Results tagged ‘ prospect ’
The Pittsburgh Pirates will face the Chicago Cubs at 2:20 PM/ET today at Wrigley field for the final game of the series. The teams have split the first two games.
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will start for the Bucs against Right-hander Matt Garza, who is making his Cubs debut.
Ohlendorf did not pitch longer than 4.2 innings in a start this spring. He told Evan Drellich of MLB.com, “I feel really good with where I am right now. Pitching coach Ray Searage] and I worked on some things the last week or so that I think are really going to help. Also, my arm feels good, and that’s very important at this point.”
- If the Pirates win today, it would be their first road series win July 27-29 (Colorado) of 2010. The Bucs only won four road series last season (17 games overall).
- Following today’s game, the team will travel to St. Louis, where they open up a three-game series against the Cardinals.
- The Pirates Double-A team, Altoona Curve, announced it’s opening day roster.
The starting rotation is as follows: left-handers Jeff Locke and Aaron Thompson and right-handers Bryan Morris, Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes.
Farm director Kyle Stark told Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror, “I expect that staff to not be there long. Some of those guys have had success in that league and have a couple things they need to do, and if they do that, then we’re gonna look to challenge those guys [in Triple-A].”
Tim Alderson, a first round draft pick in 2009, will start the season in the bullpen.
Some notable position players include: Catcher Tony Sanchez (Pirates No. 2 prospect), Shelby Ford, Starling Marte, Brock Holt and Quincy Latimore.
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Matt Diaz RF, Jason Jaramillo C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Ross Ohlendorf RHPUpdate: McCutchen said he had little soreness in his neck from dive yesterday on ball hit in outfield.
*Manager Clint Hurdle says lineup is not up yet because they are waiting on health status of Andrew McCutchen who has “upper body” injury, according to Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette.
Starlin Castro SS, Darwin Barney 2B, Marlon Byrd CF, Aramis Ramirez 3B, Carlos Peña 1B, Geovany Soto C, Alfonso Soriano LF, Tyler Colvin RF, Matt Garza RHP
*Photo credit: @MikeShaeffer
Rudy Owens may have been cut from minor league camp on Saturday morning, but it won’t be much longer until Pirate fans see him pitching again –in Pittsburgh.
Owens, who won the organizations minor league pitcher of the year award in the past two seasons, will start the 2011 season in Triple-A Indianapolis.
“I think if we can get a couple things down with Rudy — and Rudy has shown an ability to do that relatively quickly — then yes, I think that sometime this year, he could be ready,” said Kyle Stark, the Pirates’ director of player development.
“Sometime this year, I will be ready, yes,” Owens said. “I learned a lot from myself [these past two years], and I learned a lot from other hitters, by just observing the game while I’m pitching. I trust my mechanics and trust my stuff, and know that I know how to get people out.”
Owens was drafted in the 26th round by the Pirates in the 2006 draft. The 23-year-old lefty went 12-6 with a 2.46 ERA with Double-A Altoona last year. He struck out 132 batters in 150 innings, walking just 23.
Owens allowed three runs on six hits this spring through four innings (two games) and walked two.
“I’ve had a lot of fun out here,” Owens said. “I’ve learned a lot from the older guys. That’s what I came here to do — I came here to learn and make an impression on Clint while I’m here. Hopefully I’ll be playing for him soon, sometime this season. My main goal was to come here and learn how it goes and watch the other guys.”
Tony Sanchez was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Pirates minor league system this year (No. 1 position player) and was drafted in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2009 draft out of Boston College.
Sanchez played in just 59 games with the Bradenton Mauraders (where he was batting .314) during the 2010 season before suffering a season ending surgery. Sanchez was hit in the face by a pitch and required to have his jaw wired shut.
After batting just .206 with four home runs and nine RBI in 18 games in the Arizona Fall League, Sanchez is ready for the new season and to give the Pirate faithful something to smile about again.
On who Sanchez has been learning the most from this spring training: “I wouldn’t say there is one guy I’ve learned a lot from, there’s a catching core. As a group, I’ve learned to pick things from their brains. With catching next to guys like [Chris] Snyder, [Ryan] Doumit, [Jason] Jaramillo who have big league experience and a lot of time up there. Anything you can learn from them is going to be beneficial towards my development. A lot of things they do I try and mimic, try and do thing the way they do it. Whether it be how they block or throw to the bases, even the way they carry themselves in the locker room. The opportunity to have [Manny] Sanguillen here is a wonderful opportunity as well. That guy caught, for who knows how many years in the big leagues, and he knows his stuff. Anytime he’s out there with us doing early work we’re listening and we are taking it all in.”
On if he feels added pressure from being ranked so high by Baseball America (46th overall): “The thing about pressure is the more you think about it, the more it’s going to weigh in on you. I learned how to deal with pressure after I got drafted. Of course a lot of expectations are going to be put on you but the way you deal with them carries out on the field. If you’re worried about what people think you’re going to do every game, you’re not going to succeed more than you fail. Not everyone is going to like me. I try not to worry too much about what other people think or what I’m being ranked, as far as Baseball America, or all the websites. The less I think about it, the better I play.”
On if his defense is something he prides himself on: “Oh yeah, definitely. Ever since I could remember I’ve always worked on my defense a lot more than my hitting. My defense is something that got me to Boston College and allowed me to succeed there and got me drafted. It’s something I pride very much. We put a lot of work into our defense. We put a lot of hours into it. It’s something that, when I’m done playing baseball, I want to be remembered by, as one of the greats behind the plate.”
I brought up the fact that Sanchez only threw out 15 percent of base stealers last season. He said it’s a number that “eats at me a lot” but something he has been working on a lot this spring: “When you go from catching in college and throwing everybody out to your first humbling experience of not throwing everybody out you’re kind of in shock. You kind of say, ‘Am I not as good as I was in College?’ The more you think about that, the more that it’s going to weight in on you. It was a learning experience. I learned not to do too much when guys are stealing. I can only control what I can control. And that’s putting the ball on the bag as quick as I can and not trying to be quicker than I can be.”
On if he trained differently this offseason because of injury: “When I had the broken jaw, I couldn’t really do much because I couldn’t really breathe or take in as much oxygen as I needed to. Obviously, loosing a lot of weight. I was weak and not as strong as I should have been. That’s what happens when you don’t eat anything solid for a month. I felt really good in Arizona as far as health wise. I really didn’t change anything in the offseason as far as strength training. I did the same thing as I did last year. I really watched what I ate.”
During the jaw surgery, Sanchez had to blend a lot of his foods. I asked him if there was a certain food he couldn’t fathom eating again: “Chef Boyardee. I will not be buying that from the grocery store anytime soon. I did have a soup the other night at dinner (French Onion soup) and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was the first one I’ve eaten since my month of only soups. I definitely won’t be eating chef Boyardee, probably for a long time.”
On what activities he likes to do in downtime during spring training: “I have family about 25 minutes away that live on the water and have a boat. Anytime I have time to get up there we always go fishing. My cousin is a big hunting and fisherman guy. He got me into hunting last offseason. Anytime I have a weekend, which is extremely rare. In the offseason I did a lot of hunting and fishing. During spring training, I do have golf clubs but I’m not very good yet. I want to practice and get better because that’s what the guys do here. Everyone goes golfing. It’s a lot of fun and a good relaxation period to get out there and take your mind off baseball and drive some golf balls.”
Goals for the 2011 season: “I just want to go out there and lead the team like I did in college. Control the pitching staff and have them have their trust in me and know that I’m back there working harder for them then I am for myself at the plate. I don’t really set goals as to where I want to be what month, or if I want to move up during the All-Star break. Of course I want to hit. I want to hit more than I don’t. I just want to work and make sure my body’s in shape to catch a full season because I really haven’t played a full season yet. I don’t know what it’s like to play from April to August and that’s something I need to learn and I need to experience before I can start thinking of where I want to be at what point.”
