Day 3 Short Hops

In honor of today being President’s Day, here are a few president-baseball quote to get you in the holiday spirit before we get down to Day 3 at Pirate City.

“I wanted to be a real Major League player, a professional like Honus Wagner.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I wouldn’t even complain if a stray ball came through the Oval Office window now and then.” — Ronald Reagan

“May the sun never set on American baseball. ” — Harry S. Truman

And with that, let’s get right into today’s short hops:

  • 18 pitchers threw bullpen sessions on Monday, marking the second side session each has thrown since Spring Training officially opened. Those pitchers were: Ross Ohlendorf, Ian Snell, Jimmy Barthmaier, Brian Slocum, Matt Capps, Sean Burnett, Tyler Yates, Virgil Vasquez, Donnie Veal, Jesse Chavez, Chris Bootcheck, Craig Hansen, Juan Mateo, Evan Meek, Jeff Sues, Ronald Uviedo, Daniel Haigwood and Romulo Sanchez.
  • Position players were required to report to Bradenton by midnight on Monday, and most of the absentees showed up by the end of the pitcher/catcher workouts. Among those checked in by lunch time: Freddy Sanchez, Andy Phillips, Anderson Machado, Luis Cruz and Shelby Ford. UPDATE: Jack Wilson and Jose Tabata checked in soon after. The only position player still yet to arrive at Pirate City as of 3 p.m. is Pedro Lopez.
  • Batting practice took much longer because of the larger number of participants — included in those participants was Pedro Alvarez, who had Nyjer Morgan and Craig Monroe marveling at some of the blasts he sent into the parking lot.
  • Hitters also spent time doing infield drills, led by new infield coach Perry Hill
  • Simultaneously, the catchers found a way to make pitching coach Joe Kerrigan’s hitter dummies useful by setting them up next to the plate while practicing throwing runners out.
  • Camp had one extra non-roster invitee taking part in workouts on Monday, that being seven-year-old Drake LaRoche, Adam LaRoche’s son. Wearing his No. 25 LaRoche shirt, Drake accompanied the hitters as they ran after BP and during stretches. He also made himself at home in the clubhouse.
  • Third baseman Neil Walker arrived at Pirate City prepared to be an uncle by the end of the day. Neil’s sister, Carrie, who is married to former Pirate Don Kelly, was scheduled to give birth on Monday.
  • While members of the Korean World Baseball Classic team have already been staying and practicing at Pirate City for a while now, they will be joined by members of the Netherlands national team on Tuesday. Many of the Dutch players are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

That’s all the news and notes for now. I’m also still waiting for more submissions on any creative titles to replace the “short hops” headline. Bradenton bits and Jen’s Views (thanks, Pat) have already been suggested. Anyone else care to jump in?

Until tomorrow…


Tabata should have been an early to camp player given his reputation as a yankee minor leaguer.

Jenifer, this is going to be the most interesting spring camp to watch in Bradenton for a lot of years. I see the talent level slowly but surely rising with a great opportunity for most of the guys now at hand: namely, young players like Tabata, the McCutcheons, Karstens, and Ohlendorf among others. Is the mood in camp serious (let’s get down to business) with the players; is the atmosphere loose, confident? Has Pedro Alvarez done anything to impress yet? Thanks a million for your hard work and pleasant-to-read dispatches from Florida and during the regular season. Here’s my two cents for the name of this blog: Bucco Banter.

Pirate treasures.


You could always use one of my titles:

Slide Notes


Thank you Jen for the great reports you do and for answering my question. I know it is early but have you gotten any kind of feel as to who is going to play third base. Is it going to be a committee or one guy? I was wondering if Andy LaRoche or Pedro Alveres or for that matter anyone else is going to try to win that spot. This might be a question for later but I did not know if Coach Russell is leaning any way yet or not. Thanks again for the great job you do.

If this is strictly for spring training, how about Grapefruit Gossip or The Squeeze. If you will use this throughout the year, maybe From The Crow’s Nest or Jen’s “Pirate” Langoschip.

I’d have to characterize the camp closer to the lines of serious, than loose. Manager John Russell runs very tight, efficient Spring Training (as was noted last year), and there really isn’t much time spent standing around. That’s not to say that the clubhouse is uptight or anything — at this point there is still a lot of catching up going on from all that went on this offseason.

The fact that these guys all came into camp in great shape, too, is indicative of the fact that they are ready to get down to business.

As for Pedro Alvarez, I’ll admit I enjoyed watching him take BP yesterday (as did those stationed in the parking lot behind the outfield wall). Alvarez has a very fluid swing, and it didn’t take him long to showcase his power.

That third base job belongs to Andy LaRoche, for better or for worse. Management doesn’t deem Neil Walker ready to make the jump to the Majors, so I’d expect him to start in Triple-A. Alvarez obviously is not going to start in the big leagues either (one of the Single-A levels is his destination).
Eric Hinske and Ramon Vazquez give the Pirates other options at third should LaRoche stumble once the season starts. But I don’t see either starting ahead of LaRoche at third base to begin the season. Management is going to give LaRoche every opportunity to keep that job.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: