Results tagged ‘ justin thomas ’
- Pirates owner Bob Nutting arrived in Bradenton, Fl. On Saturday night and was spotted at Pirate City On Sunday. He will be in town for two weeks.
- Sunday was photo day for the players. The pictures are used for baseball cards to media outlets. You can see a lot of pictures here at Yahoo! Sports
- The players worked on run down drills on Sunday. The outfielders played as baserunners and the pitchers joined the infielders to mimic pickoffs and rundowns.
They also worked on baserunning drills –a huge emphasis during Camp Hurdle.
The Pitchers worked on bunting and slug bunting.
- Group two of the Pirates pitching threw live batting practice on Sunday. They included: Charlie Morton, Tony Watson, Jeff Karstens, Chris Resop, Brad Lincoln, Chris Leroux, Brian Burres, Daniel McCutchen, Sean Gallagher, Cesar Valdez, Daniel Moskos, Tyler Yates, Justin Thomas, Ramon Aguero, Fernando Nieve and Bryan Morris.
- Manager Clint Hurdle spent time after practice talking about outfielder Corey Wimberly who will be fighting for a bench spot.
“This could be Corey’s time. That’s why we went out and got him. We had talked him in a couple different avenues over the winter and then we were able to make a trade for him. To his credit, delay doesn’t mean denial. He has persevered. He hasn’t taken feeling being passed over on the field with him. He’s continued to go out and do what he needs to do to make himself attractive to whatever organization has him.”
- Jeff Karstens will be filling many different roles for the Pirates this season. Although he won’t be competing for the 5th spot in the rotation, Karstens is the favorite to be called upon for long relief or to spot start.
“He matured greatly last year, and I hope he continues to do that this year because he has a good instinct when he’s out there on the mound,” pitching coach Ray Searage said. “The beauty of Jeff is he can do multiple roles and he knows what those roles entail.”
- In the last several months Tyler Yates has rediscovered his changeup, a pitch he lost when he moved from starter to reliever (only needing the two best pitches).
“I think I’ve learned by watching other pitchers with less stuff than I have get people out and I’m like, ‘How do they do it?’ ” Yates said. “You start watching them and you see that they sink the ball a little bit more, cut the ball a little bit more, change speeds better. It’s something that I’d like to add to my repertoire, so I won’t have to throw the ball 96 mph every time out there.”
Yates is also looking to add a cutter to his repertoire, which would give him five pitches (fastball, sinker and slider are the others).
“If I can add (the change and cutter), it would give me longevity in my career,” he said. “At 33 years old, I’m trying to get everything I can out of it.”
A shot of a beautiful day in Bradenton (photo via @Colin_Dunlap)
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- Manager Clint Hurdle has the players working on “slug” bunting this year –something John Russell didn’t teach.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com explains further what “slug” bunting is, if your not familiar with the technique.
This type of bunt is executed by showing bunt, drawing the bat back and then trying to chop the ball hard at a defender who is expecting a normal slow-rolling bunt.
A successful “slug” bunt has an element of surprise. And it can be particularly effective when the defense imposes a wheel play, which is when the corner fielders charge toward home while the middle infielders run to cover first and third.
- With less than six weeks away until opening day Manager Clint Hurdle is still mum about a possible lineup for the Bucs.
“We’ve had talks about lineups for a month and running,” he said. “I’m thinking about it, but no pens have been (used). All pencil work, so far.”
In the past, I’ve tried to have the best hitter on the team hit third,” Hurdle said. “We’ve got a number of guys we’re talking about for that. And you don’t want to be a slave to a guy’s comfort level, but some guys have a history of performing better in some places than in others. So, it’s all taken into account.”
- The Pirates minor league camp begins on February 28. The Pirates invited about 30 pitchers and 30 position players to report early. The camp will start in full on March 7.
- Sean Gallagher is a candidate for the Bucs ‘pen, but the club isn’t ruling out using him as a starter –most likely at Triple-A to begin the year.
- The following pitchers threw their second side session on Thursday: Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Chris Resop, Sean Gallagher, Tony Watson, Cesar Valdez, Tyler Yates, Jeff Karstens, Justin Thomas, Brad Lincoln, Chris Leroux, Daniel McCutchen, Ramon Aguero, Daniel Moskos and Bryan Morris.
- Left-hand pitcher Scott Olsen left workouts early on Thursday due to a left hamstring strain.
Olsen doesn’t believe it’s anything serious and says it’s because of dehydration.
“I don’t foresee it being anything serious,” he said.
