Dominoes Are Falling

The Winter meetings start tomorrow and the Pirates made several moves, big and small, prior to arriving in Nashville.

The big moves:
Signed free agent C Russell Martin to a 2 year deal.
Non-tendered RHP Jeff Karstens, making him a free agent.

The small moves:
Traded a PTBNL to Boston for Zach Stewart.
Traded minor league RHP Luis Santos and minor league LHP Luis Rico to Kansas City for 1B Clint Robinson and RHP Vin Mazzaro.
Traded RHP Chris Resop to Oakland for minor league RHP Zach Thornton.
Traded IF/OF Yamaico Navarro to Baltimore for minor league RHP Jhondaniel Medina.
Signed free agent LHP Mike Zagurski to a minor league contract.

Looking back at my checklist of what to expect, they got the catcher and a bunch of relievers. Look for the team to acquire at least one starting pitcher and several more relievers as the off-season rolls on.

The latest rumors have the Mariners interested in Garrett Jones. The reported deal would have included catcher John Jaso coming to the Bucs, so it may be dead now that they have Martin.

Qualls to DL

Prior to today’s rubber game against the Brewers, the Pirates placed RHP Chad Qualls on the DL with irritation in his right big toe. The move makes room on the active roster for relief pitcher Hisanori Takahashi who was claimed on waivers from Los Angeles on Friday. In 42 IP for the Angels, the lefty put up a 4.93 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 8.8 K/9.

Also from Friday, Yamaico Navarro was optioned to AAA and 1B Jeff Clement was called up. Clement struck out as a pinch hitter in his first major league at bat since 2010 and is getting the start at first base today.

Dodgers Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 5-4 Loss vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Jones’ 4 hits go for naught. Box score.
Tuesday: 11-0 Loss vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Horrible game all around. Box score.
Wednesday: 9-3 Loss vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Not much better. Box score.
Thursday: 10-6 Win vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Jones’ 2 HR lead the Bucs. Box score.

Season Record: 65-53, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Notes: A third horrible series in a row is capped off by a win in the series finale. Garrett Jones was a beast with a four hit game and a two homer game. He knocked in 10 runs too. Andrew McCutchen was walked five times and scored five runs. Pedro Alvarez had eight strikeouts along with his three extra base hits. Neil Walker had to leave Wednesday’s game early after dislocating his right pinky. Pitching? Eh, let’s not talk about the pitching.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Marte, S, LF 18 1 3 0 0 5 6 0.167 0.167
Alvarez, 3B 15 2 4 1 1 8 3 0.267 0.313
Jones, G, RF-1B 13 3 7 10 1 0 2 0.538 0.533
Barmes, SS 13 0 4 4 0 1 5 0.308 0.308
McCutchen, A, CF 12 5 3 1 5 2 3 0.250 0.471
Sanchez, G, 1B 12 2 2 0 0 2 7 0.167 0.167
Walker, 2B 9 0 1 0 0 1 4 0.111 0.111
Mercer, SS, 2B 7 2 1 0 0 2 1 0.143 0.143
Barajas, C 7 1 1 0 1 1 4 0.143 0.250
Snider, PH-RF 6 1 2 0 0 1 3 0.333 0.333
McKenry, C 6 0 1 1 2 2 2 0.167 0.375
Harrison, 3B-2B 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.000 0.200
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Rodriguez, W, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 130 17 30 17 11 26 42 0.231 0.291

Batting
Doubles (8): Jones 3 (20), Snider 2 (5), Sanchez 2 (12), Alvarez (17)
Triples (1): Barmes (1)
Home Runs (4): McCutchen (24), Jones 2 (19), Alvarez (22)

Baserunning
SB: Marte (4)
PO: McCutchen

Fielding
Errors: Walker (6), Qualls (2), Harrison (4), Alvarez 2 (20)
PB: Barajas (6)
DP: (Jones-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens (L, 4-3) 7.0 7 4 4 1 4 1 5.14 1.14
Burnett, AJ (W, 15-4) 6.7 7 6 6 1 7 2 8.10 1.20
Correia (L, 9-7) 6.0 7 6 5 1 3 0 7.50 1.33
Rodriguez, W (L, 7-12) 5.7 10 5 5 1 1 0 7.94 1.94
Watson (H, 13) 2.3 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.86
Locke 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.50
Grilli 1.7 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.60
Resop 1.7 5 4 4 0 0 0 21.60 3.00
Cruz, J 1.3 0 1 1 2 0 0 6.75 1.50
Hanrahan 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Qualls 0.7 5 5 4 1 0 0 54.00 9.00
  Totals 36.0 45 31 29 7 19 3 7.25 1.44

Transactions: Signed 3B Dallas McPherson and assigned him to AAA. Traded RHP Daniel Cabrera to Arizona. Placed RHP Chad Qualls on the bereavement list. Recalled RHP Jared Hughes from AAA. Optioned LHP Jeff Locke to AAA. Recalled IF Yamaico Navarro from AAA.

