Results tagged ‘ charlie morton ’
The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 today in Fort Myers, Fla., for the final game of the spring. You can listen to the game on 970 ESPN (Pittsburgh) or watch it on MLB Network.
Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start for the Bucs against Left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Karstens is making his fifth appearance (first start) this spring. He is scheduled to throw five innings (80 pitches).
- My apologizes for the late updates the past two days. MLBlogs was down for updates, I was in Ohio for my Dad’s surprise 50th birthday party and I am also battling a cold. Everything is updated, so be sure to read some of the previous posts to get up to speed. It was a busy weekend for the Pirates.
- I’ll be heading to Chicago for Opening weekend on April 1st and 2nd (which is also my birthday). If you will be at Wrigley and/or making the trip, be sure to let me know and Ill come say hello.
- Right-hander James McDonald threw a bullpen this morning at McKechnie Field without issue according to Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette. McDonald is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Thursday (five innings). If J-Mac is not ready to pitch on April 5th, Jeff Karstens will spot start for him.
- Left-hander Joe Beimel (elbow) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and reported no issues afterwards.
- Right-hander Brad Lincoln (right forearm contusion) continues to progress. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that there is a chance that Lincoln could remain in extended Spring Training before joining Triple-A Indianapolis.
- On Thursday’s edition of MLB Tonight on MLB Network, the analysts discussed small and large market teams success and how missing on one draft can sink a small market team for years (read more here).
- Following the game today, the Pirates will fly to Philadelphia. The Bucs will play two exhibition games against the Phillies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ross Ohlendorf will face Roy Oswalt on the 29th, Charlie Morton will face Cole Hamels on the 30th.
- Former Pirates Extra Innings host, Rocco DeMaro, announced today he will have a new podcast this season. Be sure to check him out here.
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Doumit DH, Pearce 1B, Diaz RF, Cedeno SS, Rodriguez 2B, Jaramillo C
Pitchers: Karstens, Resop, Olson
Lineup: Span CF, Nishioka 2B, Mauer C, Morneau 1B, Kubel DH, Young LF, Cuddyer RF, Valencia 3B, Casilla SS
Pitchers: Loriano, TBA
Charlie Morton had his first bad outing of the spring in the Bucs 9-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Morton allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts over five innings. His 1.29 ERA is no more, as it jumped to 3.32.
Morton told Rob Biertempfel of the tribune, “Walks and hit batters,” Morton said with a frown.
“What’s troubling about today is I kept missing with my sinker in and wasn’t making adjustments. I just couldn’t get a good feel for it. Instead of concentrating between the knees, trying to get it down there over the plate, I was trying to pick with it in, trying to get him to ground out to third.”
Pedro Ciriaco showed off his speed in the first, with a lead off single off of Jeff Neimann. He then quickly swiped second base. Ryan Doumit hit his fourth double of the spring to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
The Rays defense struggled in the 2nd. A bad throw by Dan Johnson advanced Matt Diaz to third base and then scored on a wild pitch by Neimann. Andy Marte doubled and was driven home by Charlie Morton, who hit a soft fly ball to left, putting the Bucs up 3-0.
Morton ran into trouble in the bottom of the 2nd. Morton hit Kelly Shoppach to load the bases with no outs. Sam Fuld drove in two with a double and Ben Zobrist hit a sac fly to tie the game at 3.
The Bucs battled back in the 4th, putting two runs on the board off of a single by Josh Rodriguez.
There was more trouble in the 5th for right-hander Charlie Morton as he had the bases loaded with no outs for the second time in the game. Morton escaped the inning with just two runs scoring –an Evan Longoria hit by pitch and a walk to Manny Ramirez — which tied the game at 5.
Joel Hanrahan allowed back-to-back walks and Justin Ruggiano took advantage of it by hitting a single to give the Rays a 7-5 edge.
The Rays tacked on two more runs off of Chris Resop in the 8th for a 9-5 lead, and went on to win by that score.
- Andy Marte, who is battling for a corner infield position, went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a double.
- The Pirates stole four bases today. They have 25 steals this spring –last year they had just 16. The San Diego Padres lead the leagues with 36.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that James McDonald (left side) is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game at Pirate City on Saturday. He will throw about 50 pitches in the outing.
Brad Lincoln (right arm contusion) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Lincoln threw from 120 feet today and felt fine afterwards.
