Results tagged ‘ zach duke ’
Tony Sanchez, was among four players to get cut from Pirates spring training on Saturday. They are reassigned to the minor league camp. Catcher Eric Fryer and pitchers Cesar Valdez and Donnie Veal were the others.
Sanchez, who was the Bucs first round pick in the 2009 draft, appeared in just one grapefruit league game where he went 1-for-2 with a double as a designated hitter. I spoke to Sanchez prior to the game on Friday and he told me that Manager Clint Hurdle wanted him to get experience from the big league club.
“In the beginning meetings he said that I was one of the guys he’d use more for the atmosphere. It’s fine with me. I have a lot of fun here. I’m getting as much work in as I can and learning from the guys, getting as much swings and defensive work as anybody else. There’s eight of us [catchers] here. Those guys obviously have a better shot of making the team or contributing to the big league team than I do right now at this point. My feelings are is that it’s just not my time to get any time in the games. Maybe next year.”
“This was an opportunity for him to get to experience a Major League clubhouse environment,” Hurdle said. “As we put this new group together, we wanted him in here for a few weeks to embrace him, to encourage him on the heels of last season.”
Sanchez was batting .314 with four home runs and 38 RBI’s before suffering season ending surgery after being hit in the face by a pitch. He was required to have his jaw wired shut for a month.
Now healthy, Sanchez will start the 2011 season at Double-A Altoona.
Fryer, like Sanchez played for the Bradenton Marauders last season. The 25-year-old catcher played in 83 games in High-A where he batted .300 with 16 doubles, five triples, eight home runs and 48 RBI. Fryer battled several injuries including a left ankle sprain and a left eye socket fracture after being hit in the head with a pitch.
It’s unclear whether Fryer will start the season with Double-A or back with the Marauders.
Valdez was acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Zach Duke trade. He appeared in two games (2.1 innings) this spring allowing just two hits and no runs with two strikeouts.
Valdez is most likely heading to Triple-A Indy. The Pirates are still unsure whether as a starter or a reliever.
Veal is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery (June 2010) and will continue to work on his throwing rehab program with the minor league camp.
Veal is throwing off the mound and participating in fielding drills. He is expected for a May or June (at the earliest) return.
There are currently 58 players at big league camp.
On Tuesday’s edition of Hot Stove on MLB Network, they showcased the Pittsburgh Pirates in part of the 30 Clubs in 30 Recaps.
Here is what the analysts had to say:
“1992 was the last season in which Pittsburgh finished with a winning record. For a once proud franchise the Buccos have become somewhat of a forgotten team in their own city. It also doesn’t help the Penguins won a Stanley cup two years ago, and Sunday, the Steelers can win their third super bowl in six years. We look back at the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates.”
*Video clips through out the season were showed. Garrett Jones two run homerun on opening day, Evan Meek’s first career save (against the Dodgers), Andrew McCutchen’s hot month of May (.327 avg), the rookie debuts of Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez, the 12 straight losses, Alvarez’s walk-off three run homer against the Rockies, notching the 18th consecutive losing season, John Russell getting fired, and the hiring of Clint Hurdle.
Greg Amsinger: “Another rough season in 2010 for the Pirates. Hence all of these changes:”
Pirates Notable transactions this offseason by MLB Network:
RP Joe Beimel
SP Kevin Correia
OF Matt Diaz
3B Josh Fields
SP Scott Olsen
1B Lyle Overbay
SS Cesar Valdez
SP Zach Duke
SP Dana Eveland
RP Chan Ho Park
3B Andy LaRoche
RP Joe Martinez
OF Lastings Milledge
Amsinger: “Zach Duke is gone. He’s not going to be in that rotation. Andy LaRoche is not going to be at third base. Lastings Milledge is still a free agent so who knows where he’ll go. But you see all the additions. The biggest addition though, is the skipper of this club, Clint Hurdle.”
Todd Zeile: “I agree with you 100 percent. Clint, you heard him in the press conference say, ‘It’s got to turn eventually. We’re not going to back down to anybody.’ That’s the kind of mentality Clint Hurdle has. I think he truly believes in it. I think he instills that kind of confidence in his players –especially young players. In 2002, Clint took over for Buddy Bell, when Buddy Bell was fired. We were on the ropes. We had a bunch of veteran guys that he just let play. But at the same time, we had a guy named Juan Uribe, who we saw in the world series last year, this guy was as raw and unfettered as you could find. Clint found a way to get him to hone in his skills, but still let him play and didn’t destroy his confidence. He made sure he knew every time he walked out there, Clint believed in him. I think he’s got that same kind of capability. Look, realistically, they are looking to the future. While they got a lot of kids on that team that have a lot of potential in the future, including Pedro Alvarez. You showed the highlight of him, Alvarez had a really rough start but finished really strong. A guy like Clint I think can help take him to the next level.”
