Results tagged ‘ royals ’
The Pirates traded Infielder Josh Fields to the Colorado Rockies on Monday for cash, or a player to be named later.
Fields was reassigned to minor league camp last Friday. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Pirates had told him they would help him try to find an opportunity elsewhere if he wanted.
Fields signed a minor league contract with the Pirates this offseason. Fields missed most of the 2010 season, recovering from hip surgery that he had in April. He played in 13 games (with the Kansas City Royals), post surgery, where he went 15-for-49 (.306 avg) with three homers and six RBIs.
This spring, Fields batted .172 with one double, two RBI and struck out 11 times in 29 at-bats.
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle
The Pirates lost their final Grapefruit League game of the Spring on Monday against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., 4-3.
Anthony Claggett, who was in from minor league camp, came in to close the game in the 9th inning. After allowing a lead off walk, Brian Roberts hit a triple, scoring the tying run. Clagget gave up a single off his foot and Roberts scored the game winning run.
The Pirates drop to 11-20 this spring.
Jeff Karstens started for the Pirates and he allowed just one run (none earned) on five hits with one walk and one strikeout over 4.2 innings. His ERA this spring is 1.54. Karstens was scheduled to throw about 50 pitches. The Pirates wanted him stretched on in case James McDonald is not healthy enough to start April 5th in St. Louis.
The Pirates played small ball in the first inning. Jose Tabata lead off with a double off of Lefty Francisco Lorianio. Neil Walker hit a sac bunt, advancing Tabata to third base and Andrew McCutchen hit a sac fly to take a 1-0 lead.
Lorianio allowed the Bucs to score two more runs in the 4th inning. A lead off double by Neil Walker followed by First baseman Steve Pearce, who hit a double, scoring Walker. Matt Diaz hit a bloop single into right field to score Pearce.
In the fifth inning, Denard Span advanced to second base on a bad throw by shortstop Ronny Cedeno. Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit a RBI single cutting the lead to 3-1.
Mike Crotta, who is fighting for one of the final spots in the bullpen, allowed Brandon Roberts to double home Brian Dozier, who walked in his previous at-bat.
Claggett allowed Roberts to triple in the game tying run after a lead off walk. Lehmann hit the go-ahead run off of Clagget’s foot to win the game, 4-3.
- In the bottom of the first inning, Denard Span laid down a perfect bunt but catcher Jason Jaramillo made an unbelievable throw to get Span at first base.
- If you watched the MLB Network broadcast, Former Bucco closer Matt Capps was interviewed by the Twins Broadcasters. When asked about his former club, and if he talked to a lot of the team still, he said: “A lot of the players. Most of Clint Hurdle’s staff are guys I had coming up through the minors. Ray Searage is a guy I give a lot of credit to turning my career around. In ’04 and ’05, essentially getting me to the big leagues. He’s the pitching coach now. Jeff Banister’s over there. He was the field coordinator when I was there. [Euclides] Rojas, the bullpen coach there was the pitching coordinator when I was there. He helped me out quite a bit. A lot of good friends. People over there in that uniform [are] good people.”
- Giger Counters of the Altoona Mirror reports that Pirates minor leaguer Jim Negyrch says he wants to play in Triple-A or he wants the Bucs to release him so he can find a job elsewhere.
Negyrch, 26, was playing for the Double-A team on Monday.
Negyrch told Counters of the Altoona Mirror, “Obviously I feel like I’ve done enough in Double-A, so if I’m not in Indianapolis then, I’ve gotten permission then hopefully I’ll be able to get my release and hopefully play someplace else.”
You can read more of the story and interview with Negyrch here.
- Right-hander Nathan Adcock, who the Royals took from the Pirates in the Rule-5 draft, has made the big league club. Adcock has not pitched above High-A in his career but Kansas City believes he is ready to throw at the big league level.
Adcock must stay with the Royals for the entire season or else they will have to offer him back to the Pirates for half of what they payed ($25,000).
- Following the game today, the Pirates will fly to Philadelphia. The Bucs will play two exhibition games against the Phillies on Tuesday (7:05 PM) and Wednesday. Ross Ohlendorf will face Roy Oswalt on the 29th, Charlie Morton will face Cole Hamels on the 30th.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette wrote a great feature on the Pirates Top three prospects: Right-handers Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie and Catcher Tony Sanchez. Read it here.