- Biertempfel of the Trib reports, Right-hander Jose Ascanio threw 24 pitches in one inning of work today during a minor league game at Pirate City.
- The Pirates will face the New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday at 1:05. The game will be broadcasted on FSN Pittsburgh. Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs.
The Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte today at 1:05. You can listen to the free webcast here.
Charlie Morton will start for the Pirates and throw about 80 pitches. He will face right-hand pitcher Jeff Neimann. Joel Hanrahan and Jose Veras are also scheduled to pitch.
- Morton, who was named into the Bucs rotation on Thursday, told Langosch of MLB.com, “I feel different from last year in the sense that I feel more confident going into the season,” Morton said. “I think there were some questions last year in my mind going into the season, but I think getting beat up last year kind of taught me a lot of things. I’m really looking forward to getting on the mound. I’m really excited.”
- Earlier this morning, the Pirates cut five players from camp: pitchers Sean Gallagher, Daniel McCutchen and Tyler Yates, Infielder Josh Fields and Catcher Wyatt Torregas (read more here).
- The Pirates also announced that left-hander Joe Beimel will not be ready to start the season with the club. He’s been struggling to get healthy due to left elbow soreness. General Manager Neal Huntington told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette, “The goal is to have Joe healthy for not just the start of the season, but for a large portion of the season for us. As it stands now, the best way for that to happen is to approach things this way.
Biemel is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday.
- Brad Lincoln threw from 120 feet today and it was reported that he felt fine afterwards. Lincoln is sidelined due to a right forearm contusion (line drive by Jimmy Rollins).
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune tweeted some interesting information today. Pirates source tells me team will NOT release Doumit ($5.1M this yr) if trade cannot be worked out. “He still has offensive value to us.”
Lineup: Ciriaco CF, Rodriguez SS, Bowker LF, Doumit C, Pearce 3B, Diaz RF, Marte 1B, Wimberly 2B, Morton RHP
Pitchers: Morton, Hanrahan, Veras
Lineup: Zobrist RF, Johnson 2B, Longoria 3B, Ramirez DH, Johnson 1B, Upton CF, Shoppach C, Brignac SS, Fuld LF
Pitchers: Neiman, Cruz, Farnsworth, Peralta
Lyle Overbay and Neil Walker homered back-to-back off of Jake Arrieta in the 1st inning to take a 3-0 lead. But the Pirates pitching staff, lead by Ross Ohlendorf, combined to allow 11 runs on 15 hits in the 11-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday evening.
Ohlendorf didn’t give the Pirates much opportunity to stay in the game as he was charged for six runs (five earned) on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 4.2 innings. Four of those runs came from the long ball. Ohlendorf allowed three –Luke Scott, Mark Reynolds and Felix Pie– (He allowed just one homerun over his previous four starts).
Ohlendorf told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It is still not as good as I would like it to be, but I still thought it was better than last time. I’ve been up in the zone too much. I feel like I was better today, but still not as good as I need to be. The fourth inning I was really happy with. The third inning, I thought, went pretty well. But I still need to pitch better.”
Two runs scored during Evan Meek’s outing (1.1 innings) but neither were earned as one was charged to Ohlendorf and Pedro Alvarez made a throwing error.
Garrett Olson made his second appearance as a Bucco in the 7th, but it didn’t go as well his first. The Orioles tacked on three more runs on three hits giving Baltimore a 11-4 lead.
After a walk by Overbay and a single by Walker, Alvarez drove in one in the 8th inning.
Josh Rodriguez hit his first home run of the spring in the ninth inning making it 11-7.
- Walker had a big night at the plate while batting cleanup. He went 4-for-4 with two home runs, two RBI and two runs scored.
- It was announced earlier today that Kevin Correia will be the Pirates opening day starter. He will face Ryan Dempster on April 1st in Chicago. Paul Maholm is slated to pitch the PNC Park home opener on April 7th. The rotation is as follows: Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, James McDonald.
- James McDonald is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game on Saturday. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports the Pirates are hoping for McDonald to extend his pitch count to 50 pitches. McDonald would then stay in Florida to pitch another minor league game on March 31st (about 80 pitches). If he suffers no set backs, McDonald would be ready to start on April 6th in St. Louis.