I asked Tony prior to the game if he knew the reason why Manager Clint Hurdle hadn’t used him to play in a grapefruit league game yet: “In the beginning meetings he said that I was one of the guys he’d use more for the atmosphere. It’s fine with me. I have a lot of fun here. I’m getting as much work in as I can and learning from the guys, getting as much swings and defensive work as anybody else. There’s eight of us [catchers] here. Those guys obviously have a better shot of making the team or contributing to the big league team than I do right now at this point. My feeling are is that it’s just not my time to get any time in the games. Maybe next year.”
During the sixth inning, Sanchez pinch hit for Matt Diaz and stayed in the remainder of the game to DH. He hit a double down the third baseline during his first at-bat. In the seventh, he struck out looking with the bases loaded. He later said on twitter: Struck out lookin with the bases drunk, in a 2 run ball game. Guess it too early in the season to recognize full count sliders #swingthebat
I’d really like to think I had something to do with that. Good luck? Doubtful. Weird timing though.
*Special thanks to Tony Sanchez for the interview.
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.
In this weeks Pirates inbox, beat reporter Jenifer Langosch is asked about the future of catcher Tony Sanchez (You can read the entire chat transcript here).
Where do you think Tony Sanchez will start next year? Do you think he has a chance to begin in Indianapolis?
I’d anticipate Sanchez starting the year with Double-A Altoona. Had Sanchez not missed significant time with a jaw injury last year, he could have been in position to begin the year in Triple-A. But as it was, Sanchez never got to Altoona last year as anticipated.
Though Sanchez won’t begin the year in Indianapolis, don’t rule out the former first-round pick being promoted there midseason. The Pirates saw Sanchez as a candidate to move through the Minor League system fairly quickly, and that could still be the case.
That said, Sanchez has some areas needing improvement before we begin talking about him being close to Pittsburgh. He must continue to improve on his game calling, and he can get better with his catch-and-throw and receiving ability.
Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez was interviewed on milb.com and asked ten questions where he discussed topics like; the pressure of being a highly regarded prospect, Lebron James and what he bought with his signing bonus. You can read the entire chat here.
MiLB.com:What was your first day like with the Spikes as a Minor Leaguer?
Sanchez: Nerve-racking. It was surprisingly nerve-racking. We were in Williamsport playing the [Crosscutters], and there were 2,000 people in the stands, and that’s just as many as a Boston College game. It was my first coach, and he threw me behind the dish the last few innings, and I was like, ‘Oh, God, what if I come in and mess this game up?I was kinda nervous. We were tied, and in my second at-bat — man on second, two outs, tie game — I got a base hit and scored the go-ahead run, so that was pretty good. Even though it was [Class A Short Season], I was still pretty pumped.
MiLB.com: You’re arguably the Pirates’ top prospect at this point. Do you ever feel that pressure, that sense that there are a ton of fans out there waiting and watching you?
Sanchez: Pressure — the more you think about it, the more it’ll build up. Everything comes with hard work and that’s the reason why some might say I am the top prospect, and others might say someone else is the top prospect. But as long as you have the right mindset, everything will fall into place. But I try not to think about it; it’s a wonderful title to have, especially with the guys who are in our system. But you take it for what it is
MiLB.com: You got hit in the head twice pretty badly this year, and I’m sure people have asked you about that a million times — concussion-like symptoms the first time and a fractured jaw, which was wired shut, the second time. Let me first ask: you reportedly threw Chef Boyardee and Campbell’s Chunky Soup into a blender to eat during that time. How’d it taste?
Sanchez: I’m going to go out on the limb saying that breaking your jaw is in the top three worst injures in sports, because for a month straight, when you have to throw Chef Boyardee into a blender for both lunch and dinner, everyday, for a month, you’ll realize how bad that injury is. It was so bad, I was so depressed at times. I would watch my roommate, Brock Holteeat whatever he wanted, and I would have to carry it to him because he was on crutches. It was not something I would wish on my worst enemy. I went from macaroni and cheese to spaghetti and meatballs to ravioli, mini ravioli, Beefaroni, rigatoni…