Spring Training 2013: Thursday 3/21 Recap

Editor’s note: I can’t connect to the hotel wifi, so it looks like it will be phone posts all weekend. Please forgive the lack of links and poor formatting.

Jonathan Sanchez took the mound tonight looking to stake a claim to a spot in the rotation. 5 shutout innings with 4 Ks and only 3 baserunners should do it. Other than a two batters in the third, when he walked Lew Ford, then sent him to second on a wild pitch, Sanchez was in control the whole time. This wasn’t against minor leaguers either, as Baltimore had 7 regulars in the lineup.

Chris Leroux and Justin Wilson both solid in their relief stints.

The offense looked a lot like last year. Eight hits, but never more than one in an inning, and nine Ks. Starling Marte and Neil Walker both reached base twice. Travis Snider had two hits and two walks, plus made some tricky plays against the twilight sky.

On the bad side, Brad Hawpe had a hat trick and clearly disagreed with the umpire on both of his called strikeouts. Jose Tabata pinch hit for Hawpe in the ninth when the Pirates were trying to rally but missed a bunt sign and left pinch runner Alex Presley out to dry at second.

It would have been nice to win, but all-in-all there were a lot if positive things to take away from the game. I also got to meet Pat Lackey from Whygavs.com, who seemed to be having a good time. Which is really what it’s all about.

Some pictures:

Jonathan Sanchez warms up.

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Pedro Alvarez watches Andrew McCutchen at bat.

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Swing and a miss.

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A great night for baseball.

Heading South

Getting ready to head down to Bradenton for spring training this weekend. If you’ll be at the following games send me a tweet or email and we can try to meet up.

Thursday Orioles @ Sarasota
Friday   Rays    @ Bradenton
Saturday Red Sox @ Ft. Myers
Sunday   Orioles @ Bradenton

Look for pictures and thoughts to be posted all weekend, assuming I can figure out why my wireless card isn’t working or the hotel has an ethernet connection available.

Trade Tree: Jeremy Guthrie

Jeremy Guthrie just signed a three year, $25M deal with the Royals. MLBTradeRumors had predicted he would sign with the Pirates so that’s more than enough for me to consider this as semi-relevant. (Guthrie was also Pittsburgh’s third round draft pick in 2001 but did not sign.) Knowing the Pirates’ desire to improve the depth of the starting rotation, it’s likely they considered Guthrie as a possibility.

But that’s neither here nor there now that Jeremy has chosen to stay in Kansas City. How did the Royals get him?

He struggled hard in the thin air of Colorado — certainly not the first or last pitcher to do so. In KC, Guthrie turned back into exactly what was expected – a league average pitcher who can take his turn every time up. How did the Rockies get him?

Colorado traded the talented but inconsistent Jason Hammel, thinking they were getting the Guthrie that eventually showed up in Kansas City. Hammel had a breakout year for the upstart Orioles, becoming the pitcher the Rockies thought they were getting from the Rays at the start of the 2009 season. Man, it’s tough being a pitcher in Denver.

Just to complete the tale, how did the Orioles get him?

So that’s the story of Jeremy Guthrie: a consistently average pitcher twice traded by teams looking for a younger pitcher with a little more upside.

Ex-Pirates in the Playoffs

Greetings. I’m back and will resume posting. The Pirates’ season went down in flames but there’s still a month of exciting baseball left to watch. For those of you who are interested, here’s a list of ex-Pirates who’s teams are playing in the postseason. I’ll update the stats after each round.

Braves (Lost the Wild Card game)
Eric Hinske DNP
Paul Maholm (not active for wild card game)
Lyle Overbay DNP
David Ross 3 for 4, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 HR

Cardinals
None

Orioles
Nate McLouth 1 for 4, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB, SF

Rangers (Lost the Wild Card game)
None

Division Winners

Nationals
Adam LaRoche
Sean Burnett
Mike Gonzalez
Tom Gorzelanny

Reds
Ryan Ludwick
Bronson Arroyo
Xavier Paul

Giants
Ryan Vogelsong
Javier Lopez
Xavier Nady

Yankees
None

Athletics
Brandon Moss

Tigers
Octavio Dotel
Don Kelly

My picks for this postseason:
Nats over Cards, Reds over Giants, Orioles over Yankees, A’s over Tigers
Reds over Nats, A’s over O’s
A’s over Reds

Orioles Wrap Up

Scores:
Tuesday: 6-8 Loss at Baltimore. Bad pitching. Box score.
Wednesday: 1-7 Loss at Baltimore. Bad pitching. Box score.
Thursday: 6-12 Loss at Baltimore. Bad pitching. Box score.

