Results tagged ‘ rookie ’
The Pirates will face the Chicago Cubs at 1:05 PM/ET for the second game of a three game opening weekend series. Left-hander Paul Maholm will start for the Bucs against Right-hander Carlos Zambrano.
- Maholm, who is the longest tenured pitcher on the staff, is considered to be a veteran in the clubhouse despite being just 28-years-old.
Maholm told Evan Drellich of MLB.com, “I’ve been around. I’ve been through everything. Most of the time, I’m just going to lead by example. You just try to show them how things should be done. … We have a bunch of young guys, and I feel like I fit in pretty good with them. It’s not like I’m ancient. It’s weird to know that me and [Ryan] Doumit have been around the longest. But I don’t think either one of us are old by any standard in baseball.”
Maholm went 3-1 with a 5.04 ERA against the Cubs last season and two of those wins came at Wrigley Field.
The Pirates were 10-5 against them last season and 5-4 in Chicago.
- Third Baseman Pedro Alvarez described the scene in the dugout after Neil Walker’s grand slam in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on opening day as “hectic.”
Alvarez told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “We’re a resilient bunch. We’re always going to play hard for nine. I think that’s the one message that we’re going to send across. That’s our type of baseball. Play hard for nine.”
- Neil Walker is batting .472 with 11 RBI and 10 extra base hits in 10 career games against the Cubs.
- Rookie Relief pitcher Mike Crotta made the team out of spring training and is soaking in his first major league opening day.
Crotta told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette his thoughts on opening day: “I just said to myself, ‘I made it, this is my dream.’ That isn’t something many people get to say or experience.”
Crotta is just one of eight players who experienced their first opening day in the big leagues. The others: Josh Rodriguez, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Steve Pearce, James McDonald and Garret Olson.
Pearce told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I have been fighting for this spot since ’08. Three years later, it’s going to mean the world to me. It’s everything I wanted.”
Jose Tabata (LF), Neil Walker (2B), Andrew McCutchen (CF), Lyle Overbay (1B), Pedro Alvarez (3B), Ryan Doumit (C), Garrett Jones (RF), Ronny Cedeno (SS), Paul Maholm (LHP)
Darwin Baker (2B), Starlin Castro (SS), Marlon Byrd (CF), Aramis Ramirez (3B), Geovany Soto (C ), Carlos Pena (1B) Alfonso Soriano (LF) Tyler Colvin (RF) Carlos Zambrano (RHP)
Pirates Neil Walker was named the 10th best second baseman right now by MLB Network on Thursday. Here is what the analysts had to say:
Hazel Mae: “Drafted by his hometown Bucs, Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates cracks our list [at number 10]. Quite a MLB debut for Walker. One in which he finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting by posting a .296 average, 12 home runs and 66 RBI’s in 110 total games. Walker also put together a 18 game hitting streak in late August. That .296 average was second amongst all National League second baseman with the minimum of 400 plate appearances. Harold, not sure anyone really expected Walker to be on our list. What do we know about this guy?”
Harold Reynolds: “That’s the funny thing. It is right now. If you look at what he did last year in the little bit of time he had up, he’s got an incredible skill set. That’s why he was the number one pick. He’s got nice range. He can go get a ball in the outfield. He’s a switch hitter. He’s not afraid to get rid of the ball, turn double plays. He seems to be learning how to play the game. He’s kind of lost in Pittsburgh right now. They’re building with a lot of young talent. Had he be in a bigger market, I think a lot of people would have been saying, ‘this Neil Walker kid can play a little bit.’”
Mitch Williams: “When you look at what he’s capable of doing. At the plate, he’s a switch hitter hitting for average. It’s not easy to break into the big leagues and hit for average, being a switch hitter. You’re going to be stronger one way or the other. In 110 games, this kid drove in 66 runs as a second baseman. This is where the game is changing. Back when you were a second baseman [referring to Reynolds], you were a get em’ over guy, a two hole hitter, advance runners, do the little things right and field your position.”
Reynolds: “The thing I like, 87 hits after the all-star break. That means, the second half when everyone started adjusting to him, he made great adjustments. I remember the injury he had on the west coast trip [referring to when Walker and Ryan Church collided during a play] and he was able to come back. This kid is going to put up numbers. He’s a nice player.”
The Pirates are making their mark amongst the best in the game right now. Andrew McCutchen was named the #1 Center Fielder. Pedro Alvarez (third base) and Jose Tabata (left field) did not make the top 10 but did receive honorable mentions.