Results tagged ‘ joel hanrhan ’
The Pirates beat the Cubs, 5-4, at Wrigley Field on Sunday after a two run rally in the 9th inning.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who shut the Bucs down 1-2-3 in the previous game, walked the lead off batter, Garrett Jones. Neil Walker followed with a single and Lyle Overbay advanced both runners over with a sac bunt.
Pedro Alvarez hit an infield single which scored two runs –including Walker who scored from second base– to take the lead a 5-4 lead.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports, “It goes back to the aggressive base running. Trying to be smart, trying to be aggressive…Nick’s [Leyva] a very aggressive third base coach and Neil plays the game that way, when he’s on the bases. Once he saw the play develop from second base, he knew there was a very good shot that he might be able to pull something off. And he did. He’s a ballplayer.”
Alvarez told Stan Savran of Root Sports, “He’s [Marmol] a tough pitcher. I think we just did a good job of trying to figure our pitches. He’s one of the best pitchers, closers out there. When we stick to our approach and swing at strikes and balls that we can hit, I think it goes to show you. We’ll get the walks when needed and we’ll get the big hits when necessary.”
“We stayed resilient. We battled and we played to the end.”
With two runners on, Joel Hanrahan forced Marlon Byrd to hit into a game ending double play tp give the Pirates a 5-4 victory and pick up his second save of the season.
The Bucs combined for 16 hits –all singles– and picked up their first road series victory. A rare feat that happened just four times last season (And hasn’t happened since July 27-29th in Colorado last year).
Ross Ohlendorf made his first start of the season after a rocky spring training. He allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings with four walks (one intentional) and three strikeouts.
Ohlendorf told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I didn’t show him much in spring training, but I’m planning to do well from now on. I feel like I did better than I’ve been doing.”
Hurdle told Root Sports, “He was building confidence today…That was the best he’s thrown, I’ve ever seen him throw. The things he worked on the side with Ray [Searage] came into play. His direction to the plate, his sink, his command.”
With a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning, Ohlendorf ran into trouble. After allowing three straight singles, and the bases loaded with no outs, Carlos Pena hit a two run double off the right field wall just feet from a grand slam. Pena’s hit was just several feet from a grand slam. Right fielder Garrett Jones jumped to catch the ball and during the play a Cubs fan in the stands spilt his beer on Jones head while reaching for the ball.
Ohlendorf worked out of the inning, not allowing anymore runs to score and keep it a 2-2 game.
Lyle Overbay hit a RBI single to score Jose Tabata in the 5th to take a 3-2 lead but the Cubs fought back in the bottom of the inning. Starlin Castro hit a lead off triple and Darwin Barney hit a sac fly to quickly tie the game back up at 3.
The Cubs tacked on another run in the 6th after Rafael Soriano hit a solo home run off of Ohlendorf.
“It was supposed to be down and away,” Ohlendorf told Root Sports. “It was up. Probably middle away. He did a good job hitting it.”
After a tough loss to the Cubs the night before, a comeback win today means a lot to the players.
Alvarez told Root Sports, “It shows character. We gotta’ play all 9. We gotta’ play all 27 outs…That’s the beauty about baseball. You come back the next day and you either redeem yourself or you keep the ball rollin’. Tomorrow we’ll try to keep the ball rollin’ with another W. I can’t stress enough, we just have to play nine, every game.”
Joel Hanrhan added, “Anytime you can start off the season with a road series win is awesome. Especially with all the stuff that has been said about us and our record last year on the road. Our goal is to go out there and win a series. We were fortunate to do that here and we’ll go to St. Louis and try to do that again.”
Down three runs in the eighth, the Cubs rallied in the inning to score five runs as the Pirates fell 5-3 to the Cubs in Chicago on Saturday.
Paul Maholm received a no-decision in his solid season debut scattering five hits over 6.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two walks.