Pirates spring training camp: catchers drills (photo via @RobBiertempfel)
ST camp: pitchers fielding drills (photo via @RobBiertempfel)
Young Bucs: Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen waiting to take some swings in batting practice (photo via @BucsInsider)
The Pirates made several announcements on Wednesday, leaving just a few spots open in the ‘pen during the final six weeks until opening day.
Manager Clint Hurdle named Joel Hanrahan the Bucs closer and Evan Meek as the eighth-inning set up man.
He also announced that Joe Beimel will become the Pirates lefty specialist for the 2011 season. Beimel signed a minor league contract with a non-roster spring training invite. The Pirates will need to remove someone from the 40-man roster in order to make room for the southpaw.
“We didn’t go get him to try him out,” Hurdle said. “We wanted to have a left-handed option that can bridge innings for us toward the back end of the game. He’s going to play a significant role as well.”
The leaves four spots open in the bullpen.
After great success with the Pirates in 2010 (in 19 innings, 22 appearances, Resop posted a 1.89 ERA with 24 strikeouts), Chris Resop will most likely land a job.
Jose Veras seems like another favorite in the ‘pen. In five seasons and 176 appearances, Veras has a career 4.24 ERA (3.75 ERA in 2010 with the Cleveland Indians).
“He was a good get for us,” Hurdle said of Veras, who signed a Minor League deal with the team in January. “[General manager] Neal [Huntington] was very aggressive to go get Veras. He’s got a big arm.”
The Pirates have many options for the remaining spots. Jeff Karstens and Brian Burres could fill in as the long reliever. Whoever doesn’t win the fifth spot in the rotation, Charlie Morton or Scott Olsen, could also fill that role.
Some other options include: Tyler Yates, Kevin Hart, Chris Leroux, Justin Thomas, Sean Gallagher, Jose Ascanio, and Fernanado Nieve.
“I want these guys to have a clean shot,” Hurdle said. “It’s not always about the results in Spring Training, but it’s about the quality of the stuff. I think we’ve got enough educated eyes around here to get a better read on that, rather than just the numbers as they play out.”
- Pirates pitching prospect Luis Heredia spent Tuesday morning watching the major league spring training workouts.
“I like watching the team,” Heredia said. “I like the guys. I feel good. I am excited.”
Heredia threw a long toss session on Tuesday afternoon and is scheduled to throw off the mound on Thursday.
Luis Heredia (front left) with a group of young Bucs in conditioning drills today (picture via @BucsInsider)
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports:
Pedro Alvarez put on another bombs-away show during batting practice on Field 3. Alvarez swatted homers and dinged two cars in the parking lot beyond the outfield wall.
- The following players threw bullpen sessions on Tuesday: Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Chris Resop, Sean Gallagher, Tony Watson, Cesar Valdez, Tyler Yates, Jeff Karstens, Justin Thomas, Brad Lincoln, Chris Leroux, Daniel McCutchen, Ramon Aguero, Daniel Moskos and Bryan Morris.
- Right-handed pitcher Kevin Hart threw a long toss program on Tuesday before the team workouts. Hart had been shut down for 10 days and given a cortisone shot to help reduce inflammation in his surgically-repaired shoulder.
“Everyone that I’ve talked to who had the surgery says it is normal to have this type of issue,” Hart said. “They seem to think that it’s something that 10 days off could really resolve. It sounds really simple to think about, but when you don’t throw for four months and then start cranking it up, there are going to be some times when some tightness starts creeping in.”
Hart remains optimistic that he will be able ready by opening day.
- Left-hander Scott Olsen has thrown off the mound three times, his fourth session is scheduled on Wednesday. It’s reported that he has had no discomfort with his shoulder thus far.
“I’m hoping that everything stays healthy and that we can progress in the right direction,” Olson said. “We haven’t had any setbacks. No issues. It’s early, and we’re taking the proper steps and precautions that we need to take.”
- Right-hander Brad Lincoln has reported to spring training several pounds lighter this year. He spent the offseason going through some tough conditioning work.
Pitching coach Ray Searage has said that he would not be forcing any new mechanical changes on Lincoln moving forward. He also said Lincoln’s mechanics are back to where they need to be.
Pirates andy marte warms up in batting pratice (picture via @RobBiertempfel)
Who better to coach the Pirates catchers than Sangy [Manny Sanguillen] (picture via @RobBiertempfel)
With only two weeks until Pitchers and Catchers report to spring training, Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answered fans questions in this weeks inbox (You can read the entire article here).
