Results tagged ‘ jenifer langosch ’
Those interested in paying respects to former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner will be able to do so on Tuesday. There will be a public viewing in New Castle, Pa. from 4-7 PM at the Cunningham Funeral Home.
According to Jenifer Langosch, Pirates beat reporter, the Bucs are planning to honor Chuck Tanner is several different ways this season.
The Pirates are planning additional ways in which to honor Tanner this season, though specific arrangements have not yet been announced. The organization did reveal its plans to create the Chuck Tanner “We Are Family Fund,” which will annually present an award to the Pirates Minor League staff member who best exemplifies Tanner’s optimism, enthusiasm, work ethic and leadership.
How close are the Pirates and Ross Ohlendorf to settling the arbitration case? Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answered that question during her weekly inbox.
Neither side is speaking specifically on the matter, though I can tell you that the preference for both sides is to avoid a hearing. The Pirates have not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since 2004, but they are running out of time to avoid another one — hearings begin on Tuesday.
The two sides are $625,000 apart, as Ohlendorf has asked for $2.025 million and the Pirates submitted a $1.4 million offer. That’s not a significant gap, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an agreement will be reached easily. Where Ohlendorf’s salary is set this winter will affect the increases he sees in his subsequent arbitration-eligible years. Such knowledge is not lost on either side, and it makes each party hesitant to budge too much.
Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answered questions in this weeks inbox where she discussed the search for lefty bullpen help, contract extension with Neil Walker and more (You can read the entire transcript here).
- When Hurdle took over as manager, he said he felt we needed a couple of left-handers in the bullpen. Do you see any left-handers on the horizon other than Scott Olsen?
Assuming that Olsen remains in a starting role, the Pirates do lack proven left-handed options in the bullpen. Lefties Justin Thomas and Brian Burres both signed Minor League deals with the club and could be possibilities for the bullpen. Internal options include Tony Watson and Daniel Moskos, though neither has any previous Major League experience.
The Pirates continue to scour the market to see if there are other left-handed options available, and don’t be surprised if some additions are made in the next few weeks. It would be a substantial risk to begin the season without a reliable left-handed option, even if management insists that it doesn’t see a strong benefit in having a lefty specialist.
- Is there any chance that both Ryan Doumit and Jason Jaramillo make the team out of Spring Training? The Pirates have already said that they are going to play Doumit more than just as a backup catcher, so could we carry three catchers into the season?
Yes, I believe there is a chance that the Pirates will carry a third catcher this season, though such a decision has not yet been made. As you mentioned, the Pirates’ plans for Doumit are not to plug him solely into a backup role. In order to have the flexibility to liberally insert Doumit in as an outfielder, first baseman or pinch-hitter, the Pirates would need to have a third catcher available in case of an emergency.
This decision is certainly one to keep an eye on as the makeup of the bench comes into better focus during Spring Training. It will also be intriguing to see how Doumit’s new role develops, and how he handles the decrease in playing time.
- With all the talk about the fifth spot in the rotation going to Olsen and Brad Lincoln, is there a chance that Rudy Owens could be rewarded with the job instead?
It’s unlikely that Owens will make the jump from Double-A to the Majors without first stopping in Triple-A to begin the 2011 season. This will be Owens’ first taste of big league camp, and he will technically be competing for a rotation spot with the Pirates as camp gets under way. However, I just don’t see the Pirates slotting Owens into the rotation on Opening Day no matter how well he pitches this spring.
I’d project that Owens will start the year in Indianapolis, and it is certainly possible that you could see him in Pittsburgh sometime midseason. That will depend on how the rotation is faring at the Major League level and how Owens continues to develop in the Minors. I will say that, from a selfish standpoint, I’m looking forward to getting my first look at Owens in person this spring. The numbers that he has put up over the last two seasons are sensational, and he is a left-hander to get excited about.
And as you mention possible fifth starter candidates, don’t forget about Charlie Morton. He, along with Olsen and Lincoln, seem the three likeliest options.
- Neil Walker was great last year and, in my opinion, was one of the bright spots for the Pirates last season. Do you see the Pirates signing him long-term?
While there is definitely reason to be excited about Walker’s potential, it is too early to begin talking about a long-term contract for the former first-round Draft pick. The reality is that Walker has had just four months of success at the Major League level. That’s not to say that his 2010 success was a fluke. It’s just to point out that Walker must consistently produce for another few seasons before the Pirates would feel comfortable offering multi-millions his way.
- Ross Ohlendorf and Joel Hanrahan filed for salary arbitration on Friday. They are the only two Pirates to file, just 119 players in major league baseball.
