Results tagged ‘ neal huntington ’
Left-hander Scott Olsen is scheduled to make his first appearance of the spring and as a Bucco on Monday against the Orioles.
Olsen has been sidelined due to a mild hamstring strain this spring. But despite being behind on schedule, the Pirates are still considering him for the fifth spot in the rotation.
With less than three weeks remaining until opening day, does Olsen even have time to be stretched out enough to start? If he were to pitch every fifth day (increasing his outings by an inning and 15 pitches) Olsen would have the strength to pitch about five innings (75 pitches).
General Manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It’s a challenge, but provided Scott continues to feel good, provided he continues to make strides, there is enough time. There’s not a lot of room for a setback or margin for error, but he has continued to progress as we go forward. If he’s not ready, that’s a decision we’ll make at the end of Spring Training — what happens at that point in time.”
Olsen has had an injury plagued career. Since 2007, he has been placed on the disabled list three times (twice 15-day, once 60-day) –most of the setbacks were from sore shoulder, inflammation and labrum surgery.
Olsen has made it known that he is not interested in a bullpen role. In early March, he told the Pittsburgh- Post Gazette, “They didn’t bring me in here to be a bullpen guy. They want to do that, we are going to have to have a conversation about it, and we haven’t had one about it.”
If he is unable to sufficiently build up his arm –and let’s not forget, both Charlie Morton and Brad Lincoln are having themselves great springs –Olsen will have no choice but to pitch from the ‘pen. He said on Sunday, “I don’t really have much of a choice,” Olsen said, when asked if he’d accept a relief role. “I’m open for whatever.”
- The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 today at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fl.
Ross Ohlendorf will be starting for the Bucs. He will also be making his Grapefruit League debut.
Tony Watson (two innings), Joel Hanrahan (1), Jose Veras (1), Mike Crotta (1) and Chris Leroux (1) will follow.
- The Twins will send left-hander Brian Duensing to the mound. Former Bucco Matt Capps is scheduled to make an appearance.
- Scott Olsen is scheduled to throw on Wednesday. Olsen made a few comments to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette on Tuesday that had several bloggers and fans mad.
General Manager Neal Huntington said on Sunday that if Olsen (or any of the other pitchers) do not make the 5th starter role, they would be moved to the bullpen –something apparently he believes he is too good for.
“He hasn’t told me that, I don’t know anything about the bullpen, I’m a starter,” Olsen told the Post-Gazette Tuesday.”
They didn’t bring me in here to be a bullpen guy,” Olsen said. “They want to do that, we are going to have to have a conversation about it, and we haven’t had one about it.”
Huntington addressed Olsen’s comments on Tuesday saying, “During our recruitment of Scott, it was our clear belief and his clear belief that he would be given every opportunity to compete for the fifth starter spot. We feel like, not just with him, but for some other pitchers, if they don’t win that spot, the next logical step could be a bullpen role.”
Olsen has a very bad past. Read this post by Rumbunter.
- Joe Beimel had an MRI on Tuesday but the results have not been made available. Beimel was shutdown on Tuesday after suffering tightness in his forearm after a 10 pitch session.
- Today is Pirates Jim Negrych‘s 26th birthday.
- Charlie Morton will pitch the first three innings Thursday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Brad Lincoln will pitch two innings, followed by Tyler Yates (one), Jeff Locke (one or two) and Jose Valdez (one).
Revere CF, Plouffe SS, Kubel DH, Valencia 3B, Hughes 2B, Bailey 1B, Dinkelman LF, Holm C, Repko RF
Pitchers: Duensing, Capps, Neshek, Dumatrait, Manship, Hughes
Tabata LF, Wimberly SS, A. McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Walker 2B, Overbay 1B, Pearce DH, Doumit C, Lambo RF
Pitchers: Tony Watson, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux.
The Pirates shutout the New York Yankees on Tuesday afternoon in front of 5,729 fans at McKechnie Field.
No, Derek Jeter nor Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira or Robinson Cano were in the lineup, but the Pirates didn’t send out many of their starters either.
James McDonald started for the Pirates and boy did he look sharp. He allowed just two hits over two innings –and one of those hits was because of a badly misjudged ball by Alex Presley.