Maholm was efficient. He needed just 14 pitches to get through two perfect innings. Maholm didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the 3rd, when pitcher Carlos Zambrano hit a double.
Maholm told Root Sports on what made him so successful today: “My curveball was better than my slider. Just throwing inside and mixing it up.”
“I was happy. I felt comfortable. I was throwing first pitch strikes, throwing inside and mixing it up pretty good.
The Pirates scored on Right-hand pitcher Zambrano early. After issuing two walks in the first inning, Pedro Alvarez drove in Jose Tabata to take a 1-0 lead.
They tacked on a second run in the 3rd when Neil Walker hit a RBI double scoring Tabata who started the inning off with a single.
The score remained 2-0 until the 7th inning when right-fielder Garrett Jones took the first pitch from Zambrano into the right field bleachers for a solo-home run and a 3-0 lead.
Things quickly turned sour in the 8th. Set up man Evan Meek allowed a lead-off walk to pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome, who advanced to second after a wild pitch was thrown. Shortstop Starlin Castro hit a RBI double to cut the lead 3-1. Marlon Byrd reached base on a fielding error by first baseman Lyle Overbay which scored Castro. Alfonso Soriano hit a single off of Meek to tie the game at 3.
Chris Resop replaced Meek, but he didn’t stop the runs from scoring. After issuing a walk to Tyler Colvin, Blake Dewitt hit a two-run double to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead.
Meek told Root Sports after the game, “I felt good warming up. Obviously, when you go out there and walk the lead-off guy, it’s never a good sign. It’s tough. Pauly [Paul Maholm] went out there and did a good job. The team did a good job. Just didn’t make good pitches when I needed to, didn’t make very smart pitches. Not smart location, it just was an awful day for me. You can’t get ahead of a guy 0-2 and give him something to hit. I just didn’t do a good job finishing off the hitters today. It’s a tough break.”
“I go out there everyday expecting to get three outs, and get them quickly. Going out there and having a three run lead, knowing that Joel’s coming after me, it’s a good feeling. It’s a very confident feeling. Obviously going out there and not doing my job, not making the pitches, walking the lead off guy, that weighs on you. It weighs on you hard.”
Closer Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the top of the 9th for the save and the heartbreaking loss for the Bucs.
“You’re going to lose, Maholm said. “It’s going to happen. We’re going to go 162-0? It’s part of it. But hopefully as a group you’re p*ssed off, you’re ready to come win a series tomorrow. We had the game and kind of let it get away from us. You know what, I’ll hand the ball to Meek every time, and all those guys in the bullpen. Everybody’s going to have bad outings.”
Neil Walker’s grand slam was the highlight of the Pirates 6-3 win over the Cubs on Opening Day, but overall it was a good win for the team.
Some post game notes:
- Kevin Correia told Lacee Collins of Root Sports after the game, “It was a good game. It was sloppy conditions out there and I kind of had to just get in front of balls and make one out at a time. We did a good job at that. We cashed in big when [Neil] Walker hit the grand slam and after that we really didn’t have any inning where we gave them a chance to get back in the game.”
On his perfect bunt in the 5th inning that kept the rally going: “I got the bunt down when I needed to. You’d be surprised if you look back at all the big innings the team has during the year when the pitcher did something that inning to keep it going, get a hit, or move guys over. It is important. It is something we are focusing on.”
- Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports during his post game press conference, “Many times you’ll see younger players get outside the strike zone or expand because they want to be ‘the guy’. We’ve taught long and hard about it. If the pitcher gives you a chance to be the guy, then you be the guy. But if he doesn’t, put the bat down, get on down the line and let the next guy be ‘the guy’. That’s pretty much what happened.”
On Kevin Correia’s opening day performance: “We didn’t defend as well as we should have behind him. He pitched very, very efficiently. Good mix, kept the ball out of the middle of the plate…He pitched. Controlled bat speed and pitched. A very, very good first outing for Kevin [Correia]. For our ball club, put us in a good place in the game.”