Of all the non-roster players invited to Spring Training, which ones probably have the best chance of sticking with the Bucs?
Let’s look at the position players first. Depending on whether the Pirates opt to carry three catchers or not, there will be two or three bench spots left to fill. You can already pencil in Ryan Doumit and one of Matt Diaz/Garrett Jones into two of the bench openings. That makes finding some backup infielders the immediate priority.
Corey Wimberly is an intriguing non-roster invite, in my opinion, because he has the versatility to play across the infield and outfield. His speed would be a major asset off the bench, and he has hit well at each Minor League level. Wimberly’s chances of making the roster will be directly affected by what the Pirates see in Rule 5 pick Josh Rodriguez.
It’s also looking like the Pirates’ backup corner infielder will come out of the non-roster invite list. Garrett Atkins, Josh Fields and Andy Marte are all candidates to win that spot. I might give Atkins the slight edge simply because he has proven himself at the Major League level and has a prior relationship with manager Clint Hurdle.
On the pitching side of things, the Pirates could be poised to add a number of non-roster players by the time Spring Training ends. Joe Beimel, who signed a Minor League deal on Friday, is almost a lock. With so many vacancies in the bullpen, look for Justin Thomas, Fernando Nieve, Sean Gallagher and Jose Veras to make pushes for open spots.
What do you think of Charlie Morton coming out of the bullpen?
While the Pirates are going to give Morton every chance to make the starting rotation, the club is ready to consider him for the bullpen as a fallback option. A large reason for that is because Morton is out of options and cannot be sent to the Minors without being exposed to other clubs on waivers. So if Scott Olsen wins the job as the team’s fifth starter, expect Morton to be fighting for one of the open spots in the ‘pen.
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.
The Pirates gave non-roster spring training invites to Tony Sanchez, Brian Friday, Andrew Lambo, Eric Fryer and Chase D’Arnaud according to Rob Biertempfel of the Trib on Tuesday.
There are currently 61 players invited to spring training in Bradenton, FL., the 40-man roster plus 21 non-roster invites.
The non-roster list includes: Justin Thomas, Fernando Nieve, Josh Fields, Dusty Brown, Sean Gallagher, Donnie Veal, Andy Marte, Cesar Valdez, Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Garrett Atkins, Brian Burres and Corey Wimberly.
The Pirates are holding a mini-camp starting on Monday in Bradenton, Florida. The camp this year will be focused on conditioning and will run four days.
Those expected to attend (according to Jenifer Langosch) are:
Pitchers – Michael Crotta, Joel Hanrahan, Kevin Hart, Jeff Karstens, Brad Lincoln, Jeff Locke, Daniel McCutchen, James McDonald, Kyle McPherson, Evan Meek, Bryan Morris, Charlie Morton, Daniel Moskos, Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Resop, Aaron Thompson, Tony Watson
Catchers – Jason Jaramillo
Infielders – Pedro Ciriaco, Lyle Overbay, Steve Pearce, Josh Rodriguez, Neil Walker
Outfielders – Matt Diaz, Gorkys Hernandez, Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, Jose Tabata
Non Roster invites – Dusty Brown, Brian Burres, Josh Fields, Fernando Nieve, Justin Thomas, Cesar Valdez, Corey Wimberly
Pedro Alvarez and Chris Leroux are currently listed as maybes to attend.
The Pirates designated pitcher Joe Martinez for assignment on Wednesday, to make room for Kevin Correia who was added to the 40-man roster on Friday.
If Martinez clears waivers, the Bucs have 10 days to either trade, release or outright him to the minors (If out righted to the minors, he would receive an invitation to Spring Training to compete for a spot in the Pirates bullpen).
Martinez was acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the Javier Lopez trade, where he, along with John Bowker, were sent to Pittsburgh.
In five relief appearances with the Pirates in 2010, Martinez allowed three runs in 8.2 innings while striking out six and walking three.
The Pirates announced four more non-roster spring training invites. Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson. The non-roster list currently sits at 12. Those already invited are: Justin Thomas, Fernando Nieve, Josh Fields, Dusty Brown, Sean Gallagher, Donnie Veal, Andy Marte and Cesar Valdez.
The Pirates re-signed left handed reliever Justin Thomas to a minor league deal for the 2011 season on Monday. He will also receive an invite to Spring Training. Thomas was 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in 12 appearences with the Pirates.
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Trib, He believes Brandon Moss will not be back with the Pirates for next year. Moss is a free-agent and has not lived up to the potential when he was key piece in the Jason Bay trade in 2008.