Pirates eye Nieve as a starter; Marte as corner infielder

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Just spoke with general manager Neal Huntington about today’s three Minor League signs and there were two things he said that I thought would be of particular interest to you:

  • Though Fernando Nieve has been used primarily as a reliever during his time in the Majors, he will come into Spring Training and be stretched out as a starter. The Pirates plan to look at Nieve as a starting pitcher first, with the bullpen as a fallback option.
  • Andy Marte, once a top prospect in multiple organizations, will be competing for an Opening Day roster spot as a corner utility infielder. That means the Pirates plan to get him continued work at both first and third this spring.

Here is the full story.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMB


Hi Jen and Bucco fans…

Can someone help me understand the Karstens signing…A 3-10 record and a 4.92 ERA are enough to get you a spot on the 2011 team–as a starter (Doubling your salary from the previous year).

Signing minor leaguers and cutting Millege, Young, La Roche, Duke…all who were prospects at one time and have amounted to little more than cheap labor doesn’t make much sense to me either. The time has come to spend some money on guys who are underpriced proven major leaguers. We are rolling the dice again with prospects and minor league guesses.

Where are the off-season signs of verifiable talent–of middle-tier pitchers that we all expected?

After 18 seasons of this I thought there was some hope last year in the progress of what could be a good core of hitters: Walker, Alvarez (with some coaching), McCutchen, Tabata, and while not a cleanup hitter, Jones.

The bullpen is stronger and proved ready to cleanup any garbage left on the bases, but the starting pitching is what we need. Please Mr. Huntington and crew, please spend some money on starting pitchers. We beg you. Bring in a known name – at least make it appear as though you want to do more than a last place finish this upcoming year.

If you hadn’t noticed, the 2010 World Series was all about pitching. The team with the strongest pitching beat the team with the strongest hitting in every series leading up to and including the series itself.

We beg you–please spend some of the money that we give you each year.

I made a comment today, but I don’t see it…is there a delay?

SPEND MONEY???? The Pirates made over 30 MILLION DOLLARS profit over the past 3 seasons. How a team with the worst 3 year year in the game can make it’s owners bank account so FAT is beyond all common sense. THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES OWNERSHIP DOES NOT HAVE WINNING AS IT’S PRIMARY GOAL. ANY HALF WIT COULD SURMISE THIS FACT HALF DRUNK. INSTEAD OF EVERYONE CRYING FOR A SALARY CAP (WHICH SHOULD BE IN PLACE ANYWAY) MLB SHOULD ESTABLISH A DETAILED MINIMUM FOR SPENDING AND REQUIRE OWNERS ALL OWNERS TO SPEND A PERCENT OF THEIR SO-CALLED PROFITS, MAYBE 50%. This would discourage people like the Nuttings from purchasing teams in the future, leaving more ownership opportunities available for real baseball people, such as Nolan Ryan in Texas as the PERFECT EXAMPLE.

I totally agree — I hadn’t considered that there could be a mandatory spending clause for owners. I was being sarcastic when asking if someone could explain the Karstens signing–which is basically promoting a guy to a roster spot when he deserves to be cut and sent down for assignment. Hell, get rid of him altogether. The continued abuse of our major league club to act as a farm system for talent (trading away the good ones, cutting the good ones, etc.) is sickening and downright greedy. Record profits when a team is in last place is basically the American dream for an owner. It’s like watching Major League — 18 times in a row.

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