Results tagged ‘ chris snyder ’
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
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
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
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.
If Sunday’s 13 strikeouts weren’t bad enough, the Pirates managed to top it on Wednesday night –fanning 16 times in a 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla.
The Pirates have struck out 106 times through 13 spring training games so far but Manager Clint Hurdle isn’t worried.
“I’m not worried,” Hurdle said. “Worried wouldn’t be an appropriate word. I think one of the things you look at is how we’re getting to two strikes. I think we’re getting balls early to hit in the count and we’re not hitting on them.”
“Nobody likes to strike out 16 times,” Hurdle said. “That’s the challenge in front of our guys which has been presented since the beginning of Spring Training. It’s something they’ve got to continue to work at.”
As it was pointed out, The Arizona Diamondbacks have struck out 102 times in 15 games but no other team in the Arizona or Florida Leagues have struck out more than 87 times this spring.
Kevin Correia made his third appearance this spring, allowing three runs on six hits through four innings (65 pitches). He walked three and struck out four.
“I threw a couple of pitches I didn’t really like, but I feel like I’m getting a ground ball when I need to and a strikeout when I need to,” Correia said. “They hit the one ball hard in the first, and everything else, I kind of made a pitch that I wanted, and they got a hit. I think I’m real close. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done, but we are in early Spring Training. I feel pretty good about where I’m at right now.”
Yankees’ Bartolo Colon struck out the side in the first inning on just 12 pitches (10 for strikes) and allowed two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts through four innings.
Charlie Morton pitched three strong innings –and is really having himself a nice spring. In eight innings he has allowed just two runs.
Pirates beat reporter, Jenifer Langosch said, “Actually, I think it’s fair to call him the favorite [for the 5th spot in the rotation] at this point — both because of what he has done and what Scott Olsen has not been able to do.”
Morton allowed just one run (Andrew Jones homer in the 5th) on two hits with two strikeouts.
“Very aggressive with all of his pitches,” Hurdle said. “I think the comfort is picking up. You’re watching him get on the mound, get set over the mound, get a sign and deliver. There’s not a lot of fidgeting. He’s very confident out there. He’s been very, very aggressive.”
“For the most part I felt pretty aggressive,” Morton said. “I fell behind in some counts, but I managed to stay in those counts and not allow a bunch of baserunners. That’s good. There are some things that I’m working on, but I feel fine. I’m just glad to get out there and compete instead of hanging out in Bradenton like I was all winter.”
Russell Martin hit a solo home run off of Correia in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead early. Steve Pearce hit a sac fly (scoring Matt Diaz) and Chris Snyder hit a RBI single (scoring Garrett Jones) to tie the game at two in the 2nd. The Yankees added two more runs in the third inning. Derek Jeter tripled, Alex Rodriguez singled and Robinson Cano had an RBI single.
- Daniel Moskos, is one of the players most likely moving from Double-A Altoona to Triple-A Indy this year. Pitchers Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, Tony Watson, Rudy Owens and Michael Crotta; Position players Chase d’Arnaud, Andrew Lambo and Gorkys Hernandez are in the mix to make the jump as well.
“The team last year in Altoona was really good,” said Daniel Moskos, a former first-round pick and Altoona’s closer for most of 2010. “I think it’s almost to the point where there are so many good ballplayers that I don’t know where they are going to put them all. There is a lot of young talent, and it’s really good baseball talent.
“It’s starting to be exciting. You’ve heard management talk about how the focus was on the Minor League system initially, and now the focus is on the Major League team. They’re right, because they’ve got a lot of talent.”
- Andy Marte doubled in his pinch-hit at-bat. Three of his four hits this spring have been doubles.
- Manager Clint Hurdle could have used a designated hitter in the 4-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night, but wants to work the pitchers at the plate –and improve last year’s results (pitchers batted just .089).
If anybody watched our club last year you saw the lack of execution we had from our pitchers,” said Hurdle, who hasn’t used a designated hitter since Saturday. “It was worse than a soft spot in our lineup. So we’ve put the pitcher in play much earlier in the season than they did last year just so they can get acclimated walking up there, digging in, putting down a bunt or swinging the bat, running down the baseline then having to go out and pitch.”
Hitting coach Gregg Ritchie said, Ritchie said. “It’s going to run that pitcher’s pitch count up. It’s going to move a baserunner 90 feet. Every 90 feet we’re one step closer to scoring a run. So if that pitcher can always get in there and move the runner ahead of him 90 feet no matter how he does it — whether it’s a sacrifice bunt, putting the ball in play, drawing a walk — that’s going to give our offense a better opportunity to score runs.”
- Pittsburgh will face the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday at McKechnie Field. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, the game will be televised on FSN Pittsburgh.
Paul Maholm will start, (four innings) followed by Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, Jeff Karstens and Tony Watson.
