Results tagged ‘ clint hurdle ’
MLB Network was in Bradenton, Fla., On Monday filming 30 clubs in 30 days, which will air Tuesday at 11 PM ET. On MLB Tonight, they discussed the Pirates and previewed the show which filmed at McKechnie Field.
Lisa Kearney chatted with All-Star Evan Meek, who they referred to as, “one of the men that will be counted on to help finish off games.”
Lisa Kearney: “You’re coming off an all-star season, relief pitchers keep themselves ready in different ways. How do you keep yourself ready to go?”
Evan Meek: “Last year I was just keeping the same routine. Just trying to do the same thing everyday. Relief pitching, you don’t know when your really going to go out there. It’s not like a starter, where, you know you’re going to be out there every fifth day. So, for me, it’s just doing the same thing everyday. Making sure I get my lifting in when I can. It’s all based kind of on what you did the night before. If you have a quick inning, you can work out, you can get something done. But if you go out there and throw 30, 40 pitches in an inning, you’re probably going to want to take that day off, that night off to recover for the next day.”
Kearney: “How would you describe your personality on the mound?”
Meek: “You know, I’m kind of a jokester off the field. I like to have fun. Once I get on the mound I’m really serious. It’s kind of a ‘get in and get out’…I want to have a quick inning.”
Kearney: “Do you envision yourself as a full time closer at a certain point in your career?”
Meek: “Yeah. Absolutely. I think any relief pitcher in the bullpen, would like to close games. I don’t know if anyone would just be content with being a sixth, seventh inning guy. But you know what? Some guys are better suited for that role. Last year I was sixth-seventh, seventh-eighth — I did a lot of things last year. I think ultimately I would like to be a stopper at some point in my career. I think that’s something to strive for and that would be a great challenge.”
The analysts discussed the impact Manager Clint Hurdle can bring to the club:
Harold Reynolds: “A lot. The No. 1 thing is a positive direction to head these guys in. He’s been there before. Clint Hurdle Managed eight years in Colorado with the Rockies. The Rockies were a brand new franchise, he was a minor league hitting coach, ascended to the managing ranks. So he’s been through a rebuild before. The biggest thing going through a re-building team or a struggle is you have to have that front runner, lead guy, being positive. A lot of negative things are going to happen. I think Clint Hurdle’s positive impact will have a major influence on this organization.”
Jacque Jones (Guest Analyst): “He’s got a lot of energy too, Harold. He’s got some good, young players to work with. He’s got Jose Tabata. He’s got Neil Walker. He’s got Andrew McCutchen. You know, guys like that, they can turn the franchise around. With some good starting pitching. They’ve got some great arms in the bullpen. They can turn this program around.”
Matt Yallof commented on McCutchen’s energy, saying, “You watch him play –you want to go out from your television and you want to start playing. He’s so energetic.”
Jones: “He’s all over the place. He’s a great five tool player. He can hit, he can hit for power. He’s fast –he’s really fast. He get’s that team going.”
Mitch Williams: “I’ve said this many times on our air, I would pay money to go watch McCutchen play the game. There are very few people that I’ve seen in my career that are that fun to watch. He’s one of them…Clint is going to be patient to a point, but I think he is going to demand these guys demand the most out of themselves. Being content with losing is not going to fly. They have to get past that ‘we’re expected to lose faze’. Once this organization gets past that, ‘losing is accepted here in Pittsburgh’, they will be on the way and headed in the right direction.”
Reynolds: “If I’m a college kid or high school kid sitting out there and I’m draft eligible, I’m saying ‘draft me in Pittsburgh’. I’m serious. You’re going to get to the big leagues quick. They’ve spent more money than anybody in the minor league systems the last three years, trying to rebuild this system.”
*Photo credit: (Meek) Tribune-Review, (Hurdle) 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.
Kevin Correia helped out his own cause in the Pirates 7-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla.
Correia went 2 for 2 at the plate, including a two-run single in the fourth inning.
Kevin Correia told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I just got my bat on the ball. I’ve played in the National League my whole career and I like hitting.”
Manager Clint Hurdle has had the pitchers batting in the lineup since March 6th. Last season, the Pirates pitchers batted just .089 (25-for-279).
“I think it’s a good idea,” Correia said. “When you look back over a season, you’d be surprised at how many times what a pitcher did at the plate was the difference in a big inning.”
