Results tagged ‘ steve pearce ’
Pirates President Frank Coonelly had his monthly online chat with fans on Wednesday. Here are some highlights:
You can read the entire chat transcript here.
Coonelly opened his chat by saying, “I want to congratulate former Bucco Bert Blyleven, an integral part of our 1979 World Series club, on just being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
If the Pirates have the capacity to make a meaningful increase the payroll, why not offer long-term contract extensions to [Andrew] McCutchen and [Pedro] Alvarez like the Rays have done with [Evan] Longoria?
Coonelly: Reaching long-term contracts with core players such as Andrew McCutchen and, we believe, Pedro Alvarez is an important component to building a sustainable winner. It, of course, takes two parties to reach an agreement but this is a contracting approach that we have implemented.
A year ago at this time we were looking forward to [Pedro] Alvarez and [Jose] Tabata call ups (not anticipating the surprise of [Neil] Walker). Who could we see come up this year? Maybe Gorkys [Hernandez], [Bryan] Morris, [Jeff] Locke, [Jim] Negrych?
Coonelly: You are right that we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Alvarez and Tabata last year while hoping that Neil Walker could also be a part of our future this time last year. It was exciting to watch these three young players become three of the best rookies in the National League in 2010. For us to be successful over the long term, it is critical that we continue to bring such talent to the Major League level from our minor league organizations. From our other players who we believe to have a shot to make a meaningful impact in Pittsburgh this year are Rudy Owens, Bryan Morris, Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke and Alex Presley. The development of other players may, and probably will, surprise us in 2011.
How do you feel about Charlie Morton going forward?
Coonelly: We continue to feel that Charlie has all of the tools necessary to be an effective starting pitcher in the Major Leagues. Charlie obviously struggled mightily last year but seemed to find a level of confidence during the last month of the season. He continued to make progress during a brief winter league stint and will be given an opportunity to win the 5th starter spot in the rotation.
How is Steve Pearce recovering from knee surgery?
Coonelly: Steve Pearce has been working hard in his rehabilitation and should report to spring Training ready to compete for a job on the Major League club. Steve’s injury last year was unfortunate because he had worked extraordinarily hard to get in the best shape of his career, and that extra work was evident in his play.
Coonelly also went on to say that the Pirates are not done this offseason. “Neal [Huntington] is continuing to work to improve the club and, in particular, is looking to add a bullpen piece or two. Neal continues to talk to representatives for free agents and attempt to identify trades that will improve the club.”
The Pirates are holding a mini-camp starting on Monday in Bradenton, Florida. The camp this year will be focused on conditioning and will run four days.
Those expected to attend (according to Jenifer Langosch) are:
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
Pedro Alvarez and Chris Leroux are currently listed as maybes to attend.
General Manager Neal Huntington discussed Day three of the Winter Meetings with the Pittsburgh Media.
On whether pending acquisitions are opening up potential moves: “I think we’re looking through creative alternatives. I think people are intrigued with what we’re doing and maybe it’s opening some more doors. People are inquiring, based on what we’ve been able to do, to try and see if there might be some trade fits with some of the other alternatives. I guess one thing could be leading to another.”
On whether Garrett Jones is the everyday first baseman for 2011: “Yes and no. Garrett is strongest against right-handed pitching. I think if we can protect him some then it makes a lot of sense for us as an organization. Do we have that piece right now? Steve Pearce could be that piece. It depends upon the rest of the bench and how it comes together.”
On whether deals will be finalized by the end of the Winter Meetings: “No. We’ve still got some things to put in motion. We still have some last minute details to put together before we finalize any of the rumors that are circulating.”
Thoughts on the Rule 5 draft on Thursday: “We’re kicking around some names. Teams have called to see if we would trade – either trade the pick completely or trade down. It’s a lot of fun talking about trading down. There are guys out there that we are interested in. It’s not something that we’re over the top excited about this year. But there are guys that we feel like can help us and have a legitimate chance to make the team.”