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.
As I pointed out on Wednesday, ESPN’s Keith Law ranked the Pirates system No. 21 out of the 30 major league clubs.
On Thursday, Law delivered his Top 100 list, and two Buccos made the list.
Pitcher Jameson Taillon was named No. 30, and catcher Tony Sanchez was named No. 63.
Law mentions Taillon’s tendency to overthrow and the need for a changeup as the critiques in his write-up.
“[Sanchez has] above-average raw power and would have a chance to hit for average at the same time, making him a fringe All-Star at that position. He’s an extremely hard worker who ended up at Boston College without a scholarship but improved his body to the point where he not only made the team, but became its best player. I wouldn’t bet against him at this point.”-Keith Law on ESPN Insider Top 100 Prospects
Law’s Top 10 in the Pirates minor league system:
1) Jameson Taillon, RHP (30)
2) Tony Sanchez, C (63)
3) Luis Heredia, RHP
4) Stetson Allie, RHP
5) Rudy Owens, LHP
6) Jeff Locke, LHP
7) Justin Wilson, LHP
8) Bryan Morris, RHP
9) Starling Marte, OF
10) Zach Von Rosenberg, RHP
Law on the Pirates minor league system: “This system consists of a few high-end prospects, including three teenage power arms, followed by a dropoff. The big investment in prep arms in 2009 hasn’t yielded any major prospects yet, although it’s early.”
Law’s thoughts on Luis Heredia, who just missed the list: “will sit in the low 90s (mph) already with a good feel for the fastball. He’s very well-developed physically for a 16-year-old, with a big frame and the potential to get heavy, which is more of a long-term concern.”
- The Tampa Bay Rays have eight players in the top 100. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals each have six. The Houston Astros have only one player and The Milwaukee Brewers have zero, zilch (YIKES!). Every other team has at least two in the top 100.
- It’s still undetermined where pitcher Tim Alderson will start the 2011 season. He will have to prove to Pirates Farm Director Kyle Stark during minor league spring training that he is ready for another shot at double-a.
“I have no idea where I’m going to start the season,” Alderson said. “Probably, I’ll go back to Altoona, but I’m not really looking to where I’m going to be. It’s about how I’m going to react and be able to pitch. If I can pitch (well), no matter where I’m at, I’ll have a good shot of getting back to where I used to be.”
Here, he tells the story of how it felt to be demoted to High-A in 2010.
- The Kansas City Royals have signed left-hander Jeff Francis to a one-year deal.
Francis, who has spent seven seasons with the Rockies, has a 55-50 record with a 4.77 ERA in 150 games.
The Pirates were reported to be interested Francis. Clint Hurdle managed Francis for five years when he was manager in Colorado.
- Former Pirates pitcher Ian Snell signed a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
- Jose Tabata did not make MLB Network’s “Top 10 left fielders -right now” list that aired on Thursday night. He did, however, receive a mention to those players to just miss.
- The Pirates are rumored to be interested in free agent veteran starter Carl Pavano. It is reported that he is seeking a three year/$30 million contract. The twins, Nationals and Royals are the other teams interested in the right-hander.
- The Pirates are still interested in signing a starter and several relievers which include a pair of left-handers.
Rob Biertempfel of the Trib points out that left-hander Brian Fuentes is still on the market. Although, he prefers to close games (the Pirates have not yet appointed Evan Meek and/or Joel Hanrahan for the job).
- General Manager Neal Huntington flies out to Bradenton, FL. On Thursday night to begin preparations for the mini camp that starts on Monday. Manager Clint Hurdle and players will report on Sunday.