Correia’s first two innings were solid –throwing just 26 pitches, 15 for strikes. Although, he did get up several hits, the defense behind him turned two double plays. Correia also had back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth inning. Correia struggled in the fifth. After walking Darnell McDonald (James McDonald’s cousin), he gave up back-to-back-to-back singles from Daniel Nova, Nate Spears and Marco Scutaro. Neil Walker commited an error, which scored another run in the inning.
Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The first inning, I was kind of getting my feel. I felt pretty good after that. Then they barreled a couple of balls in the fifth. But all in all, I felt strong through 80 pitches. At this point, I feel like I could make a regular-season start.”
An error by the Red Sox first baseman Nate Spears in the fourth inning allowed the Bucs to start a five run rally off Josh Beckett.
Neil Walker reached base on the error, Andrew McCutchen drew a walk, then Lyle Overbay hit a two-RBI double to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead. Matt Diaz and Dusty brown both hit singles. With the bases loaded, Correia hit a two-RBI single, but an error by catcher Jared Saltalamacchia allowed the bases to clear. The Pirates scored five runs, only one was earned by Beckett.
- Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless sixth allowing just one hit while striking out two.
- John Bowker hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his 3rd homer of the spring. He is 9-for-30.
Bowker told Langosch, “It’s going well. I’m trying to just get that rhythm and get the timing down like everybody else.”
- Pedro Alvarez, who has yet to hit a home run this spring, leads the club with six doubles.
- Lyle Overbay extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The first baseman went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
- McKechnie Field set another attendance record today. (previously 6,602 on March 13 vs. Red Sox) 6,644 fans packed the stadium.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Manager Clint Hurdle Is not ready to name an opening day starter yet but it will be either right-hander Kevin Correia or Left-hander Paul Maholm.
Hurdle told Langosch, “We’re getting closer. We’ve categorized all the numbers. We have all the information we need. With us, it’s not so much our No. 1; it’s our best way to set up the rotation as we move forward. We’re still considering some things.”
- Brad Lincoln, who was dealing with stiffness and soreness in his right forearm on Saturday morning, may have to skip his side session on Sunday.
Lincoln told Langosch of MLB.com, “If I was to answer that today, I would say, ‘Probably not,’” Lincoln said, when asked if he’d be ready to pitch on Sunday. “But we’re going to do treatments all day on it and see where it goes. Try to get some of that swelling out of there.”
Lincoln was struck in the right forearm with a line drive by Jimmy Rollins on Friday.
- The Pirates will travel to Kissimmee, Fla. On Sunday to face the Houston Astros at 1:05. Charlie Morton will face Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Evan Meek, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux are scheduled to throw.
Tuffy Gosewisch, a non-roster invite by the Phillies, hit a walk-off single that scored Erik Kratz for the 3-2 win at Bright house Stadium in Clearwater, Fla., In front of record attendance –10, 828.
Right-hander Chris Leroux entered the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead. He allowed two runs on three hits, picking up the blown save and loss.
Brad Lincoln was pulled after pitching 2.2 innings (he was scheduled to pitch four) after getting hit on the right arm by a line drive hit by Jimmy Rollins (For more on Lincoln’s injury update, read here). Unfortunate timing for the right-hander who is trying to earn the 5th spot in the rotation.
Lincoln, despite only allowing one run on one hit, he did walk two batters –both were lead off walks in the first and third innings.
Brad Lincoln told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The control issue was a factor today. I never really did get in a groove. My arm felt great; it was just I couldn’t find it out there on the mound. I just battled out there today.”
The Pirates starting lineup today was made up of those fighting to make the club. There wont be many opportunities left to prove themselves, as there are 44 men at big league camp with just two weeks until opening day.
Corey Wimberly went 0-for-4 with a RBI, John Bowker 1-for-4 with a RBI and a double, Steve Pearce went 1-for-3 with a walk. Garrett Atkins and Josh Fields went hitless. Pedro Ciriaco and Andy Marte both went 1-for-3.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I think we’re evaluating internally and we’ll keep it internal. We’ll let people know as we do that. Obviously at this point in time, we’re close to having another round-them-up meeting to decide what we’re going to do with our personnel. I like the way everybody has gone about their work. I like that we have been able to move those guys fighting for the bench positions around.”
- During the first inning, Ryan Howard hit a double up the first base line. Jimmy Rollins, who was on second, tried to score home but the relay from Steve Pearce (right) to Pedro Ciriaco (second) to Ryan Doumit was on target. Doumit missed the tag, Rollins missed the plate but Doumit recovered and Rollins was tagged out –that’s a play to see.
- Mike Crotta pitched yet another scoreless inning. He has not allowed a run this spring –8.1 innings and counting.
- Ryan Doumit (strained oblique) caught five innings and went 0-for-2 today. It was reported that he felt fine afterwards.
- MLB Network announced it will air the Pirates version of 30 clubs in 30 days on Tuesday at 11 PM/ET.
- The Pirates claimed Left-hander Garrett Olson from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Kevin Hart (shoulder surgery) was placed on the 60-day disabled list (more on Olson here).
- The Pirates will face the Boston Red Sox at McKechnie Field on Saturday. Kevin Correia is scheduled to throw six innings. Josh Beckett will start for the Red Sox. The game will be aired on FSN Pittsburgh.
During the third inning of Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, right-hander Brad Lincoln was struck in the right arm by a line drive hit by Jimmy Rollins. Lincoln proceed to field the ball and tag out Rollins.
Brad Lincoln told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “(Rollins) was slowing down and asked me if I was all right before I even tagged him,” Lincoln said with a laugh.
Manager Clint Hurdle, pitching Coach Ray Searage and the training staff met with Lincoln at the mound. According to Bob Walk, the Pirates Broadcaster, Lincoln was trying to convince them to let him stay in. He was taken out of the game after pitching 2.2 innings.
Lincoln was diagnosed with a right forearm contusion.
Lincoln told Biertempfel of the Tribune, “It got all meat. There was no bone-on-bone or anything like that, which is a good sign. It’s a little tight right now, so we’ll put some ice on it and re-evaluate it tomorrow. Right now, I feel OK to go about my business and do what I need to do. The real test will be how it feels tomorrow.”
Bad timing for Lincoln who was pitching a good game and is also battling for the 5th spot in the rotation. Over 2.2 innings (he was scheduled to throw four) he allowed one run on one hit with two walks. The lone run scored from a leadoff walk to Michael Martinez. Chris Resop replaced Lincoln and gave up an RBI double to Shane Victorino.
Lincoln told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, It is bad timing, but it’s not like we’re ruling out my next start already. I’m not overly concerned about it right now.”
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
On Saturday morning Daniel Moskos, Alex Presley (along with eight others) were cut from big league camp.
Both Moskos and Presley were optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis where they will start the season, but not necessarily end it there.
Moskos, a former 1st round pick by the Pirates in 2007 draft, was competing for a spot in the ‘pen. The 24-year-old lefty allowed four runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts over five innings.
Reliever Daniel Moskos told Jenfier Langosch of MLB.com, “Anytime you get sent down, it’s not a good day, not a good thing. As hard as I worked this offseason, I did expect to compete for a big league spot. That didn’t work out. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. I’ve got things to work on and I’ll continue to do that down in the Minors, and hopefully I’ll be back up shortly.”
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It very well could play out this year for him,” Bucs manager Clint Hurdle said when asked how close Moskos appears to being big league ready. “It would not surprise me at all, if there is a need and he pushes the envelope.”
To Moskos, those comments made by Hurdle meant a lot.
“That’s definitely encouraging to hear him say those kind words about me,” Moskos responded. “I did a lot of hard work this offseason to put myself in that position. It didn’t work out the way I wanted, but for him to say that I’m close is very encouraging. That will help me deal with today.”
Used primarily as a closer last year, Moskos will spend his time with the Indians getting a feel for multiple innings and perhaps a “lefty specialist” role.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The key for him is going to be command,” Huntington said. “He’s going to have to attack the strike zone and be ahead in the count. When he is, he has a couple very good off-speed pitches that he can get Major League hitters out with. It’s just a matter of refining the command of his motions, the command of his delivery, which will result in the command of his stuff.”
Presley had an incredible 2010 season. The 25-year-old quickly climbed the minor leagues. He played in 67 games with the Altoona Curve where he batted .350 with 13 doubles, seven triples, six home runs and 47 RBI before being called up to Triple-A. There with the Indians he batted .294 in 69 games with 15 doubles, six triples, six home runs, 38 RBI and stole eight bases. Presley made his debut with the Buccos in September and in 23 at-bats he batted .261.
After getting a short taste of the big leagues, Presley took the news of being optioned to Triple-A hard.
Outfielder Alex Presley told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It’s tougher when you’ve actually been up there and you’re not going back. You don’t want to be anywhere else. It’s definitely a motivator knowing what you could have or what you’re going to have at some point. I’ll just move forward to get to where I want to be.”
His specific goals he will need to work on in order to get re-called are better plate discipline and better use of his speed.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “He has speed to impact the game on the bases. Base stealing is something we definitely have to refine. Just the confidence. He can get the good read. He can get the good jump. There’s just a little bit of hesitation that we can work out.”