Season Record: 32-30, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Notes: Swept. For the first time this year the Bucs has no pitchers do anything good for a whole series. The best you could say about any of them is that Correia at least gave the team six innings. Its a shame too, because it wasted some pretty good hitting. Casey McGehee and Jose Tabata each has 5 hits. Also on the good side: no runners caught stealing or picked off.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB    R    H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Walker, 2B 15 1 2 4 0 5 7 0.133 0.133
Presley, LF 14 2 3 1 1 2 5 0.214 0.267
McCutchen, A, CF 12 2 4 1 0 3 4 0.333 0.308
Alvarez, 3B 12 0 1 1 0 4 9 0.083 0.083
Tabata, RF 11 2 5 0 1 3 4 0.455 0.500
Barmes, SS 11 1 3 0 0 1 6 0.273 0.273
McGehee, 1B 10 2 5 2 3 1 1 0.500 0.615
Barajas, C 8 1 1 3 0 2 3 0.125 0.125
Jones, G, DH 7 2 3 0 0 2 2 0.429 0.429
Hague, DH 5 0 1 1 1 2 2 0.200 0.333
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.250
Harrison, SS 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 —- 1.000
  Totals 108 13 28 13 7 26 45 0.259 0.308

Batting
Doubles (5): Walker (11), Presley (6), McGehee (7), Jones (9), Tabata (11)
Home Runs (3): McGehee (2), Walker (4), Barajas (6)

BaseRunning
SB: McCutchen 2 (13), Tabata (7)

Fielding
Errors: Barmes (8), Resop (3), Presley (3)
Double Plays: (McGehee-Barmes-Lincoln), (Barmes-Walker-McGehee), (McGehee-Barmes-Correia)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Correia(L, 2-6) 6.0 10 5 4 1 1 1 6.00 1.83
Lincoln(L, 3-2) 4.3 9 4 4 1 3 2 8.31 2.31
Resop 4.0 7 5 4 0 2 1 9.00 1.75
Bedard(L, 4-7) 3.3 8 7 7 2 1 0 18.90 3.00
Slaten 2.7 6 3 3 1 0 1 10.13 2.63
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.00
Hughes, J 1.0 1 1 1 1 1 1 9.00 2.00
Watson 1.0 2 2 2 0 2 1 18.00 2.00
Cruz, J 0.7 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
  Totals 24.0 44 27 25 7 13 7 9.38 2.13

Transactions: none

Trade Tree: Erik Bedard

Erik Bedard has been a big part of the Pirates’ pitching renaissance this season. Tonight, he starts for against the Orioles, the team that drafted and developed him.

Bedard broke out in 2007 as an ace pitcher for the 4th place O’s. Instead of building around him, Baltimore decided to trade in in what turned out to be a franchise changing deal.

Bedard (and David Hernandez) became seven players, five of whom are still are still with the organization. The key to this being a good trade for Baltimore is Adam Jones – a good player the last four seasons who is putting up MVP caliber numbers this year.

So what did Seattle get on their end? Bedard has always been an effective pitcher when healthy, he just has trouble staying healthy. In his first three seasons in Seattle Erik made only 30 total starts. 2011 was his first injury-free season in Seattle, but it was also the last year of his contract. The Mariners decided to trade him to a contender at the deadline before another malady could put him on the shelf.

The M’s are left with two toolsy outfield prospects and the visions of what Bedard might have been. It’s going to take one of Chih-Hsien Chiang or Trayvon Robinson turning into a major league regular for Seattle to recoup the value they sent away.

Series Preview: The Orioles

Current record: 32-27, 1st place tie in NL Central, 0.0 games ahead

Up Next: Baltimore Orioles, 34-26, 3rd place in AL East, 1.0 game back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: The Orioles have been the surprise team of the AL this season, having spent 53 days in first place of the tough AL East. Like the Pirates, the O’s are finding their success despite having been outscored on the season 263-267. Also like the Pirates, they have a young All-Star center fielder leading the way. Adam Jones is hitting .298/.344/.571 with 17 home runs, 37 RBI and 9 steals. Anchoring the team behind the plate is a name all too familiar to Pirate fans: Matt Wieters. The Georgia Tech product has become one of the best catchers in the majors; just as it was thought he would back in 2007. Former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield passed on taking Wieters with the 4th pick, which is a big reason he is now the former GM.

Familiar Faces: Ronny Paulino, Steve Pearce, Dana Eveland

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: RH Brad Lincoln (3-1, 30.0 IP, 31 K, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)
vs. LH Wei-Yin Chen (5-2, 67.0 IP, 51 K, 3.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

The Bucs face Chens in back to back starts for what has to be the first time in their history. Wei-Yin (no relation to Bruce) has been a major addition for the O’s this season. Jeff Karstens strained his hip flexor in his last rehab start, so Lincoln will get at least one more turn.

Wednesday: RH Kevin Correia (2-5, 63.0 IP, 24 K, 4.29 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
vs. LH Brian Matusz (5-6, 65.1 IP, 50 K, 4.82 ERA, 1.55 WHIP)

Thursday: LH Erik Bedard (4-6, 62.2 IP, 61 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
vs. RH Tommy Hunter (2-3, 65.0 IP, 33 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

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