Results tagged ‘ kevin correia ’
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.”
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.
The fifth spot in the rotation is still up for grabs heading into spring training. Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Correia and James McDonald round out the top four (not necessarily in that order). Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen, Brad Lincoln are among the top to battle for that spot. Left out in the mix, is Jeff Karstens who in 19 starts (26 appearances) went 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA.
What is Karstens ideal role for Pittsburgh?
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to start,” Karstens said. “Because [that way] I’d know when I am pitching. But, what it honestly comes down to is whatever they want me to do to help the team succeed. That’s all I want to do.”
On Tuesday’s edition of Hot Stove on MLB Network, they showcased the Pittsburgh Pirates in part of the 30 Clubs in 30 Recaps.
Here is what the analysts had to say:
“1992 was the last season in which Pittsburgh finished with a winning record. For a once proud franchise the Buccos have become somewhat of a forgotten team in their own city. It also doesn’t help the Penguins won a Stanley cup two years ago, and Sunday, the Steelers can win their third super bowl in six years. We look back at the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates.”
*Video clips through out the season were showed. Garrett Jones two run homerun on opening day, Evan Meek’s first career save (against the Dodgers), Andrew McCutchen’s hot month of May (.327 avg), the rookie debuts of Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez, the 12 straight losses, Alvarez’s walk-off three run homer against the Rockies, notching the 18th consecutive losing season, John Russell getting fired, and the hiring of Clint Hurdle.
Greg Amsinger: “Another rough season in 2010 for the Pirates. Hence all of these changes:”
Pirates Notable transactions this offseason by MLB Network:
RP Joe Beimel
SP Kevin Correia
OF Matt Diaz
3B Josh Fields
SP Scott Olsen
1B Lyle Overbay
SS Cesar Valdez
SP Zach Duke
SP Dana Eveland
RP Chan Ho Park
3B Andy LaRoche
RP Joe Martinez
OF Lastings Milledge
Amsinger: “Zach Duke is gone. He’s not going to be in that rotation. Andy LaRoche is not going to be at third base. Lastings Milledge is still a free agent so who knows where he’ll go. But you see all the additions. The biggest addition though, is the skipper of this club, Clint Hurdle.”
Todd Zeile: “I agree with you 100 percent. Clint, you heard him in the press conference say, ‘It’s got to turn eventually. We’re not going to back down to anybody.’ That’s the kind of mentality Clint Hurdle has. I think he truly believes in it. I think he instills that kind of confidence in his players –especially young players. In 2002, Clint took over for Buddy Bell, when Buddy Bell was fired. We were on the ropes. We had a bunch of veteran guys that he just let play. But at the same time, we had a guy named Juan Uribe, who we saw in the world series last year, this guy was as raw and unfettered as you could find. Clint found a way to get him to hone in his skills, but still let him play and didn’t destroy his confidence. He made sure he knew every time he walked out there, Clint believed in him. I think he’s got that same kind of capability. Look, realistically, they are looking to the future. While they got a lot of kids on that team that have a lot of potential in the future, including Pedro Alvarez. You showed the highlight of him, Alvarez had a really rough start but finished really strong. A guy like Clint I think can help take him to the next level.”
Al Lieter: “I agree. I love Clint. You mentioned about Alvarez, Greg Smith their scouting director, whole new deal there. Neal Huntington a whole lot different from Dave Littlefield, cleaning up the mess. You have a $40 million payroll. I think about all the additions and what is important. I think what is important is your starting rotation. No question about it. I go to what the Padres did last year. You have really nice quality pitchers like the Padres did in [Clayton] Richard, [Mat] Latos, and [Wade] LeBlanc. You have to get something out of your guys and look for the future. You got James McDonald, nice pickup with the Dodgers. Paul Maholm, making a lot of money right now for what he’s bringing in. Ross Ohlendorf was 1-11. You bring in a guy with some innings, that you can bring in a Kevin Correia that can maybe hold over for the future. This is about draft picks, this is about your player development. Everything that goes on from the bottom up, to eventually find that diamond. That’s what I would be sitting on and I look to the Padres. Last year, two teams under $40 million dollars in payroll: both the Pirates and the Padres. It starts with pitching.”
Harold Reynolds: “It does. It actually starts with draft also. I love what Clint Hurdle can bring to the table. You got to be positive with the young guys. You heard me say, ‘You got to play the young talent’. Some of the guys they are bringing in, the draft they had last year. They had two top picks, you get [Jameson] Taillon and you also get [Stetson] Allie, who should have been a number one pick as well. So they get those two guys to get it going in the minor leagues. It starts with pitching. You can move pitching and you can add players with having good pitching. But I love the fact that guys they have in the big leagues already. With [Andrew] McCutchen, I love [Neil] Walker the second baseman, and you look at Alvarez. Those three guys are a great core to start with and you go from there. The Pirates are on up!
Amsinger: “It’s a great sports city. They love the penguins, of course they love the Steelers, if they can get a winning product there for the Pirates they will come fill the most beautiful ball park in the game.”