On the Pirates overall performance: “Two big swings at the bat played at six. We pitched very well off the mound. We brought some big fastballs late. Evan [Meek] and Joel [Hanrahan] obviously showed they’re healthy. [Jose] Veras got 3 and 4 hitters in the 7th so it was a good day for the Pirates.”
- Right-hander James McDonald did arrive to the Windy City last night and was at the game today. Manager Clint Hurdle has said that he will start on April 5th In St. Louis.
- The Pirates are scheduled to face six right-handed starters during the six-game road trip, but Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Matt Diaz won’t be sitting on the bench. Manager Clint Hurdle said Diaz will still get some playing time to stay fresh. Diaz is the starting right-fielder against left-handers.
- Pirates No. 1 prospect Jameson Taillon let fans know on twitter where he will be starting the season. “For anyone wondering.. Few starts in extended ST to keep improving delivery and let weather in WV get better .”
- The Pirates will face the Chicago cubs on Saturday for the second of a three game series on opening weekend.
Left-hander Paul Maholm will face Right-hander Carlos Zambrano at 1:05 PM/ET.
Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington chatted with Jim Duquette and Jody McDonald of MLB Network radio’s Baseball Today on Sunday. He discussed: Clint Hurdle’s energy, the impact by the new Veterans, the closers role, young prospects who could make their debuts, and a possible long term extension with Andrew McCutchen.
On Clint Hurdle’s energy: “It’s great to know that we got Clint leading this group and the excitement, the enthusiasm, knowledge, the passion, and the intensity he brings, it’s going to be different for our players. We felt like we needed a new voice, new direction and not only with Clint but with our staff. We got a great staff in place. Our guys are excited. They are looking forward to this year. Looking forward to surprising some people.”
On the reason Huntington sough out Veterans Matt Daiz and Lyle Overbay: “Obviously, coming off a tough season, we wanted to get better. We knew we needed to upgrade our rotation, try to upgrade our bullpen, wanted some offensive ability. We wanted to improve our defense. When you win 57 games you pretty much need to improve everywhere. We had a lot of great young players who we’re excited about. This group of 25 and under both at the major league level and through our system is going to be the foundation of our future success. We are hoping we can have some current success. Guys like [Kevin] Correia, [Scott] Olsen, can add some veteran presence to our rotation. We got some guys that are competing to make our bullpen whether, it’s [Joe] Beimel or [Jose] Veras, that can help out [Joel] Hanrahan and [Evan] Meek, who were so good for us last year. Overbay, we upgrade defensively at first base with Garrett Jones in a platoon situation in right field…We put Garret in a position to be successful. Then we added Matt Diaz and all of a sudden we have a very productive right field…You talk to the people that were around that Atlanta [Braves] club, whether it’s front office people, people in the dugout, people around that club, Matt was one of their leaders last year. Lyle is a constant professional. And we needed to help Neil Walker and Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen, take some of the pressure off them. Let them go play and provide some of that veteran leadership to help them mature both on the field and off.”
On what Huntington is looking for this spring, compared to last: “I think our guys believe that we’re ready to start taking a huge step forward. In the past we hoped. And we kind of looked around and wondered who the guy was, that was going to put the team on his back and carry it. Now, we got a handful of guys that are capable of doing that…Talking with our guys, reading their quotes in the papers, they believe we can take a huge step forward this year. Clint’s only going to foster that. Our staff is only going to help that. There’s no question; we need to take a big step forward this year.”