- Joe Biemel (left elbow) threw a bullpen session today without any issue according to Greg Brown, Pirates Broadcaster.
- With just one week until opening day, expect cuts to be happening very soon. 41 players (10 non-roster) still remain at big league camp.
- Chris Snyder, who was in the lineup for the first time since March 9th (lower back soreness), caught for five innings today.
- Chris Leroux was the only pitcher that did not allow a hit or run during his outing (one inning).
- Charlie Morton will start Friday against the Rays in Port Charlotte (1:05 start) and is scheduled to throw six innings. Also scheduled to pitch: Joel Hanrahan (one inning), Jose Veras (one inning) and Daniel McCutchen (one inning).
Manager Clint Hurdle announced on Thursday that Kevin Correia will be the Pirates opening day starter in Chicago on April 1st. Paul Maholm is slated to pitch the PNC Park home opener on April 7th.
The rotation is as follows: Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, James McDonald.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette, “There are two significant dates for every team, Opening Day and the home opener. Kevin and Paul have piggybacked each other throughout spring. We actually had pretty much of a spilt house internally. … For every [stat] that would make you think this, there was another one that would make you think that. At the end of the day, I wanted these two guys leading the pack and thought this way.”
Correia, who signed a two-year contract with the Pirates this offseason, went 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA with the San Diego Padres last year.
This spring Correia has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) over 18.1 innings with six walks and 15 strikeouts.
Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts his last start against the Boston Red Sox. He even went 2-for-2 with a RBI at the plate.
This will be his first career opening day start in his nine year career.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It’s a good honor for me, but I know there is a lot of work that is going to be involved with every five days. It’s not just one start. Every one is important. It is nice to go out there on a day that kicks off the season, but like I said in the past, in our rotation we need every one of these guys to pitch like they’re the best pitcher on the staff at some point in the year for us to do what we need to do. I am excited about it, but I do know that there is a lot of work.”
Maholm is the longest tenured Pirate on the team. This will be his seventh season with the Bucs. Maholm went 9-15 with a 5.10 ERA last year. Maholm allowed two runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts over six innings his last start against the Minnesota Twins. Maholm has allowed just four walks over 20 innings of work this spring, while striking out 13.
After the news was annouced, Maholm (@Maholm28) tweeted: Found out that I get to start the home opener and get the year started right at pnc. Very honored #letsgobucs
Maholm told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “You’re not going to see me bitter. I’ve started Opening Day and it’s definitely an honor and fun, but to get to start the opener at home — hopefully it’s a sellout and a packed house — to get the season started off right there is going to be big. I think it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Ohlendorf is coming off an injury plagued season in which he only threw 108.1 innings. The right-hander went 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA.
This spring, he has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) over 9.2 innings (4 starts) with five walks and nine strikeouts.
Ohlendorf allowed six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts over three innings his last start against the Orioles. He was scheduled to throw six innings but was pulled early due to a high pitch count.
Morton’s struggled during the 2010 season going 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA. Morton gained his confidence back after working with pitching coach Ray Searage and has had himself a great spring training. Over 14 innings, Morton has allowed just two runs on nine hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Morton is also back to throwing his sinker (who former pitching coach Joe Kerrigan told him to stop using) which has been referred to as a “Roy Halladay type sinker” by ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.
Morton threw six shutout innings allowing just four hits, no walks, with five strikeouts his last start. His ERA this spring is just 1.29.
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “Charlie has pitched better than anybody in camp, and good for him. That’s why the next step will be the more interesting step. The season will come and we’ll see what that brings. But confidence has been built.”
McDonald was acquired from the Dodgers at the trade deadline last July. He went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA over 11 starts with the Bucs.
This spring McDonald has allowed six runs (three earned ) on 10 hits with three walks and two strike outs over 6.2 innings.
McDonald has been sidelined since March 11th with left side soreness. He is scheduled to throw in a minor league game on Saturday.
*Photo credit: (Corriea, Maholm, Ohlendorf, Morton, McDonald) Yahoo! Sports
The Pirates combined for just one run and six hits in the 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla.
Jason Jaramillo, who is 11-for-21 this spring, hit a RBI double (scoring Matt Diaz) for the lone run of the game.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “He’s worked very hard. “It’s gotten better each time out. Handling the ball, receiving the balls, it’s cleaned up. He’s slowed the game down, which I think was the biggest thing early in the spring was that games were moving real quick for him behind the plate. He’s showed up very, very good. I think he’s in a confident place and he’s worked very, very hard.”