Al Lieter: “I agree. I love Clint. You mentioned about Alvarez, Greg Smith their scouting director, whole new deal there. Neal Huntington a whole lot different from Dave Littlefield, cleaning up the mess. You have a $40 million payroll. I think about all the additions and what is important. I think what is important is your starting rotation. No question about it. I go to what the Padres did last year. You have really nice quality pitchers like the Padres did in [Clayton] Richard, [Mat] Latos, and [Wade] LeBlanc. You have to get something out of your guys and look for the future. You got James McDonald, nice pickup with the Dodgers. Paul Maholm, making a lot of money right now for what he’s bringing in. Ross Ohlendorf was 1-11. You bring in a guy with some innings, that you can bring in a Kevin Correia that can maybe hold over for the future. This is about draft picks, this is about your player development. Everything that goes on from the bottom up, to eventually find that diamond. That’s what I would be sitting on and I look to the Padres. Last year, two teams under $40 million dollars in payroll: both the Pirates and the Padres. It starts with pitching.”
Harold Reynolds: “It does. It actually starts with draft also. I love what Clint Hurdle can bring to the table. You got to be positive with the young guys. You heard me say, ‘You got to play the young talent’. Some of the guys they are bringing in, the draft they had last year. They had two top picks, you get [Jameson] Taillon and you also get [Stetson] Allie, who should have been a number one pick as well. So they get those two guys to get it going in the minor leagues. It starts with pitching. You can move pitching and you can add players with having good pitching. But I love the fact that guys they have in the big leagues already. With [Andrew] McCutchen, I love [Neil] Walker the second baseman, and you look at Alvarez. Those three guys are a great core to start with and you go from there. The Pirates are on up!
Amsinger: “It’s a great sports city. They love the penguins, of course they love the Steelers, if they can get a winning product there for the Pirates they will come fill the most beautiful ball park in the game.”
Pirates Projected Rotation (According to MLB Network)
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 have acquired right-hand pitcher Cesar Valdez from the Arizona Diamondbacks for the player to be named later in the Zach Duke trade.
In nine games with the Backs (20 innings) during the 2010 season, Valdez allowed 19 runs (17 earned) while walking 10 and striking out 13.
“It’s a right-hander with heavy sink,” Huntington said of Valdez. “He gets a lot of groundballs. He’s going to mix-and-match. He’s going to hit his spots. He’s a guy that we feel can help maybe out of the bottom of the rotation or use as a long man. He’s a guy to add to our depth and our competition to make our club.”
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed Zach Duke to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2012. (It is reported to be worth $3.5M in 2011, $5.5 M mutual option for 2012. It could increase to $7 M based on innings pitched with a buyout o $750,000.)
Duke was traded to the Dbacks last week for a Player to be named later.
“We’re excited,” General Manager Ken Towers said. “He’s a lefty with a lot of experience that’s still in the prime of his career. We think there’s a lot of upside there.”
Duke went 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA in 2010. He is 45-70 with a 4.54 ERA in six seasons with the Pirates.
The Diamondbacks non-tendered reliever D.J. Carrasco and Outfielder Ryan Church on Thursday making them free-agents.
Carrasco and Church were both acquired by the D-backs from the Pirates last July in a deal that sent Catcher Chris Snyder and Infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Pittsburgh.
Carrasco went 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 55.2 innings for the Pirates and 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 22.2 innings for the Dbacks,
Church batted .182 with three home runs and 18 RBI in 170 at-bats with the Pirates. He batted .265 with two home runs and seven RBI in 49 at-bats with the Dbacks.
The Pirates had until 11:59 on Thursday to decide whether to tender/non tender a contract for 2011 to Ross Ohlendorf, Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens, Ronny Cedeno and Lastings Milledge.
Pittsburgh originally had nine players that were facing arbitration this offseason. Wil Ledezma was signed to a one-year deal, while Zach Duke (who has signed a one-year deal plus a mutual option for 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks), Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young were designated for assignment and removed from the roster.
Jeff Karstens agreed to a one-year $1.1 million contract for 2011 (He made $457,000 last year). Karstens went 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA during 19 starts with the Pirates (26 appearances) through 122.1 innings. It is uncertain whether Karstens will remain a starter for 2011 or if he will be used out of the bullpen as long relief.