On if there is an open competition between Hanrahan and Meek for the closers role at spring training: “We are going to go with one guy. We have not announced it publicly first. We honestly spent more time trying to see if there was a veteran closer, as we have with Octavio Dotel last year. That would come in here and close out some games, and allow Clint to use meek and Hanrahan anywhere through the sixth through the eighth. That worked out really well for us…We weren’t able to do that. Our energy and our focus has been on preparing for spring training. It’s been on trying to recruit some guys to try to come in here and step forward. We will meet as a staff, Clint, and Ray Searage and I will sit down and we will identify who is going to be our closer. No it won’t be an open competition at spring training. It’s too tough…It’s not like we got a bad choice. Whichever guy we go with, we believe can close games at the major league level and believe will do a nice job for us…We will commit to somebody and over an extended period of time and they will get the opportunity to show us that they can hold the job. The other guy is going to be getting big outs for us in the seventh or the eighth inning.”
On what young prospects could make their debuts this year: “Any of that rotation that was in Double-A last year that led that club to the Eastern League Championship. Whether it’s Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, or Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, there may be some of the guys out of the bullpen that get here quicker. Danny Moskos has great stuff from the left side, we just got to build that confidence that allows him to feel like his stuff can compete. There may be a couple guys that kind of surprise some people. Position player wise, there are some guys moving up from that group. Gorkys Hernandez, Andrew Lambo that are probably a little ways away. There is a good wave of talent coming through…If those guys don’t show up instantaneously, it’s not Sidney Crosby or Lebron James, that show up at the highest level on the day that they sign. It takes years. For Pedro Alvarez to get here in essentially in two calendar years is quick decent. We are looking forward to that next group of guys from the ’08 draft and ’08 signing class getting here.”
On Chris Snyder’s key to getting back to past years: “We traded for Chris to help our pitching staff. To stabilize the game calling, to stabilize our young starters, to help them get through tough innings, to help them get through tough outings. Whether it was the pitching coach change or Chris Synder traded for in late July, it did that. Our starting pitchers really threw the ball much better in August and September…He’s excited to get a full offseason of workouts. He’s coming, from what we’ve been told, in very good shape….In last offseason, his offseason was impacted by the back surgery and this is his first real healthy offseason in a while. He’s fired up to come in and help us.”
On potentially doing a long term deal with Andrew McCutchen: “They key to any of those situations is; One: the club wants it to happen, and we do. Two: the player wanting it to happen and that doesn’t always happen. Contracts take a willingness to share a risk of these type of situations. In some cases the club isn’t willing to take on that risk and other cases the player isn’t willing to compromise his potential future earnings value. He’s not interested in the security, he’d rather go out and see how much he can make year in and year out. Or, he doesn’t feel it’s the right time…It is something we absolutely intend to do. But the only way these deals get done is if two sides are interested in it.”
On what starter needs to step up this year: “…We need a multitude of guys to step forward. We need Paul Maholm to do what Paul Maholm did, whether it’s in ’08 or at least in ’09 and not what he did in ’10…Kevin Correia, we are looking forward for him to bounce back two what he was in ’09 given a very tough 2010 season both on and off the field. Charlie Morton has got tremendous stuff, yeah we need Charlie to take a step up. We need Ross Ohlendorf to stay healthy the whole year. We need to give him some run support. James McDonald. Can he do what he did for us the last two months of the season? Can he do that over the course of the season? Scott Olsen. Can we get that stuff to play on a consistent basis and get him back healthy. Can we get Brad Lincoln back to where he was? The nice part is, here comes that Owens, Wilson, Locke, Morris group that if we have some struggles, we’ve got some depth. Jeff Karstens did a nice job through five innings, as pretty much as anybody in baseball, just seemed to hit a wall in that sixth and seventh inning. The reality is, there isn’t just one person that needs to step forward for us to go where we believe we can go. We are going to need a couple guys to step up.”
- Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm has already arrived at Bradenton, FL. For spring training. He shared a picture on twitter: “It all starts here Monday.”
- Manager Clint Hurdle kicks off his first spring training workout on Monday at noon (Pitchers and catchers are to report on Sunday).