Left-hander Paul Maholm had a solid outing today. Over six innings, he allowed two runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Maholm has allowed just four walks this spring (20 innings), two of them coming today.
Maholm told Langosch of MLB.com, “Today I threw in a good bit. Everything was working. They hit a few changeups that were decent — they weren’t horrible, but they weren’t exactly where I wanted them. That’s part of it. It’s good to be able to battle and get through six innings and to throw close to 100 pitches.”
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “I thought he pitched well today. He was aggressive with his fastball. He threw some good changeups. Paul will give up some hits now and again, but he was aggressive. He was pitching to contact. It was a good outing.”
Joe Mauer hit an RBI single in the third inning to tie the game at one.
Delmon Young hit into a double play, scoring Denard Span in the fifth inning to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.
The scored stayed 2-1, until the 9th inning. Garrett Jones and Corey Wimberly called each other off on a routine fly ball, but the ball dropped due to the miscommunication putting runners on the corners. James Beresford hit a ground ball to second, scoring Jason Repko. After that, Pedro Ciriaco juggled the ball at short, which scored Mark Dolenc.
The Bucs lost 4-1 and dropped to 10-15 this spring.
- John Bowker had another good day. In his lone at-bat he hit a double (he is 10-for-31 this spring) and also made a nice catch in the 9th, taking a home run away from Steve Holm.
- Garrett Olson made his Pirates debut, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Olson told Biertempfel of the Tribune, “When I found out I was on waivers, I didn’t know what to expect,” Olson said. “I’m very excited to get over here and get it going. I’m looking forward to this opportunity, and I want to make the best of it.”
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “You only get one chance to make a first impression. Low strikes, a few changeups, good downhill plane. We’ll get him back out there as quick as we can.”
- Hall-of-Famer Bert Blyleven threw out the first pitch to Kent Tekeulve prior to the game.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that after the Bucs 4-1 loss to the Twins, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Fields and Josh Rodriguez took additional batting practice for over an hour . Manager Clint Hurdle threw the BP, hitting coach Gregg Ritchie and several other coaches were on the field to observe and critique.
- Biertempfel also reported that Fields had a closed door meeting with Hurdle prior to the game today. Fields, 28, is batting just .178 this spring.
- Steve Berthiamume on Sunday’s episode of Baseball Tonight discussed the “Sunday Heroes” and Charlie Morton’s name came up. He went on to say, “Tim Kurkjian reported [Morton] has developed a Roy Halladay type sinker. He’s having a great spring for the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
- The Pirates will have their final “off day” of the spring on Tuesday. Not everyone, technically, will be off. Langosch reported that:
Jose Ascanio will throw two innings (35 pitches) of live batting practice to hitters tomorrow at Pirate City.
There will also be a “B” game. Daniel McCutchen, Sean Gallagher and Jeff Karstens (four inning) are expected to throw.
- The Bucs will face the Houston Astros at McKechnie Field on Wednesday. Ross Ohlendorf, who was originally scheduled to start, has been moved back to Thursday. Left-hander Brian Burres will start against the Astros instead.
The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins today at McKechnie Field at 1:05pm. You can listen to the game on the Pirates radio network (104.7) , MLB TV, or on a free webcast here.
Left-hander Paul Maholm will face Brian Duensing of the Twins.
- Injury updates:
Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports:
Lefty Joe Beimel on Sunday took a cortisone shot to relieve pain and inflammation in his elbow. He said Monday he had “zero pain” but added there is no firm timetable for when he’ll resume pitching.
Right-hander James McDonald (discomfort in left side) will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. If all goes well, he might be cleared to resume game action.
Garrett Jones said he “felt a little pop” in his neck/shoulder area Thursday and still is stiff and sore. “It kind of locked up, but I feel better now. It’s nothing serious,” said Jones, who batted in a minor league game Sunday.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports:
Brad Lincoln’s right arm is still swollen, but he said his range of motion and strength is coming back. Lincoln, who was hit in that arm on Friday, said he hopes to resume throwing (on flat ground) on Wednesday. This means he is definitely missing at least one turn through the rotation.