Ronny Cedeno agreed to a one-year deal which includes and club option for 2012. He batted .256 with eight home runs and 38 RBI with the Pirates in 2010. “We have identified upgrading our infield defense as a top priority and are working aggressively to accomplish that upgrade,’ Frank Coonelly said on Thursday afternoon. The Pirates are rumored to be interested in J.J Hardy and Jason Bartlett and will continue to explore options. Cedeno could be used in a trade or as a utility infielder if the right guy is found. “He has the ability to play the position,” Huntington said. “He shows flashes of the defense. He shows flashes of the offense. At some point in time, the consistency is either going to come or it’s not going to come. There are stretches of time where we feel like it’s just about there, and then we have some games that are less than ideal.”
Ross Ohlendorf was tendered a contract. He had a few stints on the disabled list and was considered a “very unlucky pitcher” in 2010 (referring to his 1-11 record and 4.07 ERA).
Joel Hanrahan was tendered a contract. He finished the 2010 season with a 3.62 ERA and six saves. Hanrahan also struck out 100 batters (a career high) in 69.2 innings.
Lastings Milledge was non-tendered by the Bucs, making him a free-agent. Milledge batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBI (.320 AVG against lefties) His below average offense along with his lack of power were both concerns of the Pirates.
General Manager Neal Huntington: “We spent a lot of time analyzing Lastings Milledge as compared with the potential alternatives for the expected role and determined it was worth further exploration of the alternatives. We remain open to continuing dialogue with Lastings.”
Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal and Brian Burres were also non-tendered by the Bucs, becoming free-agents.
Huntington on Donnie Veal: “Everything is on schedule with Donnie’s rehabilitation. We made a tough business decision, but we are optimistic we will be able to re-sign Donnie.”
Zach Duke was interviewed on MLB Network Radio on Thursday night and here are some of the highlights:
On the current contract negotiations with the Arizona Diamondbacks: “I think there is something in the works. I don’t think anything is actually official. But we have agreed. Looks like a one year with a possible option.”
On how a change of scenery could be good for him: “I’m certainly hoping so. All I’ve known is Pittsburgh. The Pirates have struggled for so long and we weren’t able to turn it around when I was there.”
On how all the losing can effect the players: “It can be a little tough. But that’s part of the job of being a professional.”
Duke said that his struggles from the 2010 season was mainly because of his health and the problems he had with his elbow. “Inconsistent mechanics and ended up fighting myself throughout the season.” He also said he feels completely healthy now.
On the possibility of being a reliever: “Obviously I’d love to continue starting. I’ve been starting my whole career. I know I am capable of becoming a successful starter in the major leagues.”
On conditioning during the offseason: “I haven’t started throwing yet. I’ll be starting in a few weeks. You can’t take off very long anymore. There are all these young guys trying to take my job now.”
On the high expectations (after his rookie year in 2005): “I guess that season is going to follow me anywhere. I’m pretty positive I wont be able to duplicate that. There was an expectation placed on me. I’ve learned how to deal with expectations and learn about myself. I’m glad I went through it. I wish things would have went different at times.”
After Duke was traded to the backs he texted Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage and said, “Hey. I owe the pirates a complete game shutout so be prepared.”
He went on to discuss how being traded and jobless was “stressful” especially considering his wife is due in February with their first child, Freddy Sanchez wining the World Series and how he hopes to do good things in Arizona. Check out the interview if you have XM or Sirius Radio.
The Pirates have traded Pitcher Zach Duke to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later on Wednesday.
Duke was designated for assignment on Friday and was arbitration eligible for the third time this offseason. (Duke made $4.3 Million for the 2010 season)
Duke was selected in the 20th round of the 2001 draft. He ends his time in a Pirates uniform with a 45-70 record and 4.54 ERA in 160 games. Duke is coming off a career worst 2010 season going 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA.
Pirates Beat Reporter Jenifer Langosch’s weekly chat where she discusses the Bucs rotation without Duke, as well as De La Rosa and Greinke rumors. You can read the entire chat transcript here.
With the release of Zach Duke, at this point, how do you see the Pirates’ starting rotation setting up for 2011?
It’s hard to project a 2011 rotation before we know if the Pirates are successful in their pursuits to add at least one starting pitcher this winter. The outcome of those offseason attempts will determine the rotation’s makeup.
That said, three internal candidates appear set: James McDonald, Paul Maholm and Ross Ohlendorf. Other internal candidates include Brad Lincoln, Daniel McCutchen, Charlie Morton, Brian Burres and Jeff Karstens. Kevin Hart may be ready to pitch by the start of the season, but he may fall into a relief role after missing last season.
