Results tagged ‘ mlb.com ’
- The Pirates travel to Dunedin today to face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05.
You can watch the game live for free on MLB.com here
- Injury updates:
Evan Meek is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Friday. Meek has been sidelined with a tight right calf.
Scott Olsen is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. Olsen has been sidelined with a left hamstring strain.
Joe Beimel will test his arm this am by throwing soft toss at 8:30 am. Beimel’s MRI showed no acute injury on his left forearm.
- Lyle Overbay will be facing his former team (Toronto Blue Jays) for the first time since the Pirates signed him this offseason. Overbay spent five seasons with the Jays.
- The Pirates have been focusing a lot this spring on pick off’s at first base and cutting down on runners stealing bases.
I’ve noticed that most of the pitchers have been throwing to first, trying to keep the runner close and unable to steal –something the Pirates were not so great at last season.
“We have all been working on that stuff a lot down here [at spring training],” Pirates right-handed reliever Chris Resop said of the shorter, quicker delivery to the plate when a runner is on base. “We have to give our catchers a chance. We don’t want to be known as a pitching staff you can run on. Nobody wants that.”
“I think if you look at it, it can get embarrassing,” said left-hander Paul Maholm, who cut down from 15 players stealing off him in 2009 to eight in ’10. “Everyone on the staff, it doesn’t matter if you are a righty or a lefty, you need to do what you can to stop it. You need to just realize that this is something that is important if we want to win ballgames.”
- Pirates President Frank Coonelly chatted with fans on Wednesday. You can read the entire chat transcript here.
If the injury to Joe Beimel is more than what it seems, and Scott Olsen is already not doing all baseball-related activities, are you comfortable with Daniel Moskos and whomever in the lefthanded reliever position?
Coonelly: “We do not believe the injury to Joe will keep him from competing this spring. Scott Olsen is performing baseball activities and has already thrown several bullpens. Scott seems to be well on his way to pitching in games, possibly as early as next week. Daniel Moskos and Tony Watson are two young exciting left hand arms who are in camp and competing for a spot in the bullpen. It’s early, but both have looked strong. Brian Burres is also a veteran lefthander who can pitch out of the pen if he is not in the starting rotation.”
Pitchers: Morton (two or three innings), Lincoln (two), Yates (one), Locke (one or two) and Valdez (one).
Lineup: McCutchen CF, Pearce 1B, Diaz LF, Alvarez DH, Jones RF, Atkins 3B, Cedeno SS, Friday 2B, Jaramillo C
Pitchers: Cecil (Three innings) Followed by Rauch, Villanueva, Richmond, Ray
Lineup: Davis CF, Thames LF, Bautista 3B, Lind DH, Rivera RF, Cooper 1B, Mcdonald SS, Budde C, Diaz 2B
- 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)
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.
On Monday, MLB.com Fantasy released the Top 100 fantasy players for the 2011 season. Andrew McCutchen (52) and Pedro Alvarez (79) made the list.
In Part one, here is the list of the Pirates starters and bench players projected stats for the new season.
- Chris Snyder (C ) Ranked: 451
2011 projections: 325 AB, .215 AVG, 35 R, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 0 SB, .318 OBP, .363 SLG, .681 OPS
Notes: What Snyder lacks for in batting average, he makes up for in power, smacking at least 13 homers in four of his last five seasons. He will likely supplant Ryan Doumit as Pittsburgh’s primary backstop this season.
- Lyle Overbay (1B) Ranked: 294
2011 projection: 510 AB, .269 AVG, 66 R, 17 HR, 74 RBI, 1 SB, .346 OBP, .437 SLG, .783 OPS
Notes: Overbay probably wont show much more power in Pittsburgh, but his average should come up a it and RBI opportunities will be plentiful hitting behind table-setters Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen.
- Neil Walker (2B) Ranked: 144
2011 projection: 570 AB, .284 AVG, 80 R, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 5 SB, .338 OBP, .449 SLG, 787 OPS
Notes: The 25-year-old appears entrenched in the third spot in the Pirates’ order in 2011, so a repeat of his ’10 performance could result in 90-plus RBI’s.
- Pedro Alvarez (3B) Ranked: 79
2011 projection: 559 AB, .263 AVG, 80 R, 28 HR, 89 RBI, 2 SB, .340 OBP, .481 SLG, .821 OPS
Notes: With his prodigious power, Alvarez is in Pittsburgh to stay, and the strikeouts won’t prevent him from putting up impressive numbers in his first full big league campaign.
- Ronny Cedeno (SS) Ranked: 425
2011 projection: 415 AB, .255 AVG, 40 R, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 9 SB, .295 OBP, .383 SLG, .678 OPS
Notes: The 28-year-old infielder has hit a combined .257 over the last two seasons and a lack of plate discipline (career 4.6 percent walk-rate) has prevented him from becoming a more complete hitter.