Those invited to the mini-camp include:
Pitchers – Michael Crotta, Joel Hanrahan, Kevin Hart, Jeff Karstens, Brad Lincoln, Jeff Locke, Daniel McCutchen, James McDonald, Kyle McPherson, Evan Meek, Bryan Morris, Charlie Morton, Daniel Moskos, Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Resop, Aaron Thompson, Tony Watson
Catchers – Jason Jaramillo
Infielders – Pedro Ciriaco, Lyle Overbay, Steve Pearce, Josh Rodriguez, Neil Walker
Outfielders – Matt Diaz, Gorkys Hernandez, Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, Jose Tabata
Non Roster invites – Dusty Brown, Brian Burres, Josh Fields, Fernando Nieve, Justin Thomas, Cesar Valdez, Corey Wimberly
Note: Neither Paul Maholm or Ryan Doumit are participating.
- The Indians designated outfielder/first baseman Jordan Brown for assignment on Thursday.
Sports time Ohio is reporting the Pirates could be interested. General Manager Neal Huntington is familiar with Brown (He spent 10 seasons with the Indians organization from 1998-2007).
Brown, 27, is a career .306 hitter with an .840 OPS hitter through six minor league seasons.
Through 83 games at Triple-A Columbus during the 2010 season, he hit .298 with 28 doubles, eight homers and 67 RBI.
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.
Incase you missed Hot Stove from Wednesday night, or perhaps you don’t get the channel, here is what the analysts from MLB Network had to say about the Pirates 2011 season (P.S. It’s not pretty).
Matt Yallof: “The Pirates. Every single year. It seems to get worse. 57 wins last year. That seems difficult to do.”
Bill Ripken: “You wonder what direction they’re heading in. Our friend Clint Hurdle is taking over this club. I think he’s going to bring an attitude and a positive mentality to this club. But for me, I look at the pitching staff. In all these years that they’ve finished down to the bottom of baseball, I’m wanting to know where that number one is. We mentioned [Steven] Strasburg when we talk about the Nationals. Now, he blew out his elbow and he got hurt. But when you draft, you draft a number one. You draft some cheddar. When I look at the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation, I’m kind of wondering, ‘where’s the heat’? I’m not saying heats everything because you can pitch to spots and you can locate. When everybody on your staff is throwing 91, 92, then you drop down below 90, throwing 86, 88. There’s not that one guy that actually wows me. [Charlie] Morton throws the hardest. When you’re looking at 93 topping out, I’m wanting to know, ‘where the heat is?’ If you didn’t draft it, and you go out and you pick out other guys that are kind of throwing the same, ‘where’s the heat?’ I want somebody in that rotation that’s going to make somebody swing and miss at a fastball and maybe get yourself out of a jam instead of giving up big innings.”
Pirates projected rotation (according to MLB Network)
James McDonald (4-6, 4.02 ERA in 2010)
Paul Maholm (9-15, 5.10 ERA in 2010)
Kevin Correia (10-10 5.40 ERA in 2010)
Scott Olsen (4-8, 5.56 ERA in 2010)
Ross Ohlendorf (1-11, 4.07 ERA in 2010)
Mitch Williams: “There has to be a guy on every staff that at some point in the game, can reach back and throw the ball 95, 96. If you’ve got two outs and the bases loaded, two strikes on a hitter, you have got to have that guy that can blow that hitter up. Pittsburgh does not have that guy. They have guys that throw hitting speed.”
Matt Yallof: “You know what, they’ve had their chances to draft guys of note and guys that do what you’re taking about but they’ve missed. They’ve had high draft picks over and over. That hurts. Look at the guys they’ve passed on. They’ve missed those type of guys.”
Pitchers drafted in first round by Pirates since 2002:
Drafted – Right hand pitcher Brad Lincoln
Missed on – Left hand pitcher Clayton Kershaw, right hand pitcher Tim Lincecum, Right hand pitcher Matt Scherzer
Drafted – Left hand pitcher Paul Maholm
Missed on – Left hand pitcher John Danks, Right hand pitcher Chad Billingsley
Drafted – right hand pitcher Brian Bullington
Missed on – Right hand pitcher Zach Greinke, left hand pitcher Cole Hamels
(*As a note: Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield were the General Managers during this time. Since Neal Huntington took over as GM in September of 2007, the drafting and minor league system has done a complete 180. Huntington really hasn’t gotten enough credit for what he has done so far and how much better the organization is heading.)