Walker Injured, Roster Moves

Late update today. Neil Walker dislocated his right pinky finger last night. X-rays came back negative for a fracture and he saw a hand specialist this morning. He has not been placed on the disabled list as of this writing. Yamaico Navarro has been recalled from AAA to provide infield depth and Jeff Locke was optioned to Indy.

In a separate move, Chad Qualls was placed on the bereavement list due to an illness in the family and Jared Hughes was called up from AAA.

Today’s game started at 4pm, as the Pirates try to salvage the series finale with the Dodgers.

Reds Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 4-1 Win vs Cincinnati. McDonald is the ace. Box score.
Tuesday: 8-1 Loss vs Cincinnati. Morton, Hughes not sharp. Box score.
Wednesday: 2-1 Win vs Cincinnati. Hague’s double supports Burnett. Box score.

Season Record: 25-25, 3rd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Notes: A 6-3 homestand gets the Bucs back to the .500 mark. Charlie Morton may get pulled from the rotation when Jeff Karstens comes off the DL. Doug Slaten threw a perfect inning in his Pirates debut. New SS Jordy Mercer had a hit in his first start. Rod Barajas went 3 for 7 and had three walks.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh  AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Alvarez, 3B 11 2 2 1 1 2 3 0.182 0.250
McCutchen, A, CF 11 0 2 0 0 2 5 0.182 0.182
Tabata, LF-RF 11 0 1 0 1 0 6 0.091 0.167
Hague, 1B 10 1 3 2 0 1 3 0.300 0.300
Jones, G, RF 10 1 3 1 0 3 1 0.300 0.300
Walker, 2B 10 2 2 1 2 3 4 0.200 0.333
Barajas, C 7 0 3 1 3 0 0 0.429 0.600
Mercer, SS 5 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.200 0.200
Barmes, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 3 1 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 1 0 1 0 2 0.500 0.667
McGehee, 1B 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 0.500 0.500
Hernandez, Go, LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
Morton, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 93 7 19 7 8 15 33 0.204 0.267

Batting
Doubles (5): Alvarez 2 (9), Walker (8), Hague 2 (2)
Triples (2): McCutchen (2), Jones (1)

BaseRunning
SB: Hernandez, Go (1)

Fielding
Errors: Harrison (1), Alvarez (10), Walker (3)
Double Plays: (Alvarez-Walker-Hague), (Harrison-Walker-Hague), (Mercer-Walker-Hague)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H     R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
McDonald, J (W, 4-2) 8.0 5 0 0 1 5 0 0.00 0.75
Burnett, AJ (W, 4-2) 7.0 2 1 0 2 3 0 0.00 0.57
Morton (L, 2-6) 4.0 6 4 4 1 0 0 9.00 1.75
Grilli (H, 12) 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 0.50
Hanrahan (S, 12,13) 1.3 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.50
Lincoln 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Resop 1.0 1 1 1 2 1 0 9.00 3.00
Hughes, J 1.0 5 3 3 0 1 0 27.00 5.00
Watson 0.7 1 1 1 1 1 0 13.50 3.00
  Totals 27.0 22 10 9 8 16 0 3.00 1.11

Transactions: Placed RHP Juan Cruz on the Restricted List. Called up LHP Doug Slaten from AAA. Optioned IF/OF Yamaico Navarro to AAA. Recalled IF Jordy Mercer from
AAA.

Mercer Called Up

AAA infielder Jordy Mercer has been called up to the big leagues for the first time. Mercer is mainly a shortstop but has played second and third as well. In 48 games this season he is hitting .303/.379/.417. It is expected the Mercer will see regular playing time, with Clint Barmes going to the bench.

To make room for Mercer on the roster, IF/OF Yamaico Navarro was sent to AAA.

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