Twins 4, Pirates 2

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Not too much to add here in addition to what is going on the main site. The pirates.com mainbar today looks at Lyle Overbay, who took me aback a bit with how critical he is of himself. Not that that’s a bad thing. But he made it clear that his numbers over the last few seasons are nowhere near where he believes they can be.

Maybe the most telling comment from him came as I was asking about his struggles against left-handed pitching and potential adjustments he’d make to hit southpaws better. Overbay’s answer: “I looked at my average against righties and it was horrible. I have to get better on both ends.”

Fair enough.

In the Bucs Beat on the site, you’ll find a Joe Beimel injury update, thoughts from Ross Ohlendorf about his outing, an injury update on Kevin Hart and some team promotional news.

As for the leftovers…

***

In addition to what is in the main Ohlendorf piece, here are a few other nuggets:

  • Ohlendorf did not throw a changeup to a lefty in this outing, but did try a few out to right-handers. He threw a heavy dose of fastballs and sliders, though that should come as no surprise to anyone.
  • Up here in the press box, we could hear Ohlendorf occassionally grunting as he released his pitches. Ohlendorf explained afterward that he used to grunt more frequently, but hadn’t done it so much over the last few years. He doesn’t believe he does it only on certain pitches, so it shouldn’t give anything away to hitters. I noticed him doing it during his live BP sessions earlier in camp, so maybe the habit is returning for good. Just a random observation…
  • Ohlendorf is making a pointed effort to do a better job getting the ball to the plate quicker this year so he can limit the amount of stolen bases he gives up. Last year, it took Ohlendorf about 1.6-1.7 seconds to get the ball home. He needs to get that time closer to the 1.3-1.4 mark to really stop the running behind him. He’s working on slide steps this spring, too, though he didn’t use any on Wednesday.

***

Michael Crotta isn’t a name that you hear floated around as a potential starter in Pittsburgh this year. But he has now made two decent appearances this spring. On Wednesday, Crotta scattered two hits in a two-inning outing.

He lives on his heavy sinker, a pitch that was especially sharp in his first inning of work. He battled through the second inning without as an effective a sinker, but Crotta got out of the inning unscathed nonetheless.

“He’s definitely got the attention of some people,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s pitching with purpose.”

***

The Pirates went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday, a stat that obviously highlights a lot of missed chances. Corey Wimberly was unable to execute on a bunt attempt, and there were a handful of times when attempts to advance runners one base were unsuccessful.

Even still, Hurdle commended the effort.

“When you’ve got at-bats and things need to happen at the plate – whether you need to move runners or get bunts down – you don’t always perform,” Hurdle said. “You don’t always execute and get the result, but the intent is there. We had a couple of guys try to work the ball to right with a runner at second base. We tried to get a bunt down and the execution was a little shabby, but the commitment was there.”

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

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