Results tagged ‘ third base ’
- Steve Pearce has been getting workouts at third base this year. During the 2010 season, Pearce played five games at third with the Triple-A Indians –the only time he’s played that position since college.
Pearce has been working out at third, right field and first base to become a more utility guy in hopes of making the Pirates roster.
“It definitely is a boost because they see it,” Pearce said. “They see how hard I work. They see I have good hands and footwork. For me, being a guy who’s been in Triple-A in parts of the past four years, this gives me a better chance to stick in the big leagues.”
“It’s been an easy transition because I played (third) in college,” Pearce said. “I’m comfortable over there. I just have to get my reps so it becomes a little bit easier getting reads on hops and stuff like that.”
- Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and MLB Network reports that the Pirates offered Carl Pavano two years/ $13 million this offseason before he decided to re-sign with the Minnesota Twins.
Charlie Morton will be starting on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays David Price in Port Charlotte in the Grapefruit league opener. Morton will pitch two innings, followed by Brad Lincoln who will also pitch two innings.
This gives the staff a good look at both starters who are in the running for the 5th spot in the rotation.
They will be followed by Chris Resop, Daniel Moskos, Daniel McCutchen and Justin Thomas/Cesar Valdez
- Kevin Correia will start at McKechnie Field on Sunday against James Shields.
- On Monday it is a split squad; Bryan Morris will start for the Pirates against the Rays in Port Charlotte. The Bucs will face the Baltimore Orioles in Bradenton but the starters have not yet been announced.
- Jose Ascanio missed workouts again on Wednesday with tightness in his right elbow. He’s listed as day-to-day.
- Scott Olsen threw on flat ground. He is still sidelined with a left hamstring strain.
- Thursday will be the last workout held at Pirate City. Camp will be relocated to McKechnie Field.
“We still have much work to do,” Hurdle said. “But at this point, we’ve covered what we wanted to cover.” Hurdle said more team fundamentals and specialty defenses will be added to the mix in the next few days. We’ll be ready to roll on Saturday.”
- Pitchers threw a session of live batting practice to the players on Wednesday. They included: Jeff Karstens, Charlie Morton, Daniel Moskos, Sean Gallagher, Brad Lincoln and Brian Burres.
- Manager Clint Hurdle is very happy with what he’s seen so far from the Pirates four locked starters Kevin Correia, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald and Paul Maholm.
“I’m seeing the things that I want to see out of the guys that we already have lined up in the starting rotation,” Hurdle said. “There are a number of other guys who are throwing well through this period. They are all working extremely hard. That’s the thing I’m most optimistic about.”
Baseball America released its list of Top 100 prospects on Wednesday. Three Pirates made the list: Jameson Taillon (No. 11), Tony Sanchez (No. 46) and Stetson Allie (No. 79) .
Lyle Overbay takes part in the annual sliding drill (photo BucsInsider)
Former Bucs Manager John Russell spent six years in Pittsburgh . He endured some of the worst seasons in Pirates history, including a 105-loss 2010 season. He made coaching gaffe’s that sometimes made you scratch your head. He was often criticized for his lack of emotions both on the field and with the players. But despite the blowouts and the base running mistakes, Russell has no regrets.
“I’ll never forget my (six) years in Pittsburgh as a coach and manager. It’s a great city with great fans. I’ll never regret it. I wish I could still be there as a manager. But I’m very happy where I am now. I’m looking forward to this season and what the future holds for me.”
“I thought the last quarter of the (2010) season we played pretty good baseball,” Russell said. “Guys started to come on a little bit. I thought it was very much headed the right way. But you can’t negate the losses.”
Just three weeks after being fired by the Pirates, Russell was hired by the Baltimore Orioles as their third base coach and catching instructor.
The Bucs and Orioles face each other five times during spring training, as well as a interleague series this season.
“People say to me, ‘Oh, you probably don’t want to go back there,’ ” Russell said. “It doesn’t affect me. It was a part of my career that I’ll always remember and cherish. I have a lot of friends over there.”
Russell also believes the Pirates can turn thing around and end those consecutive losing seasons.
“There’s hope for any franchise,” Russell said. “The biggest thing is patience, and that’s tough in Pittsburgh because of the number of years they haven’t won.”
If he could do it all over again, would he second guess anything?
“You can always second-guess,” he said. “But you have to believe in what you do. That’s the way I tried to approach it every day in Pittsburgh. I tried to do what’s right not only for the players but for the organization to make sure we stayed on track with the major plan. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew we were going to have to be patient to make it work. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me.”
The main topic at spring training still continues to be Pedro Alvarez’s offseason “weight gain”.
“I’m not sure what it is,” Alvarez said in a quiet, terse voice as he pulled on layers of workout clothes at his locker. “I haven’t weighed myself in the past few days. I don’t think it’s relevant right now.”
Although General Manager Neal Huntington has never confirmed an exact number (rumors range anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds) the issue remains, will the added weight effect his defense at third base?
“He’s got work to do defensively at third base, no question,” Huntington said. “But he’s shown us the physical tools to be an average third baseman, and that’s what we need him to be.”
“Pedro Alvarez is stronger than he’s ever been,” Huntington said. “We’re looking forward to a very productive season out of Pedro. He looks big. He looks strong and ready to do some damage with the bat.”
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Trib, the added weight gain may be affecting his swing as well. He reports:
During situational hitting drills today on Field 1, Alvarez was awful. There were swings and misses. There were balls hit toward the wrong spot at the wrong time. Alvarez’s body language in the cage was not happy — and neither was that of manager Clint Hurdle, who watched from a few feet away. At one point, after Alvarez fanned on a pitch, Hurdle grimaced and shook his head.
The good news is that it’s only five days into spring training. And there is still 41 days until opening day.
The Pirates acquired Corey Wimberly from the Oakland Athletics’ in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ryan Kelly. He will also receive a non-roster invite to Spring Training.
Wimberly, 27, can play five different positions: shortstop, third base, second base, left field and center field. He hit .284 with three home runs, 57 RBI in 135 games for the A’s Triple-A team. Wimberly stole 56 bases last season, 259 bags in 563 career games.
Kelly, 23, was drafted by the Pirates in the 26th round of the 2006 draft. He went 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA through 75 innings during the 2010 season with Class A-West Virginia.