There are reports that the Pirates are targeting Jorge De La Rosa, who is also being looked at by teams with bigger budgets and who is likely to get upwards of $11 million. What is so attractive about a pitcher who has only shown two seasons of marginally above-average baseball at the age of 29?
This hits precisely on the debates that the Pirates will be having all offseason. It’s no secret that the Pirates need starting pitching help and would prefer to bring in at least one new pitcher instead of relying solely on improvements from their internal options. This isn’t the year to be looking for pitching, however. Outside of Cliff Lee, the options aren’t all that appealing.
It’s because of the lack of depth in the market that you are hearing about the Pirates’ interest in someone like De La Rosa. It’s also because of this depth that you are hearing De La Rosa’s demands are higher than he might really be worth. De La Rosa’s value increases simply by a lack of better options. And my guess is that if he wants to command more than a three-year deal with a salary of at least $11 million a year, some desperate club will give it to him.
Now, is De La Rosa really worth that money? His best season came in ’09, which is also the only year in which he has thrown more than 130 innings. He’s prone to giving up too many walks and homers, but he could easily be the Pirates’ strikeout leader if inserted into the rotation. Remember, too, that De La Rosa has been pitching in hitter-friendly Coors Field in recent years.
He put up strong numbers in the second half of the year — opponents scored more than three earned runs off him only once in his final 14 starts — but consistency hasn’t been De La Rosa’s trademark through the years. I don’t think there’s any question that the lefty would improve the Pirates’ rotation. However, the Pirates have to ultimately decide if his price tag is really worth the long-term investment.
I’ve been watching and reading a lot of rumors, and one rumor mentioned in passing is how Zack Greinke fits better in a smaller market, and Pittsburgh seems the kind of club he could make a difference with. Any chance we could trade for Greinke?
It’s highly doubtful. There’s no question that the Pirates would love to add Greinke to their rotation. But the cost is probably too high. The Royals are not in a position where they have to deal their ace, so they have the luxury of asking a lot for him. For a pitcher of Greinke’s caliber, that means looking for high-ceiling prospects or young players.
It just doesn’t seem to make sense for the Pirates to give up one of their best prospects for Greinke, who is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season. The Pirates wouldn’t have an issue paying Greinke the $27 million he’s due the next two years, but do you pay that and mortgage some of your best Minor League talents for a potential two-year rental? It doesn’t make long-term sense.
And then there’s this: Greinke has a partial no-trade clause. While it’s believed that Greinke put a lot of big-market clubs on that list, Pittsburgh could always be on it as well.
The Pirates Designated Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young for assignment on Friday.
This shouldn’t come to much surprise to Pirates fans –they all had a unproductive season and were due a pay raise.
Duke, 27, is coming off of his career worst season in the majors. He finished 2010 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA. Duke had a great rookie season –8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 2005– but since then he averages a 4.06 ERA each season. (Despite the numbers, Duke was a good guy. Him and his wife did many great things for the city of Pittsburgh. I wish nothing but the best for him and hope he does well with another team. Also, a healthy first child as his wife is pregnant.)
“I am truly thankful for the opportunity the Pirates have given me and genuinely enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh,” Duke said in a statement. “I understand this business decision and wish the Pirates and my friends still on the team the best of luck in the future.”
“We know that it’s not going to be easy to find a quality upgrade, and we know it’s going to be a challenge to find a guy who can pitch 180 innings,” Huntington said. “We plan to reinvest the money that was supposed to go to Zach Duke into the club, but we’ll take the same logical approach into signing a free agent as we did in deciding not to tender him a contract. Just as we made our decision not to offer a contract to Zach Duke, we’ll only spend that money if it is on the right player at the right price.”
Andy LaRoche was also part of the Jason Bay trade, who came from the Dodgers. He was the starting third baseman in 2009 but lost his job to Pedro Alvarez when he was brought up from the minors in July of the 2010 season. LaRoche batted .206 with four homers and 16 RBIs –primarily off the bench– last season.
“[It was] another difficult [decision] because Andy is a talented player,” Huntington said. “For whatever reason, it just hasn’t clicked here in Pittsburgh. In Andy’s case, I really believe he’s going to land on his feet somewhere and become a productive Major League player.”
Delwyn Young was acquired from the Dodgers and was used primarily as a pinch-hitter. Although he is capable to play several positions he wasn’t defensively good at any of them. Young hit .262 off the bench and .254 when he started games for the Bucs.
The Pirates added Tony Watson, Daniel Moskos, Kyle McPherson, Jeff Locke and Michael Crotta to the Pirates’ 40-man roster. It is currently full.