Pirates Projected Rotation (According to MLB Network)
Kevin Correia had a difficult year both on and off the mound. After finishing the season 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA (he went 12-11 with a 3.97 ERA in 2009) Correia used this offseason to deal with the death of his younger brother.
In May, Trevor Correia fell off a cliff while hiking at Channel Islands National Park in Santa Barbara, Ca. Kevin was scheduled to start the next day against the Houston Astros.
After taking a week of bereavement leave, Correia started against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 15th and allowed four runs in 5.1 innings.
The Padres were in the mist of an unbelievable season, leading the National League West. Correia’s week leave wasn’t enough time to come to grips with the loss of his brother and he felt a responsibility to continue to go out to the mound.
“It was tough,” he said. “It was the middle of the season and I still had work to do, so I had to push it back as far as I could. It’s hard to really focus on the games. It’s hard to put your whole heart into it.”
Correia believes that after coming to peace with his loss, he can live up to his potential.
“I was able to sit back and figure things out,” he said. “In the long run, that will make me stronger and better from a baseball standpoint. I can go out there and know it’s not a do-or-die situation. There are other things in life that are more important. It frees me to go out there and maybe do some stuff I wasn’t able to do before.”
The 30-year-old right-hander was non tendered by the Padres in November, and was on General Manager Neal Huntingon’s radar.
“Our scouts saw almost the exact same stuff they saw during his success in 2009,” Huntington said. “The huge bump in his ERA was due to a lot of factors beyond his control.”
“We saw some very positive signs,” he said. “There’s every reason in the world to believe he’ll have a solid bounce-back year and again be that guy who has a chance to win every time he takes the ball.”
The Pirates signed Correia to a two-year $8 million contract in December.
After spending the weekend at Piratefest, meeting his new teammates and the fans of Pittsburgh, Correia is excited for the new season to start. “Coming to an event like this, it helps me flip the switch,” he said. “I’m excited to get back out there and throw the ball again.”
- President Frank Coonelly spoke out on the success of Piratefest, which set a new record in attendance –16,839.
“Coming off an extremely successful caravan, the fan enthusiasm for Pirates baseball all weekend long has been tremendous,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly said. “The excitement for the addition of Clint Hurdle and our young core of players was evident with the record turnout. With two weeks before pitchers and catchers report, our players are eager to get the season underway. The entire organization is energized by the incredible passion expressed by our fans over the last week and we are determined to reward that passion with the way we play the game in 2011.”
- Single game tickets went on sale Saturday. The 2011 home opener on April 7th against the Colorado Rockies as well as the interleague series against the Boston Red Sox are limited to single seats and standing room only.
- Charlie Morton will no longer be wearing No. 37, that number will be worn by first baseman Lyle Overbay. Morton was wearing his new No. 50 jersey this weekend at Piratefest.
- Ross Ohlendorf is ready for spring training and to bounce back from last season.
“I am fully recovered and feeling great,” Ohlendorf said. “My throwing, right now, is significantly better than it was a year ago at this time.
“I didn’t have a very good spring training [last year] and I feel like I will be much stronger out of the gate [this season].”
- Kevin Correia explains his decision on why he signed with the Pirates.
“I liked the opportunity to go somewhere where I felt like I could make a difference,” he said. “I was looking for a certain situation. I wanted to be excited about baseball, I wanted to be a part of something that I knew was going in the right direction and I could be a big part of that.”
- 14 days until Pitchers and Catchers report for spring training in Bradenton, FL.
On Sunday, the three day indoor baseball carnival –known as priatefest– came to a close. Whether it was the excitement for the young Bucs, the bright future, or the love the city of Pittsburgh has for black and yellow, fans flocked the David L. Lawerence convention center this weekend. 16,839 were in attendance –the highest since 2003.
“That was probably my and [general manager] Neal [Huntington's] greatest recruiting tool to get Clint [Hurdle] to come to Pittsburgh — the fans,” Frank Coonelly said at PirateFest this weekend. “This is not just a great sports town. It’s a great Pirates town.”
“These fans are still passionate about what we do,” Neal Huntington said. “As we start to win, they’re going to come out and fill this place, and it’s going to be an electric place to be.”
Ross Ohlendorf, Garrett Jones, Evan Meek, Neil Walker, James McDonald, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton, Brad Lincoln and Paul Maholm were the players that attended this years Piratefest.
Here are some highlights from the Q&A sessions:
- On what career they would peruse if they weren’t a ballplayer: Charlie Morton- Something in music. Andrew McCutchen- I’d be Morton’s producer (Morton is actually a pretty good singer/guitar player. He played at last year’s pirate fest. Click here for videos from it.)
- On Morton’s rebound season in 2011: “I’m excited and I’m ready to move on from last year.”
- When the players were asked who their favorite football team was, Jose Tabata said: “My name is Jose Tabata and I’m from Venezuela and I like black and yellow.”
*Reports during mini camp were that Jose Tabata had bulked up this offseason in hopes to add more power to his bat. They weren’t kidding. I took a close up of Tabata so you could see just how much muscle he packed on.
Here are some highlights from the Management Q&A sessions:
- General Manager Neal Huntington mentioned pitchers Rudy Owens and Daniel Moskos as two prospects that have a good chance to make major league appearances in 2011.
- Clint Hurdle has known left-hander Joel Beimel for 17 years. “He has a heart for the area. He wants to be a part of the group that turns this thing around.”
- On if the Pirates will break the 18-year losing streak in 2011: “I can’t see why not. Why can’t we?” -Clint Hurdle
- On the way Pittsburgh has really embraced Clint Hurdle as the new Manager: “I’m humbled by the reception I’ve gotten. I’m proud to be a Pittsburgh Pirate.”
- On a comparison of the Pirates to the San Diego Padres team from 2010: “They had a winning mentality, we didn’t.” -President Frank Coonelly
- In order to help the Pirates play better on the road, Hurdle said he was going to have the players write down their home vs. road routines in order to adjust the mind set.
Manager Clint Hurdle and Bench Coach Jeff Banister taught a youth baseball clinic on Sunday.
Some highlights during the young camp:
- “I don’t have a world series ring either (referring to when a fan asked if Bench coach Jeff Banister had a World Series ring) I’ve been to the world series three times. Four times a charm. I’ve heard that somewhere.” -Manager Clint Hurdle
- A fan asked Manager Clint Hurdle about Pedro Alvarez’s recent weight game due to Holidays, offseason and recent honeymoon, “I’d be 40 pounds over weight…Pedro’s going to be fine.”
Here are several more pictures from Piratefest:
These are the new 2011 batting pratice jersey’s for the Pirates.
Pirates Double-A Altoona Curve had a station set up for the weekend. Here is the 2010 Eastern League Championship flag.
*On a side note. I was overwhelmed by how many great fans came up to me that said they are a reader of my blog. I can’t thank you guys enough for all the support. I hope to continue covering the Pirates and bringing you all the buzz all season (and offseason) long.
The Pirates released the autograph signing schedule and the live event schedules for Piratefest. The three day indoor caravan takes place at the David L. Laurence Convention Center Friday, January 28th(Season ticket holders only), Saturday January 29 (10-8) and Sunday January 30 (12-5).
You can purchase tickets here.
Saturday, January 29
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, Charlie Morton
11:30 am – 1:00 p.m. James McDonald, Kevin Correia, Al Oliver
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Garrett Jones, Ross Ohlendorf, Bob Friend
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mike Easler, Bob Walk, Bill Madlock, Sean Casey
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Andrew McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Paul Maholm
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Neil Walker, Evan Meek, Jim Rooker, Doug Drabek
Sunday, January 30
12:00 Noon – 1:30 p.m. Andrew McCutchen, Brad Lincoln, Kevin Correia
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Evan Meek, Ross Ohlendorf, Al Oliver
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Jose Tabata, Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton
Live Event Schedules:
Saturday, January 29
Minute To Win It: (12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m.) Evan Meek, Joe Klimchak
Softball Clinic: (12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m.) TBA
Youth Baseball Clinic: (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) Clint Hurdle, Jeff Banister, Kevin Correia, Bob Walk
Deal or No Deal: (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) Jeff Karstens, Charlie Morton, Greg Brown
We Are Family Feud: (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.) Neil Walker, Jose Tabata, Joe Klimchak
Pierogie Eating Contest: (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.) Paul Maholm, Greg Brown
2011 Pirates Q&A: (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) 2011 Pirates, Greg Brown
Reading with the Parrot: (4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Pirate Parrot, Cannonball Crew
Ask Pirates Management: (4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Clint Hurdle, Neal Huntington, Frank Coonelly, Greg Brown
Minute to Win It: (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) James McDonald, Joe Klimchak
Pierogie Eating Contest: (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Ross Ohlendorf, John Wehner
Deal or No Deal: (6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) James McDonald, Greg Brown
Guitar Hero: (6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) Andrew McCutchen, Joe Klimchak
Sunday, January 30
Youth Baseball Clinic: (12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m.) Clint Hurdle, Jeff Banister, Joe Klimchak
Deal or No Deal: (12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m.) Evan Meek, Tim Neverett
Minute To Win It: (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) Paul Maholm, Tim Neverett
Guitar Hero: (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) Jeff Karstens, Joe Klimchak
We Are Family Feud: (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.) Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton, Joe Klimchak
Pierogie Eating Contest: (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.) Brad Lincoln, Tim Neverett
Deal or No Deal: (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Ross Ohlendorf, Tim Neverett
Reading with the Parrot: (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Pirate Parrot, Cannonball Crew
The Pirates have announced what players will be at Piratefest this year. The indoor baseball carnival features live events, autograph sessions, prizes, games and much, much more. The event runs Friday, January 28th(for season ticket holders only), Saturday, January 29th (10-8) and Sunday, January 30th (Noon-5). You can purchase tickets here.
Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Evan Meek, Garrett Jones, Jose Tabata, Paul Maholm, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, Brad Lincoln, Kevin Correia and James McDonald, along with new manager Clint Hurdle, pitching coach Ray Searage and bench coach Jeff Banister are scheduled to attend.
Yours truly will also be at Piratefest all day on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to say hello.
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.