said. “In comparison to the Red Sox, as far as the young pitchers go, there are better arms with a lot more velocity here. I’m excited to see where they all go and how things end up. I think there is potential to be a very good staff in a couple of years.”
- With a few weeks remaining in spring training, the Bucs season opener is on the road this year in Chicago. Manager Clint Hurdle is aware of the horrible road record (17-64) from last season and is preparing to change it this year.
“We’ve definitely had long conversations with the front office, and we’ve got some plans that we’ve just barely started scratching the surface on,” he said. “More talk will ramp up the last two weeks of spring training when we cut the club down to size. We’re going to approach things differently in some areas. One of the traps players can fall into, and it’s not their fault, but awareness can help, that at home you have a scheduled routine. Especially if you’re married and have kids, and if not you still have a routine. The luxuries on the road where you can roll out of bed and go to the park, you can eat. … We’re going to try to find ways to get them up a little earlier, get them moving a little earlier, get our preparation done a little more succinctly on the road, find more time for ourselves to prepare, maybe a workout pattern we’re going to implement on the road to make us more comfortable in visiting cities. We’ve got a plan in place.”
Lineup: Patterson CF, Escobar SS, Bautista 3B, Snider DH, Encarnacion 1B,Thames LF, Davis RF, Aprencibia C, McCoy 2B
Pitchers: Romero, Rauch, Francisco, Villanueva, Stewart
Lineup: Wimberly SS, Ciriaco 2B, McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Diaz LF, Pearce RF, Fields 1B, Brown C, McDonald P
Pitchers: McDonald, Hanrahan, Resop, Thompson, D. McCutchen, Wilson, Locke, Thomas
**The Pirates will for the first time this spring will have the pitchers bat in the lineup. They have been using designated hitters up to this point.
The battle for the 5th spot in the rotation gets even more competitive after impressive innings by both Charlie Morton and Brad Lincoln in the 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fl. On Thursday afternoon.
Charlie Morton gave up a lead off double to Rajai Davis in the first inning then former Bucco Jose Bautista hit an RBI single to give the Blue Jays an early 1-0 lead. Morton settled down and didn’t allow any more hits or runs over the rest of his outing.
Morton faced 10 batters through three innings, needing just 25 pitches.
“He’s letting the ball work for him now,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Morton. “He’s kept the ball down with great regularity. It’s great to see him out there competing and feeling good about himself.”
Brad Lincoln was even more impressive. Lincoln was scheduled to throw two innings but stayed in for a third. Lincoln finished the day facing the minimum nine. No runs, no hits, no walks, one strikeout.
“Brad was very good today,” Hurdle said. “Much better with his command than his first time out. The ball was coming out of his hand a little more crisper. He had some sink to the ball. He pitched very efficiently as well.”
The rest of the pitchers behind Morton and Lincoln were solid as well.
Tyler Yates and Jeff Locke did not allow a hit nor a run during their inning of work.
Caesar Valdez allowed two hits but struck out two and didn’t allow a run during his inning.
- Andrew McCutchen batted lead off for the first time this spring. Manager Clint Hurdle is still unsure of whether McCutchen will bat lead off or third this year. Hurdle said spring training is the time to figure it out.
- Brett Cecil struck out the side (McCutchen, Steve Pearce and Matt Diaz) in the first inning. He then went on to strike out four Bucks in a row (Alvarez in 2nd inning) and six of the seven batters he faced (Cedeno in the 3rd).
- Ronny Cedeno 0-for-11 so far this spring.
- Pedro Alvarez hit a two RBI triple in the fifth inning. He is batting .357 so far this spring.
- The Pirates pitchers continue to pick off runners at first base this spring –something they have been working on a lot during Camp Hurdle. Cesar Valdez picked off John Tolisano in the ninth inning.
- Evan Meek will make his spring training debut on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays (pitching one inning).
Meek will throw a 20 pitch bullpen on Friday.
- Olsen appears to be a week to 10 days away from making his grapefruit league debut as a Bucco.
Olsen is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Then throw two rounds of live batting practice on Monday to see if he’s ready to go.
- The Pirates return home (McKechnie Field) on Friday to play the Phillies.
Kevin Correia will get the start for the Bucs followed by Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Bryan Morris, Kyle McPherson and Daniel Moskos.
Joe Blanton is scheduled to start for the Phillies.
- The Pirates travel to Dunedin today to face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05.
You can watch the game live for free on MLB.com here
- Injury updates:
Evan Meek is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Friday. Meek has been sidelined with a tight right calf.
Scott Olsen is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Olsen has been sidelined with a left hamstring strain.
Joe Beimel will test his arm this am by throwing soft toss at 8:30 am. Beimel’s MRI showed no acute injury on his left forearm.
- Lyle Overbay will be facing his former team (Toronto Blue Jays) for the first time since the Pirates signed him this offseason. Overbay spent five seasons with the Jays.
- The Pirates have been focusing a lot this spring on pick off’s at first base and cutting down on runners stealing bases.
I’ve noticed that most of the pitchers have been throwing to first, trying to keep the runner close and unable to steal –something the Pirates were not so great at last season.
“We have all been working on that stuff a lot down here [at spring training],” Pirates right-handed reliever Chris Resop said of the shorter, quicker delivery to the plate when a runner is on base. “We have to give our catchers a chance. We don’t want to be known as a pitching staff you can run on. Nobody wants that.”
“I think if you look at it, it can get embarrassing,” said left-hander Paul Maholm, who cut down from 15 players stealing off him in 2009 to eight in ’10. “Everyone on the staff, it doesn’t matter if you are a righty or a lefty, you need to do what you can to stop it. You need to just realize that this is something that is important if we want to win ballgames.”
- Pirates President Frank Coonelly chatted with fans on Wednesday. You can read the entire chat transcript here.
If the injury to Joe Beimel is more than what it seems, and Scott Olsen is already not doing all baseball-related activities, are you comfortable with Daniel Moskos and whomever in the lefthanded reliever position?
Coonelly: “We do not believe the injury to Joe will keep him from competing this spring. Scott Olsen is performing baseball activities and has already thrown several bullpens. Scott seems to be well on his way to pitching in games, possibly as early as next week. Daniel Moskos and Tony Watson are two young exciting left hand arms who are in camp and competing for a spot in the bullpen. It’s early, but both have looked strong. Brian Burres is also a veteran lefthander who can pitch out of the pen if he is not in the starting rotation.”
Pitchers: Morton (two or three innings), Lincoln (two), Yates (one), Locke (one or two) and Valdez (one).
Lineup: McCutchen CF, Pearce 1B, Diaz LF, Alvarez DH, Jones RF, Atkins 3B, Cedeno SS, Friday 2B, Jaramillo C
Pitchers: Cecil (Three innings) Followed by Rauch, Villanueva, Richmond, Ray
Lineup: Davis CF, Thames LF, Bautista 3B, Lind DH, Rivera RF, Cooper 1B, Mcdonald SS, Budde C, Diaz 2B