The Pirates will face the New York Yankees tonight at 7:05 in Tampa, FLA. Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against Bartolo Colon. You can listen to the game here.
- McKechnie Field served as the backdrop for an ESPN and Gillette commercial which was filmed this afternoon with the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and ESPN’s Kenny Mayne.
- Steve Pearce, Andy Marte, Josh Fields and Garrett Atkins are all fighting for the one bench spot on the roster. Expect the roster to start dwindling down, one of the four could be getting home soon.
- Former Bucco Brendan Donnelly has decided to retire. He told MLB.com on Tuesday, “I’m pretty grateful for the career I’ve had,” Donnelly says. “I’ve done about everything in baseball that a player can do. I got to the big leagues, won World Series, made an All-Star team, and made a lot of friends along the way.”
Donnelly, 39, was released by the Pirates on July 29 after posting a 5.58 ERA and allowing 26 walks in 30.2 innings.
Donnelly retires with a 32-10 record, 3.22 ERA with 369 strikeouts in 385 1/3 innings.
- Catcher Chris Synder has been working hard this offseason and spring, on both aspects of his game. Snyder batted just .207 combined with both the Diamondbacks and Pirates and committed three errors after being acquired by the Bucs.
“You work on everything in the spring,” Snyder said, “but one thing for me I want to improve on is being a little bit of a more all-around hitter. The last couple years, it’s been kind of all-or-nothing. I’ve hit the ball and driven in some runs, but the average has gone down and the strikeouts have gone up.
“And I’m working on everything behind the plate. Receiving and calling the game, being a little bit more vocal and throwing to the bases more.”
- Speaking of catchers, Ryan Doumit’s fate with the ball club is still up in the air. The Pirates have been actively trying to trade him, and his role with the Pirates is still not determined. There has been speculation that the Bucs may want to have a third catcher (Jason Jaramillo or Dusty Brown).
“We keep trying to puzzle the bench together and we have to figure out how they’re all going to fit,” Huntington said. “… In an ideal world, you probably don’t want to carry a third catcher.”
- The Pirates will face the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. Paul Maholm will start for the Bucs (four innings), followed by Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, Jeff Karstens and Tony Watson.
- John Bowker did travel with the team to Tampa for tonight’s game but he won’t be swinging the bat until tomorrow. Bowker (sore wrist) should be game ready by Friday.
Pitchers: Correia (4 innings), Morton (3 innings), D. McCutchen, Veras
Lineup: McCutchen CF, D’Arnaud 2B, Alvarez 2B, Diaz LF, Jones RF, Pearce 1B, Snyder C, Ciriaco SS, Correia P
Pitchers: Colon, Banuelos, Soriano, Feliciano, Turpen, Ayala
Lineup: Jeter SS, Martin C, Teixeira 1B, Rodriguez DH, Cano 2B, Jones LF, Chavez 3B, Maxwell RF, Mesa CF
Matt Diaz showed signs of breaking out of his slow start to spring (two hits in his first 16 at-bats) by hitting a two run home run in the fourth inning off of lefty David Price, but the lead was not enough as the Pirates lost 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Price allowed just two runs on four hits, striking out two through four innings of work.
“I thought I threw some good off-speed stuff and that’s what I wanted to work on,” Price said. “Threw a lot of two-seams, I was down in the zone. Thought I was pretty good.”
Ross Ohlendorf started for the Bucs. Ohlendorf retired the first three batters in the first inning, but gave up three hits and walked one in the second.
“I probably felt a little stronger in the first one just because I had a little more adrenaline,” said Ohlendorf, who had lasted 1 2/3 innings in his first start. “But I still felt good about today.”
Tyler Yates allowed two runs on one hit with two walks through .2 innings and picked up the loss.
- Evan Meek made his spring training debut in the fourth inning of Monday’s ball game, pitching a scoreless inning.
After Ronny Cedeno made an error, allowing Evan Longoria to reach base, Meek got Manny Ramirez to hit into a double play. He then walked Joyce but the inning ended when he got caught trying to steal second base.
“Things were a little quick today,” Meek said afterward. “I found myself trying to relax and go out and throw strikes. That was my main focus — not really focus too much on velocity or anything. I really wanted to go in and get my work in and get back in the groove of things. It’s a good step forward.”
Meek threw just one breaking ball during his inning of work, relying on his fastball for strikes. He is scheduled to pitch an inning on Thursday, and should have no set backs for opening day.
- John Bowker and Josh Rodriguez were both sidelined on Monday due to minor injuries.
Bowker (soreness in his left wrist), Rodriguez (tightness in right quad) should not miss more than a few days.
- Scott Olsen will throw a live session of batting practice on Tuesday.
- Chris Snyder threw out two-of-three base stealers today.
- The Pirates will have two games on Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers.