“I felt good,” McDonald said afterward. “The goal today was to get ahead, throw strikes and really be efficient. Today was a success.”
“Actually, I feel like I’m a little ahead right now [compared to years' past]. I was surprised how well I could go side-to-side over the plate. I am pretty happy with myself with the way I’m going.”
The entire pitching staff pitched well against the Yankees, holding them to just four hits.
Daniel McCutchen redeemed himself after a bad last outing. He struck out two through two innings and picked up the win.
“I really like the way that he responded from his last outing,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He went and filled the plate up with strikes, got after people. He’ll feel a lot better about himself tonight and that’s always good for all our guys. I like what I saw out of him today. He’s one of the guys that we’re expecting to see take a step forward and compete this spring.”
The Bucs put one run on the board in the sixth inning when Chris Snyder singled and pinch-runner Jeremy Farrell scored off of Pedro Ciriaco’s double off the outfield wall.
The Pirates scored again in the seventh after Garrett Jones walked, Steve Pearce doubled and Josh Fields hit a sac fly to center.
Click here for the box score.
- The Pirates have been working on being more aggressive on the bases this year at spring training. During Tuesday’s game, it didn’t go so well.
Alex Presley was caught stealing in the fourth inning. John Bowker was thrown out at second base after trying to stretch a single into a double. Ciriaco and Snyder were a part of a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play –a hit and run gone bad.
- Steve Pearce had a nice out of bounds catch reaching over the Pirates dugout in the eighth inning.
- Both the Pirates General Manager (Neal Huntington) and Yankees General Manager (Brian Cashman) were sitting behind home plate at the game this afternoon.
- Jenifer Langosch, Pirates beat writer, reports:
The Pirates have added right-hander Cesar Lopez to their Minor League system after signing the 20-year-old as a non-drafted free agent out of Mexico. A native of Cuba, Lopez stands 6-foot-3. According to Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo, Lopez possesses an above-average sinker and a fastball that touches 94 mph.
Evan Meek’s side session went well on Tuesday afternoon and he didn’t experience any pain.
Meek should be able to resume action soon.
He’s fired up and he’s ready to get out there,” General Manager Neal Huntington said. “There is no sense not to be conservative at this point in camp. He’s itching and ready to go.”
Meek was sidelined last week with a strained right calf.
Joe Beimel threw his bullpen session on Tuesday, and it did go as well as expected. The Pirates have decided to shut Beimel down after he experienced discomfort in his left forearm after throwing about 10 pitches.
Beimel is expected to have a MRI at 4pm today.
“Things didn’t go great today,” Beimel said. “It’s definitely getting better. I would have liked to have thrown a little more today and I started to feel it so I shut it down. They just want to go and see if there is anything in there. Just talking to the doctors and things like that, they said it shouldn’t be a big deal and that it’s more muscular than anything else. Want to get the MRI to make sure.”
Beimel, who was signed to a minor league contract, was favored to be the late inning lefty reliever from the ‘pen. The Pirates other options of left-handed help would be: Scott Olsen (if healthy and doesn’t make the 5th spot in the rotation). Daniel Moskos and Tony Watson, both of them has no major league experience. Brian Burres and Justin Wilson are both lefty’s, but neither are on the 40-man roster.
“It’s something we’ll address when and if it happens,” Huntington said. “We’re optimistic that it’s going to be just a short shutdown and as a reliever that he can get back out there pretty quickly. He’s in tremendous shape. It’s not really something necessary to talk about right now.”
General Manager Neal Huntington’s contract ends after the 2011 season. President Frank Coonelly discussed the status of Huntington and if he would be around for years to come.
“He’s under contract for this season, and it’s our expectation that Neal will be here for a long time,” Coonelly said. “We’ll continue to evaluate it as we go forward.”
On his expectations for the season: “I expect to see us compete. We’re all about doing. As Clint said to the guys in there today, trying hard isn’t good enough. This is a doing league and it’s time for us to start doing.”
On if there is an expectation that the record improves: “I sure hope so. I think that we’re poised to make a significant improvement. We don’t want to put any limits on ourselves in terms of putting a number out there. We don’t want to be limited by a number or a thought on February 19. The expectations with the club better be championship expectations. Then we’ll see where we are at the end of the season. I’m confident we’re going to be far better than we’ve been the last several years.”