On whether it make financial sense to pay Ryan Doumit $5.1 Million to platoon next season: “As you sit and put it together from scratch, probably not. But as you try to tackle what your resources are and what your options are, you try to make the best of it.”
Picture credit by @BucsInsider
Picture credit by @RaysRenegade
General Manager Neal Huntington discusses day two of the winter meetings with Pittsburgh media.
- On what the Pirates are looking for in a starter: “At this point, we’d like to find some stability in the rotation. We need a guy who we feel comfortable with, who is going to take the ball every fifth day. You never know with pitchers. But we’ve looked at track records. And maybe there is a guy out there that’s got some upside that is coming back from injury in the last couple of years that may be a fit or maybe we have two stabilizers. We need to eat some innings. We need to lighten the load on our bullpen. We need to get deeper into the games as a rotation. We need to give ourselves some options.”
- On how Huntington wants to build his bullpen: “A little bit of everything. We’re exploring the free agent market. We’re exploring the trade market. We’re looking at the 4-A free agent market. We’ve got a lot of internal options as well. If we add more starters than we need, we’ve got some additional bullpen options. Maybe then that pushes a guy who has had some success as a starter, maybe it pushes him back in the bullpen again and we deepen our bullpen. Maybe it pushes some of our internal options to come into camp in a little bit better shape. Too many options is never a bad thing, and that’s where we’re trying to go. We’re trying to add depth. We’re trying to give ourselves choices to make. We love power with strikeouts, but short of that, sometimes a variety of looks and a variety of stuff can help give a manager options.”
- On whether he expects to have an upgrade at shortstop after the winter meetings: “Maybe not out of the Winter Meetings. We have laid some groundwork on some things that we can improve upon defensively.”
- Ronny Cedeno’s future with the ball club: “Ronny is still the guy, but at some point you have to stop talking about potential and you have to talk about performance. We’re getting to that point with Ronny. The consistency was there for a good portion of the year. He struggled at the end, no question.”
- On the status of Jeff Clement, Steve Pearce and Kevin Hart: “Everybody is on schedule. Nobody has had any significant setback. Everyone is on schedule for where we thought they would be. As we sit here today, yes, [all will be ready for Spring Training].”
- On possible internal bullpen options: “I think a lot of people are beating up our bullpen because of the unknown. There is some power there. There is also some risk. It makes us feel like we don’t have to go seek an upgrade. But if there is one there that makes sense for us, we’ll certainly look.”
- On Kevin Hart and his best fit in the Bucs bullpen: “Given Kevin coming off the injury, it looks that way. It would be awfully hard to stretch him back out and expect him to eat 200 innings. We want to see where he is physically. We want to see where he is as his rehab continues to progress. Sitting here today, it’s a lot harder to envision him as a 200-inning starter next year. Maybe somewhere back down the road, but his quickest path back may be as a reliever. He’s also out of options, and that’s going to be the other challenge.”
After day one of the Winter Meetings, General Manager spoke to Pittsburgh Media on busy day:
On progress from day one: “Much like the first day of the Winter Meetings –always a lot of conversations. Some lead to dead ends. Some lead to fruition. A lot of dialogue.”
On whether the Pirates would be open to giving up prospects for a trade: I think we’re open to the right deal. In a perfect world, we’d love to hold every prospect that we have, but we know to get good players that are the right fit, it’s going to take some players in return.”
On trading Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek: “We like both guys a lot. We think both are capable of closing at the Major League level, and we’re looking for value in return.”
On what Ryan Doumit’s role would be for next season: “As we sit here right now, Ryan will be our right fielder with some time behind homeplate to supplement Chris Snyder. Sitting here right now, Ryan is going to play a lot. It’s up to him to play well and to continue to play, but sitting here, that’s the plan.”
On whether Ryan Doumit could be a part of the platoon situation in right field: “If there is a right-handed complement to be had… we have Steve Pearce internally that we feel comfortable with. But we continue to explore the trade market as well as the free agent market to see what else is out there. Sometimes clubs in our market have to be creative to maximize the roster and maximize the production of the roster. ‘Platoon’ seems to be a negative word. But the reality is that if it helps us put quality production on the field, it’s something that we’ve got be open to.”