Brian Burres will start the regular squad game against Carl Pavano, Brad Lincoln will start for the “B” squad. Steve Pearce will also make his debut at third base.
Tony Sanchez was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Pirates minor league system this year (No. 1 position player) and was drafted in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2009 draft out of Boston College.
Sanchez played in just 59 games with the Bradenton Mauraders (where he was batting .314) during the 2010 season before suffering a season ending surgery. Sanchez was hit in the face by a pitch and required to have his jaw wired shut.
After batting just .206 with four home runs and nine RBI in 18 games in the Arizona Fall League, Sanchez is ready for the new season and to give the Pirate faithful something to smile about again.
On who Sanchez has been learning the most from this spring training: “I wouldn’t say there is one guy I’ve learned a lot from, there’s a catching core. As a group, I’ve learned to pick things from their brains. With catching next to guys like [Chris] Snyder, [Ryan] Doumit, [Jason] Jaramillo who have big league experience and a lot of time up there. Anything you can learn from them is going to be beneficial towards my development. A lot of things they do I try and mimic, try and do thing the way they do it. Whether it be how they block or throw to the bases, even the way they carry themselves in the locker room. The opportunity to have [Manny] Sanguillen here is a wonderful opportunity as well. That guy caught, for who knows how many years in the big leagues, and he knows his stuff. Anytime he’s out there with us doing early work we’re listening and we are taking it all in.”
On if he feels added pressure from being ranked so high by Baseball America (46th overall): “The thing about pressure is the more you think about it, the more it’s going to weigh in on you. I learned how to deal with pressure after I got drafted. Of course a lot of expectations are going to be put on you but the way you deal with them carries out on the field. If you’re worried about what people think you’re going to do every game, you’re not going to succeed more than you fail. Not everyone is going to like me. I try not to worry too much about what other people think or what I’m being ranked, as far as Baseball America, or all the websites. The less I think about it, the better I play.”
On if his defense is something he prides himself on: “Oh yeah, definitely. Ever since I could remember I’ve always worked on my defense a lot more than my hitting. My defense is something that got me to Boston College and allowed me to succeed there and got me drafted. It’s something I pride very much. We put a lot of work into our defense. We put a lot of hours into it. It’s something that, when I’m done playing baseball, I want to be remembered by, as one of the greats behind the plate.”
I brought up the fact that Sanchez only threw out 15 percent of base stealers last season. He said it’s a number that “eats at me a lot” but something he has been working on a lot this spring: “When you go from catching in college and throwing everybody out to your first humbling experience of not throwing everybody out you’re kind of in shock. You kind of say, ‘Am I not as good as I was in College?’ The more you think about that, the more that it’s going to weight in on you. It was a learning experience. I learned not to do too much when guys are stealing. I can only control what I can control. And that’s putting the ball on the bag as quick as I can and not trying to be quicker than I can be.”
On if he trained differently this offseason because of injury: “When I had the broken jaw, I couldn’t really do much because I couldn’t really breathe or take in as much oxygen as I needed to. Obviously, loosing a lot of weight. I was weak and not as strong as I should have been. That’s what happens when you don’t eat anything solid for a month. I felt really good in Arizona as far as health wise. I really didn’t change anything in the offseason as far as strength training. I did the same thing as I did last year. I really watched what I ate.”
During the jaw surgery, Sanchez had to blend a lot of his foods. I asked him if there was a certain food he couldn’t fathom eating again: “Chef Boyardee. I will not be buying that from the grocery store anytime soon. I did have a soup the other night at dinner (French Onion soup) and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was the first one I’ve eaten since my month of only soups. I definitely won’t be eating chef Boyardee, probably for a long time.”
On what activities he likes to do in downtime during spring training: “I have family about 25 minutes away that live on the water and have a boat. Anytime I have time to get up there we always go fishing. My cousin is a big hunting and fisherman guy. He got me into hunting last offseason. Anytime I have a weekend, which is extremely rare. In the offseason I did a lot of hunting and fishing. During spring training, I do have golf clubs but I’m not very good yet. I want to practice and get better because that’s what the guys do here. Everyone goes golfing. It’s a lot of fun and a good relaxation period to get out there and take your mind off baseball and drive some golf balls.”
Goals for the 2011 season: “I just want to go out there and lead the team like I did in college. Control the pitching staff and have them have their trust in me and know that I’m back there working harder for them then I am for myself at the plate. I don’t really set goals as to where I want to be what month, or if I want to move up during the All-Star break. Of course I want to hit. I want to hit more than I don’t. I just want to work and make sure my body’s in shape to catch a full season because I really haven’t played a full season yet. I don’t know what it’s like to play from April to August and that’s something I need to learn and I need to experience before I can start thinking of where I want to be at what point.”