On his early observations of Camp Hurdle: “Lot of energy. Getting to know the guy. Good quality work. I’m very happy that most of the guys were in early getting work in. Good communication. Clint has the ability to let the players know that he cares about them. But he also expects things to be done right. The few times that I’ve been out here and things weren’t done right, we did it over again. And the players will also know when Clint is not pleased with the work ethic.”
The main topic at spring training still continues to be Pedro Alvarez’s offseason “weight gain”.
“I’m not sure what it is,” Alvarez said in a quiet, terse voice as he pulled on layers of workout clothes at his locker. “I haven’t weighed myself in the past few days. I don’t think it’s relevant right now.”
Although General Manager Neal Huntington has never confirmed an exact number (rumors range anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds) the issue remains, will the added weight effect his defense at third base?
“He’s got work to do defensively at third base, no question,” Huntington said. “But he’s shown us the physical tools to be an average third baseman, and that’s what we need him to be.”
“Pedro Alvarez is stronger than he’s ever been,” Huntington said. “We’re looking forward to a very productive season out of Pedro. He looks big. He looks strong and ready to do some damage with the bat.”
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Trib, the added weight gain may be affecting his swing as well. He reports:
During situational hitting drills today on Field 1, Alvarez was awful. There were swings and misses. There were balls hit toward the wrong spot at the wrong time. Alvarez’s body language in the cage was not happy — and neither was that of manager Clint Hurdle, who watched from a few feet away. At one point, after Alvarez fanned on a pitch, Hurdle grimaced and shook his head.
The good news is that it’s only five days into spring training. And there is still 41 days until opening day.
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.”
Evan Meek is already anxious for the new season to begin. Although, Monday kicks off the first official day of spring training, Meek wishes the season would get here much faster.
“It’s exciting to get things started again, but spring training is like a month-and-half long, too long. I’d be fine if it lasted a week,” Meek said Sunday after a workout at Pirate City, where pitchers and catchers officially open with new manager Clint Hurdle today. “Let’s get it started.”
Meek and Joel Hanrahan are coming off of great 2010 seasons. Evan was named the Pirates All-Star representative and went 5-4 with a 2.14 ERA and picked up four saves. Hanrahan 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA and six saves. He also struck out 100 batters in just 69.2 innings.
The closers role has not yet been announced and General Manager Neal Huntington had said there won’t be a spring training competition for the role. So just who will claim that ninth inning role?
“Joel and I would both like that role [as closer]. We’ve talked about it,” Meek said. “But either way would be fine with me, however it comes out. It’s really not important when you look at the overall picture.”
Meek arrived at spring training much slimmer than last year.
(Picture credit: Eric Gay/Associated Press)
Evan Meek jokes with teammates after being offered a Pirates cap to replace a camouflage-print cap he had been wearing at a voluntary spring training workout Sunday. -Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
Happy Pitchers and Catchers report day!
“For me, this is an exciting time,” Clint Hurdle said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of something significant and special here.”
- 41 pitchers and catchers, 15 are non-roster invitees, reported to Bradenton, FL. Jose Veras, Jose Ascanio and Cesar Valdez were having VISA issues and are expected to be at camp by Monday morning.
- Spring Training’s first official workout is scheduled to begin at noon ET and the first full-squad workout will be held on Saturday.
- There are 62 players attending spring training this year (Click here for the full list).
- *Note: Jeff Clement has been removed from the list of non-roster invitees. He is still recovering from surgery and therefore will be reporting to Minor League camp.
- Pirates beat reporter, Jenifer Langosch, reports that spring training will be much different this year, compared to years past.
Hurdle has promised changes to the Spring Training routine, so the workout days should look different than they did when John Russell was in charge. Hurdle specifically noted that there would be an increased focus on shoring up fundamentals and honing pitchers’ pickoff moves.
“We’re going to talk about playing better baseball,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We’re going to talk about taking care of business every single day. We’re going to talk about making sure that we’re prepared. We’re going to talk about making sure we’re in position to win that next game. If we do that every day, if we do that every series, if we do that every week, if we do that every month, we’re going to look up at the end and we’re going to have had a great year.”
Some of the pitchers get an early start to camp with a light workout at Pirate City (picture via @BucsInsider)