Results tagged ‘ first baseman ’
After starting 154 games last season with the Pirates –majority at first base, Garrett Jones will be platooning in right field with Veteran Matt Diaz this year. Although this transition will be tough on the 29-year-old, Jones wants what’s best for the team.
“I feel like I am an everyday guy and I want to be an everyday guy, but right now I look at the positives,” Jones said. “As of right now, they feel these guys are going to definitely help the team. They’ve played for good teams and have some years under their belt. They’re also going to help our lineup. With me and [Matt] Diaz switching out in the outfield, it’s going to be good.”
Jones will be the starting right fielder against right-handed starters (.262 average in 2010), Diaz against lefties (.335 career average).
“We’re going with good guys and it’s a good situation,” Jones said. “I’m excited just to be in the lineup still. I’m also going to get more days off, which is going to keep me mentally and physically vigorous. I’m not going to have those mental and physical breakdowns from when you play every day.”
This offseason Jones has been training harder than he has in the past. He hired a speed trainer while focusing on flexibility, feetwork and agility. Jones has also spent more time in the weight room and dropped five to six pounds.
“I think last year I was a little bulky,” Jones said. “I think losing those extra pounds is key for me in the outfield. Physically, I feel great. I feel better than I have ever felt in terms of flexibility and speed. I’m excited for this year.”
“The swing feels great right now,” Jones said. “I’m just looking forward to getting out on the field and playing some games.”
Lyle Overbay discusses the opportunity to play with the Pirates and how he can help the young guys.
On why the Pirates were the right choice: “The optimistic. The opportunity. Just look at what this team is doing, as far as bringing in Clint Hurdle. That Is a big decision. For me, it’s the opportunity to be able to play everyday and be a part of this team. Something good is gonna happen and I’m always going to be a part of that. All I hear is about these young guys that can play, they’ve got the will. Just by listening to the other guys around, they’ve got the work ethic and that’s huge right now.”
“I know I’m going to fail 7 out of 10 times out of hitting, but fielding is something that you can change the game everyday. There’s something that you can help out, as far as picking the ball and you can make the second baseman even better if I can get off the bag a little bit and cover some ground there. It’s the little things that make a big difference and that’s the stuff I can control. I’m going to work everyday on that and hopefully make everyone else around me better.”
The Pirates have reached a one-year deal with free agent Lyle Overbay on Tuesday. The financial terms have not been released yet regarding the first baseman.
Overbay hit .243 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs in 154 games last season. The soon to be 34-year-old hit 37 doubles during the 2010 season. He has spent the past five years in Toronto and is a career .274 hitter.
“Lyle Overbay is a solid Major League player, and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively and in the clubhouse,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.
Overbay is a solid defensive first baseman. His .996 fielding percentage ranked 2nd in the American League last season. He also led all first baseman with 150 double plays and 101 assists.
With the signing of Overbay, Garrett Jones will spend the 2010 season platooning in both right field and first base. Huntington said Doumit will assume a bench role and as a back up catcher to Chris Snyder (that is, if the Pirates don’t trade Doumit before the season begins. The Bucs have been shopping Ryan).
Update: Overbay signed a one-year deal worth $5M.
He also had lunch on Tuesday afternoon with Manager Clint Hurdle: “(Hurdle) was a big part of my decision,” Overbay said. “I talked to a lot of people about him. I like that way he goes about it — his honesty, his knowledge of the game, his energy. He made me feel comfortable. I’m an easy-going guy, too, but when it’s time to go after it, I know how to turn the switch. He’s the same way.”
Overbay’s deal is only for one season but, “I’m hoping it will last longer than (one season),” he said.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that the Pirates are interested in Lyle Overbay.
Sources say Pirates and free agent Lyle Overbay have been talking. Not clear if they are making progress on a deal.
First baseman Overbay, who will be 34 in January, batted .243 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI last season. He is a career .274/.358/.447 hitter.
After a busy first day at the Winter Meetings, the Pirates already reached a tentative agreement with Scott Olsen and now, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick the Pirates are close to a two-year $8 million deal with Kevin Correia.
General manager Neal Huntington confirmed interest in Correia, but didn’t answer more.
“There is nothing official to report at the present time,” Huntington said. “We are engaged in conversation and are optimistic, but nothing has been finalized.”
Correia, 30, went 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA in 28 games (26 starts) for the Padres during the 2010 season. Correia pitched 145 innings while walking 64 and striking out 115. 2009 was a better year for Kevin, he struck out 142 and walked 64 through a career-best 198 innings. He finished with a 12-11 record and a 3.91 ERA.
Don’t expect the Pirates to be done yet. They are continuing to peruse more pitching as well as a right fielder/first baseman and a shortstop.
“You ideally want to go [to Spring Training] with more than five guys,” Huntington said, commenting on the need to improve the starting pitching depth. “With the young guys coming, and with some of the guys we’ve got under contract and with some of the guys we’re talking about trying to acquire, we may have a pretty good competition in Spring Training.”