Catcher Chris Snyder will get 3-4 at-bats in a Minor League game on Monday. He’ll also put his gear on and catch a bullpen session. Assuming all goes well, Snyder, who was out with back soreness, will then catch in a Minor League game on Tuesday.
- MLB Network is in Bradenton today filming 30 clubs in 30 days. The Pirates episode will air Tuesday at 11 PM/ET. Andrew McCutchen getting mic’d up:
- The Pirates released Garrett Atkins and reassigned Fernando Nieve and Justin Thomas (read more here).
- Scott Olsen is out of the running for the 5th spot in the rotation and is likely to start the season on the disabled list. Charlie Morton, although it hasn’t been announced yet, looks to earn the No. 5 spot in the rotation (read more here).
- The Pirates have their final off day of the spring on Tuesday.
- Wednesday the Bucs will face the Houston Astros at McKechnie Field. Ross Ohlendorf, who was originally scheduled to start, has been moved back to Thursday. Left-hander Brian Burres will start against the Astros instead.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “We’re trying to get (Burres) stretched out to give us multiple innings. He could potentially plug a spot in the rotation if we have a need. Stranger things have happened. Teams have lost two starters in the last five days of spring training. You have to have internal options, which is why we’re trying to get Brian and Jeff (Karstens) stretched out.”
Lineup: McCutchen CF, Walker 2B, Pearce LF, Overbay 1B, Diaz RF, Alvarez 3B, Rodriguez SS, Jaramillo C, Maholm LHP
Pitchers: Maholm, Olson, Veras, Gallagher
*Garrett Olson will be making his Pirates debut.
Lineup: Span CF, Tolbert SS, Mauer C, Young DH, Bailey 1B, Hughes 2B, Dinkelman LF, Lambin 3B, Repko RF
Pitchers: Duensing, Capps, Gutierrez, Hoey, James, Perkins
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider
Left-hander Scott Olsen is no longer being considered for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. He is taking a step back, to gain arm strength, which was lost while recovering from a left hamstring strain.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, The Pirates and Olsen met on Monday to discuss his situation and decided to slow things down.
General manager Neal Huntington emphasized that Olsen is not injured. He simply is not where he or the club expected him to be this late in camp. The time missed due to a hamstring strain cost Olsen arm strength.
The ball is just not coming out of his hand the way it was pre-hamstring injury,” Huntington said.
Olsen told Langosch of MLB.com, “The arm strength is not where I think it should be. We’re just going to take some time here to build up some arm strength and feel, and get some consistency. What we’re doing is making sure that once I get healthy, we can roll. What we’re doing is just trying to get 100 percent ready now before we go forward.”
Olsen made two appearances this spring –and they were not very promising. He allowed four runs (two of them were from the long ball) on five hits over two innings while walking three and striking out one.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “Scott is out of the major league rotation competition and may even be out of the bullpen competition. Does that mean he starts the season on the DL? Potentially, in order to get him back to 100 percent.”
On a much brighter note –It looks as if Charlie Morton will be the Pirates No. 5 starter. Although the Pirates haven’t officially announced it yet, it looks promising for the right-hander who boasted a 1.29 ERA this spring.
Huntington told Biertempfel, “Charlie’s made a case to have that be the situation. We have not sat down as a staff and formalized that. He’s thrown the ball well. He’s attacked the bottom half of the strike zone. He’s let it fly. He’s been aggressive. His pace has been good. The results have been there. It’s been very encouraging. Hopefully, he carries it forward until September.”
*Photo credit: (Olsen) Tribune, (Morton) Tribune
Charlie Morton pitched six shutout innings against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates went on to win the ballgame 3-1.
Morton, who only pitched four innings his last start, allowed just four hits (two in the first, two in the fifth innings), no runs and walked none with five strikeouts. His ERA this spring is just 1.29.
Morton became the first Bucs starter to finish six innings this spring.
Charlie Morton told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I got some good feedback from some of the guys in their clubhouse. When the hitters are saying, ‘You’re doing a good job getting me out,’ that’s good. Let’s stick with that.”
So what is the reasoning for all the success from Charlie? Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reports:
Pitching coach Ray Searage said that Morton has dropped down ever-so-slightly as he comes to the plate. Think of a clock — Charlie used to come from somewhere around where the 11 is. He is now dropped down just slightly, more around where the 10 would be. Searage imparted that is where Morton’s natural delivery — he feels — should come from and the angle that gives Charlie the best chance of getting people out. Looks like it has worked so far in spring training, huh?