“I just need to get to where I can steal a base at any time,” said Presley, who finished 2-for-17 in Grapefruit League play. “The speed is there. It’s just a matter of getting it done and finding a way. And I’ll just continue to do what I did last year and build off that as much as possible.”
*Photo Credit (Moskos): Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, (Presley) Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
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.
6,602 fans –the largest attendance in the 42-year-history of McKechnie Field –watched the Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, 9-4.
Brad Lincoln started for the Bucs, allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts over three innings.
Lincoln retired the first six batters in a row and was really throwing his changeup with confidence.
He got into a good rhythm at times,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “There were a few times when he rushed and he was missing arm-side out, arm-side up a little bit. I was happy with the way he pinched off the (third) inning. It was an extended inning, with two runs scored, but he put up the outs after that. He’s working in the right direction, no doubt.”
Josh Beckett allowed five runs on four hits through four plus innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Pirates scored six runs in the fifth inning –lead by Pedro Alvarez’s two-run double. Ronny Cedeno lead off the inning with a home run, Andy Marte walked and Jose Tabata was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Neil Walker hit an RBI single followed by Alvarez’s two-RBI double. Lyle Overbay hit a two-run single –12 batters came to the plate in the inning.
- Jeff Karstens and Joel Hanrahan both allowed a home run in their outing on Sunday.
Hanrahan’s mistake was his only hit of the inning. He retired the other three batters.
“It was just something today that I really didn’t have the feel for,” Hanrahan said. “I would have liked to have been able to throw a 3-2 slider, but I didn’t feel like it was a good pitch to throw today.”
- Chris Resop allowed no hits or runs with three strikeouts during through two innings.
- John Bowker picked up his second homerun of the spring in the second inning –a solo blast. He is batting .333 in 18 at-bats.
- Jose Tabata started in center field today, a plan of “what if’s” by Manager Clint Hurdle.
“I want to explore as many Plan Bs as we might have to run into the season so we’re not doing it on the fly come the season,” Hurdle said. “(Garrett) Jones is going to get some reps at first base. (John) Bowker will be at first also. (Pedro) Ciriaco was at third today. (Josh Rodriguez) will probably get a couple games at third also. We’ll move some people around just to see how much versatility we have.”
- Hurdle is still unsure of where Andrew McCutchen will bat in the lineup just yet, but seems to like Jose Tabata batting leadoff.
“I’ve really liked his approach leading off,” Hurdle said of Tabata. “He’s shown some discipline. He’s had some walks. He can hit the ball the other way. He’s got speed when he gets on. He looks like that’s something that he’s able to do.”
- The Pirates will face the Baltimore Orioles on Monday in Sarasota, Fla.
Kevin Correia is scheduled to pitch the first five innings, followed by Evan Meek, Scott Olsen, Joe Beimel and Mike Crotta.
** Olsen and Beimel will be making their Pirates spring debuts.
Hurdle is looking forward to seeing them pitch on Monday.
“I’m very anxious, and anxious for them to be able to get out and compete. Each of them had a setback and they’ve worked hard to get back in the position where they can take the mound and make pitches. Hopefully, they’re not too amped up and they can just go out, throw their pitches, get their work in.”
Rudy Owens may have been cut from minor league camp on Saturday morning, but it won’t be much longer until Pirate fans see him pitching again –in Pittsburgh.
Owens, who won the organizations minor league pitcher of the year award in the past two seasons, will start the 2011 season in Triple-A Indianapolis.
“I think if we can get a couple things down with Rudy — and Rudy has shown an ability to do that relatively quickly — then yes, I think that sometime this year, he could be ready,” said Kyle Stark, the Pirates’ director of player development.
“Sometime this year, I will be ready, yes,” Owens said. “I learned a lot from myself [these past two years], and I learned a lot from other hitters, by just observing the game while I’m pitching. I trust my mechanics and trust my stuff, and know that I know how to get people out.”
Owens was drafted in the 26th round by the Pirates in the 2006 draft. The 23-year-old lefty went 12-6 with a 2.46 ERA with Double-A Altoona last year. He struck out 132 batters in 150 innings, walking just 23.
Owens allowed three runs on six hits this spring through four innings (two games) and walked two.
“I’ve had a lot of fun out here,” Owens said. “I’ve learned a lot from the older guys. That’s what I came here to do — I came here to learn and make an impression on Clint while I’m here. Hopefully I’ll be playing for him soon, sometime this season. My main goal was to come here and learn how it goes and watch the other guys.”