- This year, there are 63 players reporting to big league camp (40-man roster, plus 23 non-roster invites). Those invited include:
40-man: Ramon Aguero, Jose Ascanio, Kevin Correia, Michael Crotta, Joel Hanrahan, Kevin Hart, Jeff Karstens, Chris Leroux, Brad Lincoln, Jeff Locke, Paul Maholm, Daniel McCutchen, James McDonald, Kyle McPherson, Evan Meek, Bryan Morris, Charlie Morton, Daniel Moskos, Ross Ohlendorf, Scott Olsen, Chris Resop, Tony Watson, Aaron Thompson, Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder, Jason Jaramillo, Pedro Alvarez, Pedro Ciriaco, Steve Pearce, Neil Walker, Ronny Cedeno, Lyle Overbay, Josh Rodriguez, John Bowker, Gorkys Hernandez, Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, Matt Diaz, Garrett Jones, Jose Tabata
Non roster invites: Andrew Lambo, Justin Thomas, Fernando Nieve, Josh Fields, Dusty Brown, Eric Fryer, Chase D’Arnaud, Sean Gallagher, Donnie Veal, Andy Marte, Cesar Valdez, Tony Sanchez, Brian Friday, Jose Veras, Joe Beimel, Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Garrett Atkins, Corey Wimberly, Brian Burres, Wyatt Toregas
- According to Jenifer Langosch, beat reporter of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hurdle’s camp will be much different than John Russell’s. Hurdle specifically noted that there would be an increased focus on shoring up fundamentals and honing pitchers’ pickoff moves.
- During spring training, Hurdle will choose a closer for the Pirates (Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek) as well as a fifth starter (options include: Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen). Bench players and bullpen will be determined as well.
- Spring training runs through February 24th. The Pirates will kick off spring training games against State College of Florida at 12:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field.
- The Pirates will host games against the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros (click here for the full schedule).
In Part two, here is the list of the Pirates starting rotation and bullpen projected stats for the new season according to MLB.com Fantasy.
- Paul Maholm (LHP) Ranked: 440
2011 projections: 9-13, 190 IP, 211 H, 74 BB, 112 K, 4.45 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
*Notes: Opponents batted .263 off the lefty in 2008, .290 in ’09 and .303 in ’10. He’s also fallen well below the league average in strand rate since ’09, finishing last amongst all qualified starters last season. At 28, he appears in the wrong direction.
- Kevin Correia (RHP) Ranked: 410
2011 projections: 8-12, 181 IP, 164 H, 84 BB, 131 K, 4.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
*Notes: Correia posted 12 wins and a 3.91 ERA in his first year as a full time starter back in ’09…The right hander will no longer have the luxury of pitching home turns in PETCO Park, so don’t expect a full return to form.
- James McDonald (RHP) Ranked: 208
2011 projections: 10-11, 171 IP, 165 H, 72 BB, 153 K, 3.53 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
*Notes: After arriving in the Steel City, McDonald showed why he was considered one of LA’s top prospects, ratting off a fantastic September, highlighted by a 2.31 ERA and a 30/13 K/BB ratio over 35 frames…He throws hard and has proven that he can miss bats consistently. The Bucs will look to McDonald to be the ace of a developing young staff.
- Ross Ohlendorf (RHP) Ranked: 441
2011 projections: 7-13, 155 IP, 169 H, 43 BB, 103 K, 4.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
*Notes: The right-hander made 21 starts for the Bucs last season and came away with just one win and a GB/FB rate that has plummeted from 1.31 in 08′ to just 0.68 last year.
Split Duties: Starter/Bullpen/Minors
- Scott Olsen (LHP) Ranked: 607
2011 projections: 3-7, 111 IP, 125 H, 42 BB, 76 K, 4.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
*Notes: At 27-years-old, the right-hander is unlikely to ever become the dominant force that many envisioned him as several years ago. A few more strikeouts, however, could make him a serviceable mid-rotation hurler.
