Results tagged ‘ double-a ’
The Pittsburgh Pirates will face the Chicago Cubs at 2:20 PM/ET today at Wrigley field for the final game of the series. The teams have split the first two games.
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will start for the Bucs against Right-hander Matt Garza, who is making his Cubs debut.
Ohlendorf did not pitch longer than 4.2 innings in a start this spring. He told Evan Drellich of MLB.com, “I feel really good with where I am right now. Pitching coach Ray Searage] and I worked on some things the last week or so that I think are really going to help. Also, my arm feels good, and that’s very important at this point.”
- If the Pirates win today, it would be their first road series win July 27-29 (Colorado) of 2010. The Bucs only won four road series last season (17 games overall).
- Following today’s game, the team will travel to St. Louis, where they open up a three-game series against the Cardinals.
- The Pirates Double-A team, Altoona Curve, announced it’s opening day roster.
The starting rotation is as follows: left-handers Jeff Locke and Aaron Thompson and right-handers Bryan Morris, Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes.
Farm director Kyle Stark told Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror, “I expect that staff to not be there long. Some of those guys have had success in that league and have a couple things they need to do, and if they do that, then we’re gonna look to challenge those guys [in Triple-A].”
Tim Alderson, a first round draft pick in 2009, will start the season in the bullpen.
Some notable position players include: Catcher Tony Sanchez (Pirates No. 2 prospect), Shelby Ford, Starling Marte, Brock Holt and Quincy Latimore.
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Matt Diaz RF, Jason Jaramillo C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Ross Ohlendorf RHPUpdate: McCutchen said he had little soreness in his neck from dive yesterday on ball hit in outfield.
*Manager Clint Hurdle says lineup is not up yet because they are waiting on health status of Andrew McCutchen who has “upper body” injury, according to Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette.
Starlin Castro SS, Darwin Barney 2B, Marlon Byrd CF, Aramis Ramirez 3B, Carlos Peña 1B, Geovany Soto C, Alfonso Soriano LF, Tyler Colvin RF, Matt Garza RHP
*Photo credit: @MikeShaeffer
Right-hander Mike Crotta has quietly had himself a great spring. In eight appearances (10.1 innings), Crotta has not allowed an earned run. He’s held the opponents to just four hits (.114 opp avg) with one walk and three strikeouts.
So just who is Michael Crotta? You may, or may not have heard of the 6’6″ righty.
The 26-year-old spent the 2010 season with both Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis where he went 7-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 28 starts (156.2 innings) combined.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com after just two appearances this spring, “He’s definitely got the attention of some people. He’s pitching with purpose.”
Crotta still remains with the big league club but will most likely start the season back at Triple-A.
His future with the Pirates is an interesting one. Crotta is on the 40-man roster, but he will be competing this season with some of the Bucs best starting pitching prospects; Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson and Jeff Locke are all either slated to start in Triple-A, or they are not too far behind. Let’s not forget about Aaron Thompson and Tony Watson who can also start. Brad Lincoln, Brian Burres and Daniel McCutchen could all wind up in Indianapolis too.
While he’s not a prospect to keep an eye on (a career 4.61 ERA in five minor league seasons), I’d say his spring stats are more than worthy of some attention.
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle
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
- It’s still undetermined where pitcher Tim Alderson will start the 2011 season. He will have to prove to Pirates Farm Director Kyle Stark during minor league spring training that he is ready for another shot at double-a.
“I have no idea where I’m going to start the season,” Alderson said. “Probably, I’ll go back to Altoona, but I’m not really looking to where I’m going to be. It’s about how I’m going to react and be able to pitch. If I can pitch (well), no matter where I’m at, I’ll have a good shot of getting back to where I used to be.”
Here, he tells the story of how it felt to be demoted to High-A in 2010.
- The Kansas City Royals have signed left-hander Jeff Francis to a one-year deal.
Francis, who has spent seven seasons with the Rockies, has a 55-50 record with a 4.77 ERA in 150 games.
The Pirates were reported to be interested Francis. Clint Hurdle managed Francis for five years when he was manager in Colorado.
- Former Pirates pitcher Ian Snell signed a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
- Jose Tabata did not make MLB Network’s “Top 10 left fielders -right now” list that aired on Thursday night. He did, however, receive a mention to those players to just miss.
- Players have started checking into Pirate City in Bradenton, Fl., on Sunday for the mini-camp that begins on Monday.
Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez was not on the list of those attended, but did check in Sunday morning according to Trib reporter Rob Biertempfel.
He reports: “c Tony Sanchez wasn’t on list of minicamp attendees I was given, but he’s en route to Bradenton.”
“Pirates C Tony Sanchez just checked into Pirate City. “You (media) guys here to get back in shape, too?”
- Former Pirates Double-A manager Matt Walbeck has taken a job to be next manager of the Single-A Rome Braves. Walbeck was fired after the 2010 season. He led the Curve to the Eastern League Championship title and was named Double-A Manager of the Year.
Walbeck said he was “surprised” by the move at the time, but Pirates issued a statement saying, “We appreciate Matt’s efforts and wish him the best in his future endeavors but felt that it was best that we allow him to pursue other opportunities.”
Walbeck had a .543 winning percentage, four manager of the year awards, and three championships in six seasons.
- The Pirates are no longer perusing lefty Brian Fuentes. Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports: “FA lefty Brian Fuentes would have been good fit in Pirates ‘pen, perhaps even some closing opps, but team is no longer pursuing him. ($$)”
Despite the struggles during the Arizona Fall League, the Pirates are not concerned with the future of prospect Tony Sanchez.
After 18 games in the AFL, Sanchez batted just .206 with one double and four homers. He also struck out 21 times in 68-at bats.
The Pirates believe the low numbers were a result in a lengthy summer layoff.
Sanchez was batting .314 with 17 doubles, four homers, 35 RBIs in 59 games with High Class A Bradenton before he was hit in the face by a pitch. The result: a fractured jaw in two places and his jaw was wired shut for a month (He also lost 12 pounds). Sanchez was unable to get back behind the plate until the instructional league.
“I think part of it was just going out to the Fall League and trying to impress,” farm director Kyle Stark said. “Tony is a guy that cares a great deal and wants to impress. I think it was more those factors than anything else.”
“I think it was more he was just rusty getting back out there,” Stark said. “Actually, he stung some balls and didn’t have the results and tried to do a little bit more. We were pleased with how he went about things. The results just weren’t there.”
Picked fourth overall in the 2009 draft, Sanchez is expected to start the 2011 season in Double-A Altoona which could mean a major league debut as early as 2012.