- Garrett Jones arrived at mini camp on Thursday (he was late due to a family wedding in Mexico) noticeably thinner and “a little bit faster, too.” Jones weighed 255 last season and is said to have dropped 10 pounds. This offseason Jones has been diligently working with a speed enhancement and velocity trainer.
- Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch addressed the possible future of five players as spring training approaches us.
Jose Ascanio missed the entire 2010 season due to an injury but has pitched well during the Venezuelan Winter League. Most likely, his role in 2011 will be as a reliever.
Kevin Hart missed the entire 2010 season as well, he underwent labrum surgery after a disastrous spring training. Hart is currently healthy and threw during Pirates mini camp. His role in 2011 would most likely be as a reliever, until he can prove himself as a starter.
Charlie Morton had a horrible first two months of the season, picking up nine losses and then was optioned to Triple-A Indy. He pitched much better toward the end of the season but the Pirates are still unsure whether he is mentally tough enough. Morton will be competing for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training.
Chris Resop is one of the leading candidates in the Pirates ‘pen. After being claimed off waivers in August, he allowed four earned runs and struck out 24 in 19 innings.
John Bowker will be competing for a spot as an extra outfielder along with Alex Presley, Steve Pearce, Cory Wimberly and Ryan Doumit (Garrett Jones and Matt Diaz will split the majority of the playing time in right field this season). Bowker was acquired in July by the San Franscio Giants and batted hit .232 in 26 games with the Pirates.
Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers fans questions in this weeks inbox (You can read the entire transcript here). Here, she addresses the current pitching rotation.
Are the Pirates done pursuing free-agent pitchers? Can we expect any more help other than Kevin Correia and Scott Olsen? Neither of them seems to be a front-of-the-rotation guy. I certainly was hoping for more given the young talent in the field and the poor starting pitching performance last year.
The Pirates will contend that even if they don’t add any more starting pitchers this offseason, they will enter the 2011 season in better shape than they ended up last year. It’s hard to argue that given how bad the 2010 results were for the starters. Correia has potential to help stabilize the rotation, and Olsen gives the Bucs more depth for the back end of the rotation.
The truth is, though, that the biggest effect on the rotation can come not from the new additions, but the returning starters. Guys like Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton and Brad Lincoln are going to have to put poor 2010 seasons behind them and move closer to their potential. If improvements can be made from that group, the rotation can go somewhere. If they don’t, it’s going to be another long season.
Now certainly, adding another experienced and proven starter would increase the chances of the rotation making significant strides forward. But there just aren’t many options left. The best free-agent pitcher left was Carl Pavano, who is returning to Minnesota.
A more realistic signing would be Jeff Francis, who continues to look for a contract that includes a guaranteed roster spot. The Pirates, who would give Francis the opportunity to play under Clint Hurdle again, might offer that. Francis, who has had recent injury issues, is a another risky sign. But he would likely take a contract laced with incentives.
As Pirates’ beat reporter Jenifer Langosch points out in her latest article, A look at Pirates catchers, this is how Ryan Doumit will fit in with the Bucs during the 2011 season.
- $11 is due to catchers Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit, but it doesn’t look as unbalanced as it seems (The estimated payroll for 2011 is in the low to mid $50 M range). $3 M was sent along with Chris Snyder in the trade with Arizona, so once subtracted, the Bucs will owe him a reasonable $2.75 M for this season. Doumit will make $5.1 million in 2011.
- Doumit, if not traded, will serve as a backup catcher. General Manager Neal Huntington has said that Chris Snyder will be the Bucs primary catcher even if Doumit out plays him in Spring Training. Snyder is a huge defensive upgrade over Doumit, allowing only nine passed balls in 2010. Snyder also lead all catchers with a .999 fielding percentage since 2007, at the time of the trade.
- Don’t expect to see Doumit only one day a week (what normal backup catchers play). The Pirates believe Doumit will not battle as many injuries with less time behind the plate. He will play some time in right field and is an option at first base –if he improves on his defense at that position. Doumit can be a threat off the bench. The switch hitter batted .251 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 124 games last season.
- It appears there are no serious suitors for Ryan Doumit, but if he doesn’t make it to opening day with the Pirates, Jason Jaramillo could serve as a backup catcher. There is a chance, if Manager Clint Hurdle wants to use Doumit primarily as a pinch-hitter, that the Bucs could have three catchers on the 25-man roster. If not, Jaramillo will be the everyday catcher at Triple-A Indy.
The Pirates currently have 41 men on the roster after announcing the signing of Kevin Correia on Friday. A player needs to be taken off and it appeared that the move would be made on Monday, but that is not the case.