Harold Reynolds: “That’s the easy stuff they’ve missed on. Those are the number one picks. It’s the guys in the fifth round, six round, that your scouting is suggesting and going after. They’ve done a nice job with some players that have come up as of late (Williams: “position players”). But they’ve really missed it on the pitching.”
Ripken: “That term that comes into baseball now: Sign ability. Some of that might be their hands are tied a little bit but boy when you see that list and some of those players they’ve passed up on, wow! They’d look a lot different.”
Reynolds: “If you look back at the ‘we are family pirates’ they were international. They were: Puerto Rico, Dominican, they may not have had the funds back then but they went in those countries and developed players. I still think they had the market cornered. That’s when everybody wanted to be a pirate.”
Williams: “They won the World Series with the ugliest hats in the history of baseball.”
Yallof: “Last winning season: 1992. It’s really hard to believe.”
Notable Transactions (by MLB Network)
First baseman – Lyle Overbay
Outfielder – Matt Diaz
Right hand pitcher – Kevin Correia
Left hand pitcher – Scott Olsen
Left hand pitcher – Zach Duke
Right hand pitcher – Chan Ho Park
Outfielder – Lastings Milledge
The Pirates signed infielder Josh Fields to a minor league contract on Monday with an invite to spring training.
Fields, 28, was non-tendered by the Kansas city Royals in early December.
Fields missed most of the 2010 season, recovering from hip surgery that he had in April. He played in 13 games, post surgery, where he went 15-for-49 (.306 avg) with three homers and six RBIs.
He has appeared in the majors each of the past five seasons –his best came in 2007 where he played in 100 games and hit 23 home runs.
A former first round draft pick (18th overall) in the 2004 draft by the Chicago White Sox, Fields is a career .234 hitter.
Fields can play first, third and left field. He will compete for a spot on the Pirates roster as a utility player.
Matt Diaz is excited for the opportunity to be a part of something special and believes his roots make him a Pittsburgh kind of guy.
“I can’t wait to earn them as fans,” Diaz said. “They’ve been looking for something to cheer for in the summers. They’ve had plenty to cheer for in the winters. I’m ready to be a part of changing things around.”
Four teams were after Diaz, including the Bucs, but he said Clint Hurdle had a huge role in signing with the Pirates.
“The more I talked with Rangers players, they started singing [Pirates manager and former Rangers hitting coach] Clint Hurdle’s praises,” Diaz said. “Everyone was talking great about Clint.”
“Originally I viewed Pittsburgh as a place to go get at-bats and prove that I’m healthy,” Diaz said. “The more I talked to them, the more I realized that I could get at-bats and be a part of something really great. It was just a comfort thing, just a peace thing.”
The Pirates offered Diaz a one-year contract, but he asked for another year because he knew something good was going to happen in the Steel city.
“I said, ‘I would love to come in and help the young guys out as much as I can. But in 2012, I don’t want to be doing this all over again while you are having the time of your life,’” Diaz said. “We can have some fun in 2011 and really surprise some people with the plan they have in place. But I think 2012 can be special.”
Diaz, who at 32 is the oldest player on the roster, will take on a leadership role. He has played and learned from so many great players, he is happy to help the young bucs.
“I’ve been given so much in this game, and I was groomed by some pretty neat veterans in Kansas City and Tampa,” Diaz said. “If I can have some impact there to where I’m remembered after I’m gone, that will be a wonderful thing.
“The key for this young group is to take ownership of this team. It is going to be imperative for the older guys to really help and aid the young guys taking ownership of this team. They have to show that they’re willing to outwork other teams and leave it all on the field.”
Other News and Notes:
- Jose Tabata is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with a 1.165 OPS after his first six games of winter ball in Venezuela.
- Pirates prospect Jarek Cunningham, who was selected in the 18th round of the 2008 draft, will start the new year by blogging. Cunningham will give viewers an inside look at what life is like as a minor league player.
He made his debut for the Gulf Coast League batting .318 with 5 HR’s, and 22 RBI’s in 43 games. Last season, with West Virginia Power, he hit .258 with 12 HR’s and 49 RBI’s in 121 games.
For more information and where to catch his blog, click here.
- MLB’s minimum salary for 2011 will now be $414,000 per year.