- Charlie Morton (RHP) Ranked: 626
2011 projections: 5-6, 90 IP, 106 H, 34 BB, 62 K, 4.30 ERA, 1.56 WHIP
*Notes: Morton’s soaring 2009 K/BB ratio had some tabbing the 27-year-old right-hander as a possible breakout candidate last season, but the strides he made at Triple-A never translated to the major leave level. Morton’s chances of starting the season in Pittsburgh rotation were dealt a serious blow by the team’s acquisition of Scott Olsen and Kevin Correia this offseason.
- Brad Lincoln (RHP) Ranked: 760
2011 projections: 2-5, 60 IP, 66 H, 14 BB, 36 K, 5.10 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
*Notes: The fourth overall selection of the 2006 first-year player draft has had to play catchup after recovering from Tommy John Surgery that coast him all of ’07. His velocity has fully returned after the procedure, but high strikeout totals haven’t followed…He’ll need to have a standout spring to avoid starting the year back with Triple-A Indianapolis.
- Jeff Karstens (RHP) Ranked: 617
2011 projections: 3-4, 94 IP, 106 H, 23 BB, 63 K, 4.60 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
*Notes: Karstens gave the Bucs innings as both a starter and reliever last year with slightly better results than in 2009. His 2.0 BB/9 ratio an improvement, but the advanced control was offset by a .300 average against and a 1.5 HR/9 mark.
- Joel Harahan (RHP) Ranked: 215
2011 projections: 2-4, 26 SV, 66.2 IP, 60 H, 25 BB, 82 K, 3.92 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
*Notes: A spring training competition with Evan Meek for the Pirates closing gig awaits, but Hanrahan’s far superior strikeout rate should give him the early edge.
- Evan Meek (RHP) Ranked: 259
2011 projections: 4-3, 7 SV, 74.1 IP, 62 H, 28 BB, 63 K, 3.27 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
*Notes: The emerging righty pitched to a 1.11 ERA and 1.05 WHIP before the All-Star break and finished the year with stellar all-around umbers, collecting a handful of saves in the process. Should serve as a key late-inning contributor even if he doesn’t assume the stopper role.
- Chris Resop (RHP) Ranked: 747
2011 projections: 1-2, 53.1 IP, 49 H, 27 BB, 44 K, 4.22 ERA, 1.43 WHIP
*Notes: In 22 appearances for Pittsburgh, Resop registered a nifty 1.89 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The right-hander figures to fill a larger bullpen role for the club in ’11.
***Neither Joe Beimel or Jose Veras, both who I project to be a part of the Pirates bullpen, were ranked in the MLB.com Fantasy projections.
- Only 10 days until the Pirates pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton, FL. For spring training. On Friday, the buses left for sunny Florida. The seasons almost here! Get Ready!
(Picture via @bucsinsider)
- Neil Walker won’t be spotted in Dallas this weekend for the Superbowl, as he is staying in Pittsburgh for a friends wedding and will watch the game at home with friends and family.
“I’ve been to the last two, so it’s a tough bullet to bite right now,” joked Walker, when asked about his absence in Dallas. “I told my friend [on Tuesday], ‘You know how much I like you since I’m not going to the game.’ He knows.”
Joel Hanrahan might not have been rooting for the Steelers as long as Walker, but he will be wearing a James Harrison jersey at the game on Sunday. Hanrahan’s mind, however, is on still on the bright future of the Pirates.
“Hopefully,” Hanrahan said this week, “they will be asking us for playoff tickets this year.”
- On Thursday, Roberto Clemente’s son, Luis, threw out the first pitch before Puerto Rico’s match up against Mexico during the Caribbean Series.
“My father played in many of those [Caribbean] Series, and to be recognized still today and for us to be invited is a great honor,” Clemente said. “Our family has worked hard to make sure that his legacy is still strong.”
“I suffered a lot with Dad’s death and, eventually, I came to a point in my life where I had the know-how and the contacts to honor my commitment to his memory,” Clemente said. “I see what Dad meant to people, and how he truly was an inspiration to millions of people. I made a promise to his memory and that he would not die in vain. I’m going to keep it.”