The Bucs appear to have a trade in the works, which would make sense of the delay in roster moves.
Update: Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosh reports: I’m told that MLB/agent haven’t made one of the signings official yet. When it’s official, a roster move will be made.
The Rule 5 draft deadline is almost here. The Pirates have until Midnight ET on November 19th to move players they want to protect to the 40-man roster. The roster is currently at 38 (as of Thursday evening) and will have to remove several guys off in order to save some good prospects.
According to Jenifer Langosch, Pirates Beat Reporter these are the players that are likely/unlikely to be protected.
Near certain Additions: Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke, Diego Moreno
Up for debate: Daniel Moskos, Nathan Adcock, Brian Friday, Tony Watson
Notable ’07 Draft picks likely to be left off: Duke Welker, Andrew Walker
Unlikely to be protected … again: Michael Crotta, Michael Dubee, Jim Negrych, and Miles Durham
Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch will be answering fan’s questions on a weekly basis until Spring Training starts. Below are a few of the questions I thought were interesting from this weeks inbox. You can read the entire transcript here.
What do you think are in the plans for Milledge, Delwyn Young and LaRoche?
This is a good question, but a tough one to answer given that the Pirates are still evaluating how each might fit into the team’s long-term plans. All three of those players are arbitration-eligible, so each is due a decent pay bump as a result. It’s not a guarantee, however, that each will be offered arbitration.
I think it’s a safe bet that Milledge will be tendered a contract given that the outfielder is still just 25 years old and could be an option if the Pirates decide to go with a platoon in right field. He was acquired just a year and a half ago, and I can’t see the Pirates giving up on him just yet.
Young fills a good role off the bench for Pittsburgh, but the club ultimately has to decide if the pinch-hits are worth the increase in salary. If the Pirates believe they can get that offense from other internal options for less money, there’s always a chance Young could be on his way elsewhere.
LaRoche’s situation is most tenuous, and how he fares down in winter ball will weigh heavily in the Pirates’ evaluation about whether to keep the infielder around. LaRoche is playing all four infield positions in Venezuela. His only shot at hanging onto a roster spot with the Pirates is to show them that he can be an effective extra infielder and that he can hit without consistent at-bats. LaRoche definitely didn’t show the latter in 2010; consequently, don’t be surprised if he is gone before Spring Training.
Are the Pirates sure enough on some of their younger players to consider offering them long-term contracts?
It’s not common for teams to begin approaching players with less than one year of Major League service time about signing long-term deals. Yes, it happens occasionally — as it did a few years back with Evan Longoria and the Rays — but it’s not the norm. That said, it’s probably a bit too early to expect extensions being offered to Pedro Alvarez or Jose Tabata, even though each is still viewed as integral pieces of the club’s future.
McCutchen, however, could be a different case. The outfielder has now played more than a year and a half in the Majors and would seem to be a prime candidate for a contract extension in the next year or two. He is still under the team’s control for five more seasons, but by inking him to a long-term deal now, the Pirates would get two things. They would have financial certainty (in other words, they will know exactly how much will be allocated to McCutchen’s salary each season). And they could try to buy out a year or two of free agency from the center fielder.
Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan could also be candidates for multiyear deals, possibly something similar to the two-year deal given to Matt Capps in 2008. Like McCutchen, Meek and Hanrahan have had sustained success for more than one year and have shown signs that such success isn’t a fluke.
On Wednesday afternoon, while unveiling a plaque dedicated to Bill Mazeroski, President Frank Coonelly made some interesting comments according to Jenifer Langosch.
“The 1960 team left an indelible mark on the city and left an indelible legacy for this city. It was a great Championship. The Pirates were an underdog team that beat the mighty Yankees.
“One reason that these men are so special to you is because in 1960, there hadn’t been a Championship in Pittsburgh in 35 years. The Pirates hadn’t won the World Series since 1925. When 1960 came around, this city was hungry for a Championship organization and a Championship team again. These gentlemen brought it to you and they really started the great legacy of the Pittsburgh Pirates that continued on to the 1970s.
“I mention that 35 years for a reason. Last year, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Championship, our last Championship. Now we’re 31 and we’re counting. I don’t intend for this young team that we’re building in Pittsburgh today to hit 35. I intend to beat that record of 35, and we’re going to get there before we hit the 35th anniversary.
“In that regard, quite a few members of the media are here and this will be a popular comment that I just made on the fly. I’ve been through that a few times already.”
Bold predictions by Coonelly, perhaps but like I have been saying, I expect (as long as the players continue to progress through the minors and the Pirates’ organization continue to build through the draft) that 2013 and 2014 could be great years for the Bucs.