I asked Tony prior to the game if he knew the reason why Manager Clint Hurdle hadn’t used him to play in a grapefruit league game yet: “In the beginning meetings he said that I was one of the guys he’d use more for the atmosphere. It’s fine with me. I have a lot of fun here. I’m getting as much work in as I can and learning from the guys, getting as much swings and defensive work as anybody else. There’s eight of us [catchers] here. Those guys obviously have a better shot of making the team or contributing to the big league team than I do right now at this point. My feeling are is that it’s just not my time to get any time in the games. Maybe next year.”
During the sixth inning, Sanchez pinch hit for Matt Diaz and stayed in the remainder of the game to DH. He hit a double down the third baseline during his first at-bat. In the seventh, he struck out looking with the bases loaded. He later said on twitter: Struck out lookin with the bases drunk, in a 2 run ball game. Guess it too early in the season to recognize full count sliders #swingthebat
I’d really like to think I had something to do with that. Good luck? Doubtful. Weird timing though.
*Special thanks to Tony Sanchez for the interview.
The Pirates shutout the New York Yankees on Tuesday afternoon in front of 5,729 fans at McKechnie Field.
No, Derek Jeter nor Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira or Robinson Cano were in the lineup, but the Pirates didn’t send out many of their starters either.
James McDonald started for the Pirates and boy did he look sharp. He allowed just two hits over two innings –and one of those hits was because of a badly misjudged ball by Alex Presley.
“I felt good,” McDonald said afterward. “The goal today was to get ahead, throw strikes and really be efficient. Today was a success.”
“Actually, I feel like I’m a little ahead right now [compared to years' past]. I was surprised how well I could go side-to-side over the plate. I am pretty happy with myself with the way I’m going.”
The entire pitching staff pitched well against the Yankees, holding them to just four hits.
Daniel McCutchen redeemed himself after a bad last outing. He struck out two through two innings and picked up the win.
“I really like the way that he responded from his last outing,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He went and filled the plate up with strikes, got after people. He’ll feel a lot better about himself tonight and that’s always good for all our guys. I like what I saw out of him today. He’s one of the guys that we’re expecting to see take a step forward and compete this spring.”
The Bucs put one run on the board in the sixth inning when Chris Snyder singled and pinch-runner Jeremy Farrell scored off of Pedro Ciriaco’s double off the outfield wall.
The Pirates scored again in the seventh after Garrett Jones walked, Steve Pearce doubled and Josh Fields hit a sac fly to center.
Click here for the box score.
- The Pirates have been working on being more aggressive on the bases this year at spring training. During Tuesday’s game, it didn’t go so well.
Alex Presley was caught stealing in the fourth inning. John Bowker was thrown out at second base after trying to stretch a single into a double. Ciriaco and Snyder were a part of a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play –a hit and run gone bad.
- Steve Pearce had a nice out of bounds catch reaching over the Pirates dugout in the eighth inning.
- Both the Pirates General Manager (Neal Huntington) and Yankees General Manager (Brian Cashman) were sitting behind home plate at the game this afternoon.
- Jenifer Langosch, Pirates beat writer, reports:
The Pirates have added right-hander Cesar Lopez to their Minor League system after signing the 20-year-old as a non-drafted free agent out of Mexico. A native of Cuba, Lopez stands 6-foot-3. According to Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo, Lopez possesses an above-average sinker and a fastball that touches 94 mph.
The Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday at 1:05 PM.
Charlie Morton will be taking the mound against David Price in Port Charlotte in the Grapefruit league opener. Morton will pitch two innings, followed by Brad Lincoln who will also pitch two innings.
This gives the staff a good look at both starters who are in the running for the 5th spot in the rotation.
So what is pitching coach Ray Searage looking for? “All I’m looking for right now is the aggressive approach, first-pitch strikes and attacking the bottom of the zone.”
They will be followed by Chris Resop, Daniel Moskos, Daniel McCutchen and Justin Thomas and Cesar Valdez, who will all pitch one inning each.
Here is the Pirates starting lineup:
Jose Tabata 7
Neil Walker 4
Andrew McCutchen 8
Pedro Alvarez 5
Matt Diaz 9
Lyle Overbay 3
Ryan Doumit DH
Chris Snyder 2
Ronny Cedeno 6
Charlie Morton 1
The Rays starting lineup:
John Jaso 2
Johnny Damon 7
Evan Longoria 5
Manny Ramirez DH
Ben Zobrist 9
BJ Upton 8
Dan Johnson 3
Sean Rodriguez 4
Reid Brignac 6
David Price 1
The Pirates will be facing Ace David Price of the Rays. He went 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA last season.
“The guy on the mound tomorrow can spin it a little bit, he’s got some plus [velocity],” manager Clint Hurdle said on Friday. “We could be behind a little bit. So you just got to wait and show up and find out what’s going to happen.”
The starters will most likely play five innings, two at-bats each.