Results tagged ‘ spring training ’
Brad Lincoln was reinstated from the disabled list on Monday and was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis where he will start in the rotation.
Lincoln was recovering from a right arm contusion he sustained from a line drive by Jimmy Rollins in spring training.
Lincoln made his first rehab start on Sunday for Indianapolis. He allowed two earned runs on two hits with no walks (but two hit batters) with two strikeouts over 4.2 innings. Lincoln threw 72 pitches, 42 for strikes.
Over 10.2 innings this spring, Lincoln allowed four runs on six hits, with four walks and five strike outs in four games (two starts).
*Photo credit: Yahoo! Sports
With the help of Charlie Morton’s solid start and Pedro Alvarez’s two-run homer, the Pirates defeated the Phillies 4-1 at Citizen Bank Park for the final game of the spring.
Morton allowed just one run (none earned) on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings on Wednesday. Morton’s spring ERA was just 2.62. Although, his great spring stats will be washed away by Friday for opening day, Morton’s confidence will follow him into the regular season.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “He’s pitched well all spring. He’s done a good job all spring. Today he was just efficient. The sinker’s there, the breaking ball was there, the change-up was there at times. But he’s kept the ball down as well as anybody. Pitched to contact as well as anybody. The thing I’m probably most impressed with Charlie is the fact that even though it’s spring, you add the walks and you add the hits and it’s still less than the innings that he’s pitched this spring, which gets your attention.”
Over 24 innings this spring, Morton allowed just 15 hits with six walks.
The Phillies threatened in the 1st inning, with two on and just one out but Morton successfully got out of trouble with a strikeout to Ryan Howard and a fly out to Raul Ibanez.
First baseman Lyle Overbay hit his fourth double of the spring in the 2nd inning. Pedro Alvarez crushed a 89 mph fastball from Cole Hamels to take a 2-0 lead.
Ben Francisco reached second on a two base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez. He then scored on a ground out by Wilson Valdez to cut the lead to 2-1.
Steve Pearce doubled and scored the third run for the Pirates as he was knocked in by minor leaguer Jordy Mercer in the 6th.
The Pirates tacked the fourth and final run in the 9th after outfielder John Bowker hit a sac fly to score Josh Rodriguez.
- The Pirates out hit the Phillies 12-2.
- Steve Pearce hit his sixth double of the spring in the 6th inning.
- The Pirates will kick off the 2011 season by facing the Chicago Cubs for a three game series at Wrigley field, starting on Friday, April 1st at 2:20 ET.
Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against Ryan Dempster.
The Pirates will face the Philadelphia Phillies at 4:05 today. You can listen to the game on the Pirates baseball network (104.7).
Charlie Morton will start for the Bucs against Cole Hamels in the final game of the spring before Opening Day kicks off for the Pirates on April 1st.
- The Pirates optioned right-hander Chris Leroux to Triple-A Indianapolis earlier today (read more here).
- Minor league infielder Jim Negyrch, who publicly asked to be traded if he was not going to start the season with AAA, was traded to the Florida Marlins on Wednesday for catcher Carlos Paulino.
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Overbay 1B, Diaz RF, Alvarez 3B, Jaramillo C Cedeno SS, Morton RHP
Pitchers: Morton, Crotta, Resop, Hanrahan, Hughes
Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Hamels P
Pitchers: Hamels, Contreras, Blanton, Kendrick, Perez, Bastardo
The Pirates optioned Right-hand pitcher Chris Leroux to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Leroux allowed five runs on 13 hits over 10.2 innings with three walks and five strikeouts this spring.
Pitching coach Ray Searage told Mike Radano of MLB.com, “He has a nasty fastball that hits 95. [Leroux] is young and has great stuff. All he needs to work on is his consistency, and then he can really help us.”
The Pirates still have to make a few DL assignments official, and Veteran Jose Veras needs to be added to the 40-man roster, but the roster appears complete.
Here is what the roster will look like for opening day 2011:
Starters: RHP Kevin Correia, LHP Paul Maholm, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Charlie Morton, RHP James McDonald
Relievers: RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Evan Meek, RHP Chris Resop, RHP Jeff Karstens, RHP Jose Veras, LHP Garrett Olson, RHP Mike Crotta
Catchers: Ryan Doumit, Jason Jaramillo
Infielders: Lyle Overbay, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Ronny Cedeno, Josh Rodriguez, Steve Pearce
Outfielders: Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Diaz, Garrett Jones, John Bowker
Pirates play-by-play annoucer Tim Neverett interviewed Right-hand pitcher Charlie Morton prior to Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Here is what they discussed:
Tim Neverett: “Charlie, an interesting 365 days I guess when you look back at the last year for yourself. You head into the season last year with high hopes. Things don’t go your way. You end up going down to Triple-A. Had all kinds of things happen…From where you were a year ago, to where you are now, how far do you think you’ve come?”
Charlie Morton: “I think the struggles forced me to move forward. And taught me a lot about myself, taught me a lot about what really is important. Not only in the game [but] off the field. Going to the Dominican [for winter ball], getting to spend time and play with the guys that I’ve known, a culture that I haven’t really been too familiar with, and getting to see where guys that I’m playing with all these years are coming from. At this time last year, I thought I was ready. I was excited. I worked hard, prepared. To be honest with you, I really don’t know what more I could have done last year coming into the season. Like you said, it just didn’t work out. But what I’m doing is moving on and learning from it.”
Neverett: “Well I know last year certainly was full of disappointments. You probably had some of those moments where you thought you were doing everything right and then, the results weren’t there. How tough was that on you mentally?”
Morton: “It was hard because I know for a fact last year I put more into baseball emotionally, physically and mentally than I ever had before…It wasn’t one of those things were you kind of shake it off. You hit a wall, you get back up and you go again and you go through it. It wasn’t like that. It was like, I hit a wall and I didn’t know what to do because I had put so much time into it, I invested so much time into it –In between starts, bullpens and video studying, working out. I really didn’t have much more to offer to preparation or anything like that. It was more like I was beating my head against the wall opposed to run through it. In that sense it was really difficult. There was a lot of soul searching. I wondered what I wanted to do with my life. If this was where me dedicating everything I had to baseball was going to leave me, what am I going to do? If it’s not working out, what am I going to do? The one thing that I did learn was despite struggling, guys from the other side were telling me that I have all the talent in the world to do what I want to do in this game…The direction I wanted to go was made more clear especially when I came back and had some success at the end of the year. Trying to figure out what worked and what kind of individual I wanted to be on the field. Who I wanted to be. What kind of pitcher I wanted to be. And in that sense, I guess it was kind of necessary because up into that point last year, I was trying to be what other people thought I was trying to be, what other people wanted me to be. As opposed to really embracing what I could do with a baseball. The results have yet to be seen but I’m really looking forward to this year because I feel like I’ve kind of been given the reins a little bit more. I feel like I’m more in a position to do what I feel is right and what I feel I am and who I am. Last year definitely forced me to determine who I was because it was sink or swim.”
Neverett: “Your spring this year, a lot of folks said you approached it like a different guy, like a different pitcher. What have you done differently in terms of the mental preparation. I know last year one of the criticisms that maybe you thought a little bit much. You had a too much in your head instead of going out there and pitching…What have you done differently this year that has turned into a very good results in spring training heading into the season?”
Morton: “I think I kind of narrowed down what I wanted to be, who I wanted to be…There are so many things that happened last year…I basically lived at the ballpark. Even when I wasn’t there, I was thinking about baseball, how to get better. I think it was necessary for me to think about things…I think in terms of, ‘don’t think just throw’, theoretically you can do that but I wouldn’t be learning anything. There were times last year where that’s what I was doing. It didn’t work out. You can’t really change the nature of a person. I understand the desire for people to perceive me as an over thinker or overly analytical and that leading to struggles. Really the only thing that’s going to allow me to fully get to where I want to be is for me to do it. Is for me, not someone else to do it. Would it be nice to go out there with a blank mind, not remember what happened before. Not be thinking about mistakes. Not to be thinking about possible negative outcomes. Would that be great? Yeah. It would be great, but it wouldn’t be human. I learned last year that it’s okay to have fears and to be anxious and all that stuff. Whereas before it was perceived as some type of weakness or something like that. I learned you really have to embrace what you are and allow that to give you what you need to succeed. You have to take those failures and embrace what happened as opposed to trying to shut them away somewhere. For me, Yeah, I wish I could have. I wish I could have come to the ballpark after giving up 10 runs in an inning or two innings, or whatever it was, and just move on but it’s not realistic.”
Neverett: “We’ve seen some really good results already this year. We’ve seen a guy who’s out there determined to win. Working with pitching coach Ray Searage, what has he told you? What advice has he given you going into the season?”
Morton: “One of the things we’ve been working on early in spring training was my mechanics. Ray and Jim Benedict, our pitching coordinator, they got together, I’m not sure who else was involved but we lowered my arm angle a little bit. Trying to make the way I was throwing a little more natural. Get my timing better because mechanically I’m rotational except for my arm angle which is trying to be over the top. I’m trying to be 6’5″, 230. I throw 95, so let it fly. But the thing is, I tried that last year and it just didn’t work. We dropped my arm angle a little bit. Ray has kind of stepped back and give me some space. I think he knows I care. I think everybody here that knows me, knows I care. I almost care so much that it might not be beneficial. What Ray has done is focused on one or two things. And that was fastball down and away to a righty, a go-to pitch when I’m behind in the count and just staying aggressive. I’ve been throwing a lot of sinkers down in the zone and getting a lot of ground balls.”
*Photo credit: Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, 1490 News blog
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.
The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 today in Fort Myers, Fla., for the final game of the spring. You can listen to the game on 970 ESPN (Pittsburgh) or watch it on MLB Network.
Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start for the Bucs against Left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Karstens is making his fifth appearance (first start) this spring. He is scheduled to throw five innings (80 pitches).
- My apologizes for the late updates the past two days. MLBlogs was down for updates, I was in Ohio for my Dad’s surprise 50th birthday party and I am also battling a cold. Everything is updated, so be sure to read some of the previous posts to get up to speed. It was a busy weekend for the Pirates.
- I’ll be heading to Chicago for Opening weekend on April 1st and 2nd (which is also my birthday). If you will be at Wrigley and/or making the trip, be sure to let me know and Ill come say hello.
- Right-hander James McDonald threw a bullpen this morning at McKechnie Field without issue according to Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette. McDonald is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Thursday (five innings). If J-Mac is not ready to pitch on April 5th, Jeff Karstens will spot start for him.
- Left-hander Joe Beimel (elbow) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and reported no issues afterwards.
- Right-hander Brad Lincoln (right forearm contusion) continues to progress. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that there is a chance that Lincoln could remain in extended Spring Training before joining Triple-A Indianapolis.
- On Thursday’s edition of MLB Tonight on MLB Network, the analysts discussed small and large market teams success and how missing on one draft can sink a small market team for years (read more here).
- Following the game today, the Pirates will fly to Philadelphia. The Bucs will play two exhibition games against the Phillies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ross Ohlendorf will face Roy Oswalt on the 29th, Charlie Morton will face Cole Hamels on the 30th.
- Former Pirates Extra Innings host, Rocco DeMaro, announced today he will have a new podcast this season. Be sure to check him out here.
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Doumit DH, Pearce 1B, Diaz RF, Cedeno SS, Rodriguez 2B, Jaramillo C
Pitchers: Karstens, Resop, Olson
Lineup: Span CF, Nishioka 2B, Mauer C, Morneau 1B, Kubel DH, Young LF, Cuddyer RF, Valencia 3B, Casilla SS
Pitchers: Loriano, TBA
General Manager Neal Huntington said after Sunday’s game that Catcher Chris Snyder is “very probable” to start the season on the disabled list.
With Snyder most likely on the DL, that means Ryan Doumit and Jason Jaramillo will be the teams two catchers.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the club did not specify as to whom will play the most games behind the plate.
This also means that John Bowker would make the club as the fifth outfielder (Bowker can also play first base).
Snyder missed two weeks this spring with back issues and is not expected to be out long.
For more roster clarity, read more here.
The Pirates announced after the 5-4 win to the Tampa Bay Rays that infielder Pedro Ciriaco has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Rule 5 pick up Josh Rodriguez will make the 25-man roster and serve as the teams backup middle infielder.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Ciriaco will bounce around in Triple-A as super utility guy, playing second base, shortstop, third base and center field.
This marks the fourth straight season the Pirates have kept a Rule 5 draft pick on the roster.
Langosch of MLB.com reports that there were several factors of why the Pirates chose to keep Rodriguez over Ciriaco. Cleveland has publicly stated that they would take Rodriguez back, if the Pirates did not decide to keep him on the 25-man roster. Ciriaco also has one option remaining.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “We’ve got nothing to lose here. We need to try some things. We need to be creative and open-minded.”
Ciriaco batted .333 with four doubles, two RBI and three stolen bases in 26 games.
Rodriguez batted .303 with one home run, six RBI with one stolen base in 21 games.
Rodriguez told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It’s a big opportunity for me. I’ll play my role. I’ll come off the bench and basically do everything in my power to make the team better.”
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle