Results tagged ‘ mets ’
A great pitching performance by the Florida Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson limited the Bucs to just two hits over seven innings in the Pirates 6-0 loss at Sun Life Stadium on Tuesday.
Johnson, who had a no-hitter going against the Atlanta Braves through 7.1 inning during his last start, blanked the Pirates over seven shutout innings (98 pitches). The two lone hits came from Garrett Jones, a single to right in the 5th and John Bowker, a pinch hit single in the 6th inning.
The 27-year-old walked one and struck out nine.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports, “The fastball’s top shelf. If you want to start a franchise and pick a pitcher, you’re not going to go wrong picking him. When you can go high-90′s, down hill plane with a good finish, a combination of the slider. He threw a handful of curves, not many but that’s a pitch he’s working on –like he needs another one. The cutter and the changeup is just nasty…He shut down four teams to start with and unfortunately we were one of them. He’s good. He’s a legit ace.”
The Marlins bullpen, which consisted of lefty Michael Dunn and right-hander Brian Sanches in relief didn’t allow a hit or run over two innings of work, with three strikeouts.
Paul Maholm retired the first five batters he faced, but from there, Maholm just wasn’t sharp. After hitting Mike Stanton with a pitch, he allowed back-to-back singles to load the bases with two outs. Johnson hit a two-RBI single to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
Stanton leadoff the fourth when a double to left field that hit off the wall. John Buck followed with a RBI double to right. Emilio Bonifacio singled and Chris Coghlan walked to load the bases. Maholm walked in a run after throwing a five pitch walk to Hanley Ramirez.
Maholm was pulled with the bases loaded and two outs in the 4th. Rookie Mike Crotta allowed a two-run single by Gaby Sanchez to give the Marlins a 6-0 lead.
Maholm was charged with six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts (76 pitches) over 3.2 innings –his shortest outing this season and the shortest since September 15, 2010 against the New York Mets. His ERA jumped from 2.33 to 4.30 and he picked up his third loss of the year.
Maholm told Root Sports, “There’s a lot of different things. First inning was great and then, I just kind of fell out of rhythm, left pitches over the plate. If you don’t get ahead of some of those guys, they’re aggressive. They’re good hitters. It just comes down to me not pitching well.”
“It sucks. I didn’t give the team a chance at all to win. Facing Johnson, you got to be good and I wasn’t.”
The Pirates (8-9) will face the Marlins (9-6) for the second of a three game series tomorrow at 7:10 PM ET. Right-hander Charlie Morton will be on the mound for the Bucs against righty Ricky Nolasco.
Kyle Stark of ESPN named the Pirates the third Most Unimproved teams in the National League (the Mets were No. 1, Astros No. 2).
Stark also named the Pirates the No. 1 Least Recognizable Team (the Astros were No. 2, Royals No. 3).
“I might as well retire this category. What’s the point? The Pirates seem to win it every year, anyway. Here’s how I know exactly how faceless this team is: I cover baseball for a living. I kept a daily log book on every team’s transactions all winter. And even I couldn’t correctly identify the Pirates’ entire prospective Opening Day lineup this week. So there’s no telling how much money you could win if you walked into any tavern not located in the 412 area code and challenged your buddies to do it — even if you gave them Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez free of charge. It’s not a good sign when more Americans can name the lineup of the 1979 Pirates than the 2011 Pirates. But I’m betting that if I commissioned a Gallup poll, that’s exactly how it would turn out.”
Stark also took a jag at the Pirates, once again, mentioning the Bucs will pay Ross Ohlendorf $2.025 million for going 1-11.
Lastings Milledge signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. He also receives an invite to spring training.
Milledge, who turns 26 on April 5th, hit .277 with four home runs, 34 RBIs and five stolen bases in 113 games with the Pirates.
The White Sox will be his fourth major league team (Milledge made his debut with the New York Mets in 2006).
MLB’s beat reporter Scott Merkin thinks Milledge has a shot at making the big league roster. He tweeted the news on Thursday afternoon: Lastings Milledge also was signed to Minor League deal, with a ST invite. Would not be surprised if Milledge earns final reserve OF job
Right-hander Kris Benson has announced his retirement.
The 36-year-old, and former #1 selection by the Pirates in the 1996 draft, decides to leave the game after nine big league seasons.
“I’m done,” Benson told the FOXSports.com via phone from his home near Atlanta. “I decided pretty much after this past season that I wasn’t going to pursue anything. I’ve been putting way too much into it and not getting enough out of it, as far as the rehab, working out, training, and then not getting the type of results I expect from myself.”
“I wanted to make this decision now, rather than go into another season on another Minor League deal. I didn’t want to go through the head games of, ‘Am I going to make the team?’ I don’t mind the pressure. I just don’t want to fall into another situation like I had the last couple years, where I busted my tail getting back and then got hurt again shortly after I made the team.”
“This is a chance for me to be at home with my kids and enjoy the family life, which I’m not used to,” Benson told FOXSports.com. “It’s something a lot of guys welcome once their career is over.”
Benson spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1999-04). He also played with the New York Mets (2004-05), Baltimore Orioles (2006-07), Texas Rangers (2009) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2010).
Benson’s best year came in 2000, when he posted career high’s in strikeouts (184), innings pitched (217.2) and games pitched (32). Benson finished with a 3.85 ERA that year –his best over his nine major league seasons. He also broke the record for most strikeouts in Pirates history for a right handed pitcher.
Injury plagued seasons, shoulder and elbow injuries have prevented him from continuing his career. Benson had a 70-75 record with a 4.42 ERA in 206 games (200 starts).