On which position has the most options, first base or right field: “There’s options at both. There are some established Major League veterans out there. There are some players that are available in a trade. We’ve got two guys that we feel comfortable with, so it would have to be a situation of trying to find an upgrade if that is possible out there.”
On whether the Pirates have made a decision on who will be the Bucs closer: “The tough part is that it’s not going to be a Spring Training competition. So if we do decide on one – and there have been multiple conversations that Clint [Hurdle] and I have had and we’ve got to continue to have – we have to decide before Spring Training. In early conversations, we’re open to moving both guys depending on situations and how they match up. But it is an ongoing dialogue internally as to whether we’ll settle on one or go with both.”
On whether the Rule 5 draft has good players: “No.”
On whether the players who were non-tendered are still of interest to the Pirates: “Yeah. We’ve made contact on a good number of players and continue to be open to find different ways to help our club continue to move forward.”
Monday kicks off the first day of the Winter Meetings held at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Pirates have several gaps to fill for the 2011 season: a starting pitcher (or two), a first baseman/right fielder, shortstop and bullpen help for Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan.
The young Bucs can be penciled in for next season: Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, and James McDonald.
“We feel it’s important to provide this young group of players weapons that will help them experience success in 2011,” President Frank Coonelly said. “More help is coming quickly through the much improved minor league system, but there are needs that we’re trying to address now to enable us to win in 2011. If we can address these needs without giving up prospects who we believe will be a part of our long-term success and without impeding our ability to lock up the young players who we are developing to long-term agreements, we need to do that.”
“We are targeting players on the market who will address these needs without jeopardizing our longer-term goals,” Coonelly said. “We have the financial resources available to address these needs, and we are looking forward to adding more talent to the improving young talent that has joined the roster over the past two years.”
The Pirates reportably were interested in Jorge De La Rosa (who re-signed with the Rockies) and first baseman Lance Berkman (who signed with the Cardinals). But there are many other players the Bucs could peruse: first baseman Derek Lee and Carlos Pena, right fielders Jeff Francouer, Jack Cust and Matt Diaz, shortstops J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett.
Steve Pearce and Lastings Milledge (who was non-tendered) could also be filled from within the organization to play first base/right field.
We are comfortable with Steve Pearce filling a role on the major league club,” General Manager Neal Huntington said. “We continue to be open to Lastings Milledge returning, too, but we are also exploring other potential fits.”
Starting pitching is the most important for the Pirates to fill. Scott Olsen is rumored to be in serious talks with the Pirates. Other options include: Brandon Webb (reports that the talks have gone cold with the cy-young award winner), Justin Duchscherer and Jeff Francis.
Thursday marks the Rule 5 draft and the Pirates have the first pick. Starter Aneury Rodriguez is the favorite, The right-hander went 6-5 with a 3.80 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 113.2 innings in Triple-A (Tampa Bay Ray’s organization).
The 40-man roster currently has four spots open.
Steve Pearce was granted his fourth Minor League option by Major League Baseball. The first-baseman only played 52 games during the 2010 season due to ankle and knee injuries. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list last week due to end of the season knee surgery.
Pearce will enter the 2011 season with one option and will be healthy to fight for a spot in Spring Training. Pearce –if he can stay healthy– could be a utility guy, and/or platoon with Garrett Jones at first-base. If Delwyn Young is non-tendered, Pearce could also serve as a pinch-hitter role.
In 15 games with the Pirates, Pearce batted .276 with five RBI.
The Pirates made several roster moves on Wednesday.
- Wil Ledezma signed a one-year deal with the Bucs, avoiding arbitration.
- The Pirates’ outrighted Sean Gallagher, Brandon Moss and Justin Thomas to Triple-A Indy and were removed from the 40-man roster.
- Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Ascanio and Steve Pearce were taken off the 60-day Disabled list and added to the 40-man roster.
- Jeff Clement was removed from the 60-day Disabled list and outrighted to Triple-A Indy.
- Chan Ho Park was removed from the 40-man roster and is a free agent.