Marlon Byrd Trade Tree

Finally, the Pirates make a move to upgrade their offense, acquiring Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the Mets.

Marlon  Byrd Trade Tree

Byrd is having the best season of his 12 year career and should go to the playoffs for the first time. He slots in at RF and will push Jose Tabata to the bench when Starling Marte is healthy.

I don’t see Tony Sanchez being sent down, so Buck looks like he’ll be a 3rd catcher. His presence will give Clint Hurdle the peace of mind to use Russell Martin or Tony off of the bench when they aren’t starting.

The team hasn’t announced a corresponding roster move and I wouldn’t expect them to before tomorrow. I’d probably send down Pie and a pitcher. You don’t need as many pitchers in the playoffs and they have plenty of DL spots to play with to get whoever they want active.

Spring Training 2012: Friday 3/23 Pirate City Recap

Day Two started at Pirate City. Minor league players were everywhere to be seen on the five and a half fields. Happily, I was able to meet Tim Williams, who runs the excellent Pirates Prospects. Tim informed me that Gerrit Cole would not be pitching, but luckily there was still (as always) plenty to see. A quick photo essay:

Coaches watch batting practice.

Club President Frank Coonelly gives a tour. Steve Blass gave a similar tour earlier.

Tony Sanchez walks through the bullpen.

Sanchez about to step in the cage.

Starling Marte (#6) waits for his turn while Kris Watts hits.

Kyle McPherson throws to Sanchez.

“The Legend” Garrett Jones had a fan on site. The crowd was sparse when we arrived but filled in a lot by the time we broke for lunch.

Autograph hounds float around too. Here, they descend on Tony Sanchez.

The pictures turned out more Tony Sanchez-centric than I intended. Not pictured but seen running various drills: Stetson Allie, Gorkys Hernandez, Mel Rojas, Jr., and Brian Friday.

Lunch was at the nearby Mixon Fruit Farm where my Dad and I ate with fellow Pirate fan Matt Brown. I had a tasty Cuban sandwich followed by this number for dessert.

That is a swirl of orange ice cream made with fresh squeezed orange juice. It tasted just like a cream-sickle only better.

Mixon’s came highly recommended and now I know why. This will definitely become a regular part of our trips to Spring Training.

Coming up: Part II: McKechnie Field and the Tigers.

Bad Breaks

Not a good night for the Pirates or some of their top prospects.

Ross Ohlendorf, still searching for his first win or the season, was perfect through 10 outs, but then got knocked around the second time through the order as the Pirates lost 6-3. Ryan Church was inexplicably the DH while Lastings Milledge played RF. Garrett Jones extended his hit streak to twelve games with a first inning RBI single.

Zach Duke could go on the DL if he can’t make his scheduled side session today.

Last year’s #1 draft pick Tony Sanchez was hit in the face by a pitch and had his jaw broken in two places. Surgery will be required to set the bone. He was also hit in the head by a pitch earlier in the month and missed a week then. Best of luck to Tony on the journey back to solid food.

After conflicting reports on the severity of the injury earlier in the week, it does appear now that Class A infielder Brock Holt will miss the rest of the season with a sprained MCL and a torn meniscus.

Akinori Iwamura and cleared waivers and been optioned to AAA. He has said he will report on Friday.

Last night’s loss also guaranteed that the Pirates will have a losing record in interleague play this year. If memory serves they’ve only had a winning record twice. Still, it would be nice to take this series and the next.

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