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports: Free agent [pitcher] Jeff Francis still drawing interest from 7 clubs — Nationals, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Rockies and both NY teams.
Francis, who will turn 30 on January 8th, went 4-6 with a 5.00 ERA for the Colorado Rockies during the 2010 season. Through 104.1 innings, he walked 23 and struck out 67. Francis missed the entire 2009 season recovering from a shoulder injury.
The Pirates are still looking to add starting pitching depth. The projected starters for this season are: Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Correia and James McDonald with the fifth spot still open. Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen and Brad Lincoln are among the starters who will compete as the fifth starter at spring training.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports: Also Clint Hurdle’s familiarity w Francis’ injury history huge benefit when a guy is trying to rebound with a new team.
Jeff Francis is a pro, great teammate. If healthy, will help someone. If were me, I’d go to pitcher’s park. Give him some margin for error.
According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Pirates have re-signed Tyler Yates to a minor league contract.
Yates missed the entire 2010 season and most of the 2009 season due to his second Tommy John Surgery.
Yates, 33, pitched in just 15 games for the Bucs in the 2009 season, going 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA. He allowed 14 hits, 12 runs (10 earned) through 12 innings. He last pitched for the Pirates on May 15th, 2009.
Drafted in the 23rd round of the 1998 draft by the Oakland Athletics, Yates was acquired from the Braves in May of 2008 for minor league pitcher Todd Redmond.
Yates, in five major league seasons, has a career 5.12 ERA.
D.J. Carrasco signed a two-year deal with the New York Mets on Tuesday.
The Arizona Diamondbacks non-tendered Carrasco last week. Combined with the Pirates and Dbacks, he went 3-2 with a 3.62 ERA through 78.1 innings.
After all the huge contracts that have surfaced over the past few days, General Manager Neal Huntington discusses why the Pirates will not overpay for free-agents.
“It’s not a sound business practice,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “(Overpaying) doesn’t make sense for us. We’re looking to get players here who are excited about their opportunity, about what we’re trying to accomplish and who will make us better for the right reasons.”
“Any team that hasn’t had recent success is going to have to overpay for guys like (Jayson) Werth and (Carl) Crawford — and in some cases, grossly overpay,” former New York Mets GM Jim Duquette said. “That’s the unfortunate thing for Pittsburgh. Championship-caliber players want to win now. They don’t want to have to wait. If you ask them to wait, you’re going to have to pay for that.”
While the Pirates will sign upgrades to compliment the young core of Bucs, the main focus will be on second-tier players rather than big name players. But with young players like Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, James McDonald and several others currently at the majors and many more talented prospects not far from debuting, the Bucs have a bright future ahead.
Ex-Bucco, Andy Van Slyke interviewed with the New York Mets on Monday. He is the first of four candidates for the open hitting coach position.
Van Slyke does not have previous hitting coach experience. He was the first base coach for the Detroit Tigers from 2006-09.
“I know Andy as a player,” New Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “I knew him as a coach when he was with the Tigers. I know he’s a real, real bright guy and played the game right, studied the game. So I wanted to talk to him about this job. He’s one of those guys, he’s been doing it his whole life. And even in Detroit, and even in Pittsburgh when we played, guys shared ideas and shared thoughts. And I know of a lot of players in Detroit went to Andy. Major league players, they want all the input they can get. When you have a guy that’s as good as Andy Van Slyke, and you want to hear what he had to do, what he did as a hitter and just to gain some more knowledge.”
Monday kicks off the first day of the Winter Meetings held at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Pirates have several gaps to fill for the 2011 season: a starting pitcher (or two), a first baseman/right fielder, shortstop and bullpen help for Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan.
The young Bucs can be penciled in for next season: Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, and James McDonald.
“We feel it’s important to provide this young group of players weapons that will help them experience success in 2011,” President Frank Coonelly said. “More help is coming quickly through the much improved minor league system, but there are needs that we’re trying to address now to enable us to win in 2011. If we can address these needs without giving up prospects who we believe will be a part of our long-term success and without impeding our ability to lock up the young players who we are developing to long-term agreements, we need to do that.”
“We are targeting players on the market who will address these needs without jeopardizing our longer-term goals,” Coonelly said. “We have the financial resources available to address these needs, and we are looking forward to adding more talent to the improving young talent that has joined the roster over the past two years.”
The Pirates reportably were interested in Jorge De La Rosa (who re-signed with the Rockies) and first baseman Lance Berkman (who signed with the Cardinals). But there are many other players the Bucs could peruse: first baseman Derek Lee and Carlos Pena, right fielders Jeff Francouer, Jack Cust and Matt Diaz, shortstops J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett.
Steve Pearce and Lastings Milledge (who was non-tendered) could also be filled from within the organization to play first base/right field.
We are comfortable with Steve Pearce filling a role on the major league club,” General Manager Neal Huntington said. “We continue to be open to Lastings Milledge returning, too, but we are also exploring other potential fits.”
Starting pitching is the most important for the Pirates to fill. Scott Olsen is rumored to be in serious talks with the Pirates. Other options include: Brandon Webb (reports that the talks have gone cold with the cy-young award winner), Justin Duchscherer and Jeff Francis.
Thursday marks the Rule 5 draft and the Pirates have the first pick. Starter Aneury Rodriguez is the favorite, The right-hander went 6-5 with a 3.80 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 113.2 innings in Triple-A (Tampa Bay Ray’s organization).
The 40-man roster currently has four spots open.