- The Pirates scouts were looking at Anthony Rendon on Thursday according to @FSH_Owls, who covers Rice University Athletics.
“A Pirates scouting director is scheduled to observe Jr. 3B Anthony Rendon take BP shortly. Pittsburg has the first pick in the 2011 draft.”
- Day four of the Pirates caravan wrapped on Thursday, which means Piratefest kicks off on Friday night (season ticket holders ) and continues Saturday (10-8) and Sunday (12-5). If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, go here to purchase them. And be sure to say hello, I’ll be around all weekend.
- As the clock ticks closer to spring training (19 days until pitchers and catchers report), the closers role is yet to be announced. Will it be Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek?
“I think every reliever wants to be a closer,” said Hanrahan. “I kind of got thrown into the closer’s role in Washington, and I didn’t have the greatest success. But I enjoyed it, and it’s something that I want to get back to.”
I’ve kind of taken the [relief] role and embraced it, which is what you have to do,” Hanrahan said. “I enjoy the role that I’m in. It’s kind of fun coming to the ballpark every day knowing that you have a chance to make an impact on the game.”
But Meek has the talent to close ball games out as well.
“He’s got a great arm, and he’s got that natural cut,” Hanrahan said of Meek. “He cuts the ball a little better than I do. I think we [have] different [pitching] styles. He tries to get [batters to hit] the ground ball, and I try to get the strikeout most of the time.”
Whoever they decide upon, the fact is, the Pirates have a pretty nasty eight and ninth inning covered.
“We have two of the most exciting young relievers in baseball in Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek,” said Pirates president Frank Coonelly.
“Both had awesome years last year, and we’re going to be looking for them to carry a lot of the load this year,” Jones said. “When those guys came into a game last year, it was pretty much lights out [for the opposition].”
Pirates reliever Joel Hanrahan will be giving away his cleats from the game he notched his career-high 100th strikeout from the 2010 season once he reaches 5,000 followers on twitter. As of 9:45 PM on 1/26 he is currently at 4,893. Be sure to follow him, not only for the prize, but because he is one of the many baseball players that enjoys chatting with the fans. He also gives you an inside look of his life both on, and off, the field.
You can follow him at: @hanrahan4457
And while your at it, follow me as well: @kristpie
Some news and notes from day three of mini camp:
- Jose Tabata played against Jorge Julio (who recently signed a minor league deal with the Pirates) this offseason during winter ball. “He looked good,” Tabata said. “He’s still a good pitcher.”
- Players have noticed Tabata’s offseason weight gain by refering to him as “a beast.” Altough he claims to weigh 212 (Pirates media guide said he weighed 210 last year) it’s all muscle, not fat.
“Yeah, I’m bigger,” Tabata said, grinning. “I worked out in the gym every day this winter. I want to be bigger and stronger. This year, my idea is to hit more home runs.”
Tabata hopes that the added strength will help him produce more homeruns during the 2011 season.
“It’s a good feeling,” Tabata said. “But I have to be careful not to let it change my swing. Sometimes, when you want to hit home runs, your swing gets real long. I can’t let that happen.”
- Matt Diaz, Lyle Overbay, Joel Hanrahan, Neil Walker and Ross Ohlendorf held a round table discussion with some of the Bucs top minor leaguers. “I have no idea what I’m going to tell them,” Ohlendorf said. “I’ll come up with something.”
Tony Sanchez tweeted later that night saying, “had a good meeting with Hurd and some of the older big leaguers. lots of insight on how life is as a big leaguer.”
- Sanchez also broke the news (via twitter) that he was invited to spring training: “Just got the word that im invited to Big League Camp. Unreal! Get to pretend im one of the guys… “
- MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Pirates are one of six teams that have offered Jose Veras a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
Veras posted a 3.85 ERA in 48 innings for the Marlins in 2010.