Josh Fields doubled, then Ronny Cedeno hit a two-run homerun to left (his 2nd of the spring ) in the 2nd inning to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
Andy Marte singled and Ryan Doumit followed with an RBI double giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
The lone Astros run came in the ninth inning when Bengie Gonzalez, 20, who was up from minor league camp, committed an error.
Gonzalez went on to commit three more at shortstop over a span of three innings.
- Evan Meek (7th) and Chris Leroux (8th) each pitched a perfect inning of work.
- Mike Crotta allowed his first walk of the spring in the 9th inning. He has yet to allow an earned run this spring over 9.1 innings.
- Garrett Jones has been out of the lineup in four straight games. During the broadcast, Greg Brown said he aggravated his shoulder during a diving play.
- Paul Mahom will start against the Minnesota Twins on Monday. Garrett Olson (making his Pirates debut), Jose Veras and Sean Gallagher are scheduled to follow.
- Right-hander James McDonald threw a bullpen session on Sunday “without any issues” according to General Manager Neal Huntington on his radio show.
The Pirates will face the Houston Astros for the first time this spring in Kissimmee, Fla., at 1:05 pm. Charlie Morton is making his third start (fourth appearance) this spring and is scheduled to throw five innings. He will face Ryan Rowland-Smith.
You can listen to the game live here.
- Chris Snyder is eyeing Tuesday as his return to action since he’s been sidelined with lower back stiffness.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Snyder took swing in the batting cage on Saturday and said his lower back was giving him no problems.
Snyder will do more cage work on Sunday and hopes to be cleared for batting practice on Monday. If all goes well and he does not suffer any set backs, Snyder could play and catch in a minor league game on Tuesday.
Snyder said he should be ready for Opening day (April 1st).
Snyder told Langosch, “If it was any later than early next week then it would have been pushing it. Hopefully everything goes well and stays on track and I can stretch it out. Hopefully get nine innings one of those days. Get rolling.”
- Langosch also reports that James McDonald threw long toss on Saturday (50 throws, 120 feet) and said he felt fine afterwards. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday.
- Members of the 2010 Eastern League Champion Altoona Curve will be honored on Wednesday during a pre-game ceremony at McKechnie Field.
- The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins on Monday at 1:05 in Bradenton, Fla. Paul Maholm will get the start against Brian Duensing. Chris Resop, Jose Veras and Sean Gallagher will follow.
Newest Bucco Garrett Olson throws in the bullpen at McKechnie Field.
- First pitch strikes are important. The league average for the pitching staff throwing an 0-1 count is 59 percent –the Pirates last season did it at 58 percent.
Pitching coach Ray Searage is looking to improve that rate by several percentage points this season.
Searage told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I don’t want us to be 60 (percent). Sixty is average. I want us to be above average.”
Read more on Biertempel’s piece on the importance of first pitch strikes –Good Stuff.
- Manager Clint Hurdle has not yet named an opening day starter, but he has narrowed it down to two: Right-hander Kevin Correia and lefty Paul Maholm.
Hurdle told Biertempfel of the Tribune, “We’re going to watch Paulie pitch Monday and go from there. We’ve looked at a lot of different things. We’ve categorized all the numbers — trajectory ERAs, history in ballparks, history against (hitters). It’s not so much (who’s) our No. 1; it’s what is the best way to set up our rotation as we move forward.”
- Rob Biertempfel of the tribune also reports that Brad Lincoln’s bullpen session was canceled today. His arm remains swollen and painful.
Lincoln was struck with a line drive by Jimmy Rollins during Friday’s game against the Phillies.
Lineup: Tabata CF, Pearce 3B, Walker 2B, Diaz RF, Marte 1B, Doumit C, Fields LF, Cedeno SS, Morton RHP
Pitchers: Morton, Crotta, Leroux, D. McCutchen
Lineup: Bourn CF, Hernandez 2B, Pence RF, Lee 1B, Bogusevic LF, Downs SS, Oswaldo 3b, Quintero C, Rowland-Smith LHP
Pitchers: Rowland-Smith, Lyles, Pendleton
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider