Results tagged ‘ starter ’
Brian Burres could be making a push for the No. 5 starter’s job. He’s thrown nine scoreless innings this spring and has allowed just five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Burres, a non-roster invite, went 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 13 starts (20 appearances) with the Pirates last season. In his final seven games, Burres had a 1.89 ERA.
“I’ve been feeling really good this spring,” Brian Burres told FSN Pittsburgh after Thursday’s outing.” It’s kind of being showing on the mound. I’m just hoping to continue to pitch well when I get the chance to get out on the mound.”
On what’s been working well for Burres this spring: “Getting ahead. Trying to keep the ball down. Really just trying to be as aggressive as I can in the zone.”
On the effect of pitching coach Ray Searage: “Ray really helped me last year, in September. I was really excited to find out that he was going to be the pitching coach this year. You got to know yourself but it really does help when you get along with your pitching coach as well as I get along with Ray.”
When asked if Burres would rather be a starter or a reliever he said, “Wherever I can fit in and help the team is where I like to be.”
- 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 2010 season for Brad Lincoln was a difficult road.
After making his major league debut on June 9th, he went 1-2 in five starts (31 innings) allowing 16 earned runs, striking out 14 and walked nine.
He best start came against the Chicago Cubs in which he pitched a seven inning shutout striking out a career high six –picking up his first major league win.
Then pitching coach, Joe Kerrigan, tinkered with Lincoln’s mechanic’s and things started to spiral. Lincoln only made four more starts before being sent back to Triple-A Indy.
“Last year made me realize, ‘Hey, this is my career,’” Lincoln said. “I am the determiner of my career. That’s the way I have to look at it. That’s what I took most out of last year — just be who you are and don’t let anybody dictate how you go about your business.”
Since Ray Searage took over as pitching coach, he has been working with Lincoln, trying to get his mechanic’s back to the way he was before.
“Mechanically, he’s there,” pitching coach Ray Searage said. “He’s back to where he was and we’re not going to fiddle around with him. Here is the ball. Go get him.”
“I don’t want [Searage] to go and not say anything to me,” Lincoln said. “But in the same sense, he’s going to let me be who I am and get that aggressiveness back and be a more physical pitcher. Last year, I felt like I was using a lot of my upper body instead of using what God gave me, and that’s big legs.”
Lincoln has been working hard this offseason, focusing on his core and his lower half during his conditioning programs.
Lincoln may have a check list of things to accomplish before the Pirates will give him a chance back in the starting rotation: consistency, his changeup has to develop and a better mindset on the mound, but that doesn’t stop him from believing he can make the Pirates team as a starter by the end of camp.
“I’m going to take the approach that I’m going to make the team out of spring,” Lincoln said. “I don’t want to go to Triple-A. I want to be at the top. That’s the way I’m going to approach it. The cards may fall as they do, but I’m going to have the attitude that I’m going to make this team and I’m going to be the guy to help out this team.”
- Manager Clint Hurdle is in no rush to name the Pirates opening day starter. The four starters who are secured in the rotation are: James McDonald, Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia and Ross Ohlendorf (in no particular order).
“We’ve got some candidates,” Hurdle said. “I don’t think anyone is out of it. Experience will come in as a factor. We have a few guys who could be worthy of it. You want a guy who doesn’t get caught up in throwing against the other team’s No. 1. There are a few elements we’re looking for.”
- Jose Ascanio is still having issues with his visa. He may report to Pirate city at the earliest as Thursday.
- Andrew McCutchen worked with coach Luis Silverio for a good amount of time on Wednesday working on base stealing. Manager Clint Hurdle has said he wants the Pirates to be aggressive on the bases this year.
- The following pitchers threw their second side session on Wednesday, about 40-45 pitches each: Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, Joe Beimel, Aaron Thompson, Justin Wilson, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald, Evan Meek, Scott Olsen, Kyle McPherson, Rudy Owens, Michael Crotta and Jeff Locke.
- The Pirates will wear patches on their jersey’s this year in remembrance of Chuck Tanner. The design is still undecided.
Athletic Trainer Brad Henderson and Ray Searage watch Ross Ohlendorf and James McDonald in the pen (photo via @BucsInsider).
After a rough 2010 season in the majors with the Pirates, Charlie Morton decided to pitch in the winter leagues in the Dominican to work on some of his struggles.
What he didn’t realize he would learn was a different perspective.
“Meeting people down there really helped me appreciate what I have here,” Morton said. “I would leave the park and a kid would come up to me and ask me for water or food. I’m like, ‘Serious?’ It’s tough.”
“I think I have seen enough of the world to have appreciated that and know that I don’t have it that tough,” Morton said. “But going down there where the people don’t really have much and driving by fields where you see 15 kids with one baseball on something that doesn’t even look like a baseball field, it’s like, ‘Wow.’
“There were times when I wish I had stayed longer. But at the same time, it was such a long year.”
Morton will be battling for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training and is ready to rebound from last season. After a month of resting his arm, Morton has started throwing in December.
“I’m ready to get on the mound against hitters and see where I am,” Morton said. “I’m just going to go out and pitch and do what I can do.”
The fifth spot in the rotation is still up for grabs heading into spring training. Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Correia and James McDonald round out the top four (not necessarily in that order). Charlie Morton, Scott Olsen, Brad Lincoln are among the top to battle for that spot. Left out in the mix, is Jeff Karstens who in 19 starts (26 appearances) went 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA.
What is Karstens ideal role for Pittsburgh?
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to start,” Karstens said. “Because [that way] I’d know when I am pitching. But, what it honestly comes down to is whatever they want me to do to help the team succeed. That’s all I want to do.”
- Ross Ohlendorf and Joel Hanrahan filed for salary arbitration on Friday. They are the only two Pirates to file, just 119 players in major league baseball.
- Garrett Jones arrived at mini camp on Thursday (he was late due to a family wedding in Mexico) noticeably thinner and “a little bit faster, too.” Jones weighed 255 last season and is said to have dropped 10 pounds. This offseason Jones has been diligently working with a speed enhancement and velocity trainer.
- Pirates beat reporter Jenifer Langosch addressed the possible future of five players as spring training approaches us.
Jose Ascanio missed the entire 2010 season due to an injury but has pitched well during the Venezuelan Winter League. Most likely, his role in 2011 will be as a reliever.
Kevin Hart missed the entire 2010 season as well, he underwent labrum surgery after a disastrous spring training. Hart is currently healthy and threw during Pirates mini camp. His role in 2011 would most likely be as a reliever, until he can prove himself as a starter.
Charlie Morton had a horrible first two months of the season, picking up nine losses and then was optioned to Triple-A Indy. He pitched much better toward the end of the season but the Pirates are still unsure whether he is mentally tough enough. Morton will be competing for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training.
Chris Resop is one of the leading candidates in the Pirates ‘pen. After being claimed off waivers in August, he allowed four earned runs and struck out 24 in 19 innings.
John Bowker will be competing for a spot as an extra outfielder along with Alex Presley, Steve Pearce, Cory Wimberly and Ryan Doumit (Garrett Jones and Matt Diaz will split the majority of the playing time in right field this season). Bowker was acquired in July by the San Franscio Giants and batted hit .232 in 26 games with the Pirates.
With the new year looming and spring training less than 10 weeks away, the Pirates look to have four starters locked for 2011.
Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Correia and James McDonald seem to be the favored starters for the Bucs, although nothing has been officially announced.
That leaves one spot left, with plenty of arms to compete in spring training.
Charlie Morton hopes to rebound from a horrible 2010 season.
“When you know you can do well and you prepare to do well and you go out and struggle like I did, that makes it pretty hard,” Morton said. “I was really excited coming into this year and it just didn’t get me anywhere. It was tough.”
Morton was acquired by the Atlanta Braves in June of 2009 and had high expectations by the Pirates. He finished 5-9 with a 4.55 ERA.
A horrible first part of the 2010 season, Morton picked up nine losses and had an ERA of 9.35. By May 28th, he was put on the Disabled list for right shoulder fatigue and by July 2nd, he was sent to the minors.
“I think I let the results dictate how I felt on the mound, and that, in turn, led me to be in a place that when I was on the mound and things weren’t going right, it all kind of compounded,” Morton said. “It got harder and harder. And I’m not talking harder outing-to-outing. I’m talking harder pitch-to-pitch. You’re looking in and not believing. I definitely have to rethink and reanalyze what I was trying to do out there. At the end, I’d be looking at video of myself and you could see in my face the doubt.”
A lack of confidence was a major contributor of his disastrous starts and he began to doubt his future as a pitcher.
“I had a lot of questions about myself when I was in Triple-A and not pitching well,” Morton said. “I had a lot of doubts. When I started pitching better, I started feeling better about baseball, but I didn’t feel better about my career. I’m at the stage in my career where it’s, ‘Can you pitch in the big leagues? Or can you not pitch in the big leagues?’”
In the final two months with the Pirates (five starts) he finished with a 3.99 ERA, his record 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA.
Morton has spent the offseason pitching in Winter Ball where he allowed three runs through 15 innings, striking out 14 and walking two.
“We’re moving in the right direction, and winter ball is just going to help build on that,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “He’s made some mechanical adjustments. He’s believing more. He’s being more aggressive. He’s trusting the stuff more. He’s taken some nice steps forward.”
With just one option remaining, Morton has a lot to prove in Spring Training if he wants to be the fifth starter in 2011. The Pirates, however, haven’t given up on him just yet.
“I’ve learned that you can’t think about things long-term,” Morton said. “You can have goals and long-term dreams, but just looking at my next start and going out there and trying to execute pitches is the most important thing.
“Do I want the guys in this clubhouse and coaches’ locker room to count on me? Yeah, I want that responsibility. But when I start moving forward that can’t be the only thing on my mind. It has to be me taking care of what I need to take care of. Whether that leads me to a certain position on the staff or wherever, I can’t really focus on that.”
After a busy first day at the Winter Meetings, the Pirates already reached a tentative agreement with Scott Olsen and now, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick the Pirates are close to a two-year $8 million deal with Kevin Correia.
General manager Neal Huntington confirmed interest in Correia, but didn’t answer more.
“There is nothing official to report at the present time,” Huntington said. “We are engaged in conversation and are optimistic, but nothing has been finalized.”
Correia, 30, went 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA in 28 games (26 starts) for the Padres during the 2010 season. Correia pitched 145 innings while walking 64 and striking out 115. 2009 was a better year for Kevin, he struck out 142 and walked 64 through a career-best 198 innings. He finished with a 12-11 record and a 3.91 ERA.
Don’t expect the Pirates to be done yet. They are continuing to peruse more pitching as well as a right fielder/first baseman and a shortstop.
“You ideally want to go [to Spring Training] with more than five guys,” Huntington said, commenting on the need to improve the starting pitching depth. “With the young guys coming, and with some of the guys we’ve got under contract and with some of the guys we’re talking about trying to acquire, we may have a pretty good competition in Spring Training.”