- Jose Tabata (LF) Ranked: 148
2011 projection: 560 AB, .288 AVG, 84 R, 6 HR, 57 RBI, 31 SB, .337 OBP, .396 SLG, .734 OPS
Notes: The 22-year-old doesn’t walk much and his power hasn’t materialized, but he should wind up around the National League leaders in steals with a full season of at-bats in 2011.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF) Ranked:52
2011 projection: 585 AB, .292 AVG, 103 R, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 37 SB, .371 OBP, .473 SLG, .845 OPS
Notes: A complete package of talent, 24-year-old has speed, power and a keen batting eye. Playing in Pittsburgh may reduce his name recognition, but McCutchen’s numbers will ensure plenty of National attention in the years to come.
- Matt Diaz (RF) Ranked: 501 / Garrett Jones (RF) Ranked: 399 —platoon
2011 Projections (Diaz): 240 AB, .288 AVG, 28 R, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 5 SB, .329 OBP, .471 SLG, .800 OPS
Notes: Diaz saw his numbers fall drastically across in the board in 2010, but he’s always shown the ability to torch southpaws (career .907 OPS vs. LHP). The 32-year-old will be asked to do just that in Pittsburgh, where he’ll see most of his time in a right-field platoon with Garrett Jones.
2011 projections (Jones): 370 AB, .259 AVG, 45 R, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 3 SB, .322 OBP, .435 SLG, .757 OPS
Notes: The late blooming 29-year-old should still rack up around 350 at-bats, but his overall production is due to take a major hit.
- Ryan Doumit (C/OF) Ranked: 467
2011 projections: 292 AB, .267 AVG, 36 R, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 2 SB, .318 OBP, .432 SLG, .750 OPS
Notes: Despite the ability to play three positions, Doumit may be the odd man out in Pittsburgh. Doumit a $5 million bench player and likely trade candidate.
- John Bowker (OF) Ranked: 556
2011 projections: 218 AB, .266 AVG, 23 R, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 1 SB, .331 OBP, .431 SLG, .762 OPS
Notes: A July trade to Pittsburgh gave Bowker another chance to establish himself a big league regular. The 27-year-old struggles to hit left-handers and the Pirates starting outfield appears set. Bowker has some power, and he could carve out a decent niche in a part-time role.
- Josh Fields (3B) Ranked: 526
2011 projections: 246 AB, .252 AVG, 26 R, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 2 SB, .313 OBP, .390 SLG, .704 OPS
Notes: Fields will attempt to get his career back on track in Pittsburgh after several injury-plagued seasons. He could stick with the big club if his health holds up and rediscover some value as a utility man.
- Josh Rodriguez (SS) Ranked: 787
2011 projections: 159 AB, .252 AVG, 13 R, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB, .328 OBP, .415 SLG, .743 OPS
Notes: Rodriguez has played three in field positions and even some outfield as a pro. That defensive flexibility –along with some offensive ability –could spell a pretty good career as a utility man, staring in ’11.
** MLB.com Fantasy also listed:
- Garrett Atkins (1B) Ranked: 722
2011 projections: 148 AB, .236 AVG, 9 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB, .302 OBP, .351 SLG, .654 OPS
- Steve Pearce (1B) Ranked: 820
2011 projections: 70 SB, .229 AVG, 10 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, .289 OBP, .329 SLG, .618 OPS
- Jeff Clement (1B) Ranked: 786
2011 projections: 92 AB, .239, 13 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB, .300 OBP, .391 SLG, .691 OPS
Jameson Taillon hasn’t made his debut yet –he will most likely start the 2011 season at low-A West Virginia– in fact, he is still several years away from the majors.
The hype that surrounds the Pirates first round (2nd overall) draft pick from 2010 continues to buzz as he was named the 18th best prospect on MLB.com’s top 50 list (The top 50 prospects were named live on MLB Network on Tuesday). Taillon was also named the sixth-best right-handed pitching prospect in baseball by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo (For a complete list, click here)
Taillon, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 225-pounds, was drafted out of The Woodlands High School in Texas this past June. He finished 8-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings.
MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo rated Jameson Taillon the sixth best right-handed pitching prospect (You can check out the entire top 10 list here).
6. Jameson Taillon, Pirates: High school pitchers like this don’t come around often. Taillon has size (he’s 6-foot-6), stuff (he can throw four pitches for strikes), command and makeup. Three of those pitches are plus at times, and the changeup isn’t far behind. He’s yet to make his pro debut, but he has the type of arm at his age that could move him fairly quickly through the Pittsburgh system.