Results tagged ‘ Andrew Lambo ’

Game 36: Dodgers (16-20) @ Pirates (18-17)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates’ push over the .500 mark got me curious. Where, in the context of the previous 18 years, does this team fit in terms of its record through 35 games? In case you had a similar query, here are some numbers for you. Below, you’ll find the team’s record through its first 35 games (every year since 1993) and then the club’s end-of-season record.

1993: 17-18… finished 75-87
1994: 17-18… finished 53-61 (strike shortened)
1995:  13-22… finished 58-86 (strike shortened)
1996: 16-19… finished 73-89
1997: 19-16… finished 79-83
1998: 16-19… finished 69-93
1999: 18-17… finished 78-83
2000: 16-19… finished 69-93
2001: 13-22… finished 62-100
2002: 18-17… finished 72-89
2003: 14-21… finished 75-87
2004: 17-18… finished 72-89
2005: 16-19… finished 67-95
2006: 10-25… finished 67-95
2007: 15-20… finished 68-94
2008: 16-19… finished 67-95
2009: 14-21… finished 62-99
2010: 15-20… finished 57-105

As you’ll see, I’ve bolded the only three instances when the Pirates were above .500 heading into game No. 36. None of those teams ended the season with more than 79 wins. Do you think this 2011 squad can get to 82?

As for news and notes of the day…

  • A day after returning to the lineup after a few days off, Pedro Alvarez is back out. This has nothing to do with an injury, though. Alvarez confirmed he is fine, as did manager Clint Hurdle, who preferred Alvarez out against a lefty starter.
  • Right-hander Evan Meek is set to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday — this will be his first since landing on the DL. Meek, who said he felt great throwing from 120 feet today, is scheduled to throw a second bullpen in Milwaukee and then head out on a brief rehab assignment (probably two outings).  He has not yet been told where that rehab work will be.
  • Before the Pirates have to come up with a spot for Meek, they’ll have to make room for Jose Ascanio. That is, if the organization elects to bring him up. The Pirates have to decide tomorrow whether to call up Ascanio or risk losing him through waivers in an effort to assign him to Triple-A. The Pirates wanted Ascanio to make it through two innings in his rehab appearance on Monday, but the righty lasted just one (31 pitches). Not sure how much that will factor into the evaluation.
  • If Ascanio does join the Pirates, who goes? My guess would be Mike Crotta. Daniel Moskos is another possibility, though the Pirates have talked about the advantages of having two lefties. I think the club has to keep Daniel McCutchen because of the need for a long guy. That could make Crotta the odd man out.
  • Rehabbing right-hander Kevin Hart is also progressing. He is slated to throw live batting practice this week — another first. He’ll have at least two such sessions before being sent out to extended Spring Training or on a rehab assignment.
  • Ryan Doumit earns his third straight start and deservedly so. His handprints have been all over the team’s recent success. He is batting .333 with three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs in his last 15 games.
  • After watching a replay of Jose Tabata’s “catch” on Monday, Hurdle agreed that the ball bounced into the glove. Hurdle also shared his feelings about increasing the use of instant replay, and you can find more on those in today’s Pirates.com beat.
  • Tabata continues to struggles (1-for-12 in his last four games and 8-for-63 in his last 18) and Hurdle admitted he has had conversations about moving Tabata down in the order. The dilemma is finding a good No. 2 hitter to put in place of Tabata and then figuring out where the left fielder belongs further down in the order. Conversations are ongoing.
  • Both John Bowker and Andrew Lambo had two-run homers for Triple-A Indianapolis in a win on Monday. Something I neglected to mention a few days ago was that Andy Marte was assigned to extended Spring Training in order to open up a spot for Bowker on Indianapolis’ roster. Marte isn’t hurt, there is just no roster room for him on the Triple-A team.
  • It’s rare that I take a glance at the standings, but in case you’re curious — Pirates are in third place in the NL Central, two games behind the Cardinals. Cincinnati is second with a 19-16 record.
  • Pittsburgh has won seven of its last 10 games. No team in the Majors has done better in its most recent 10 games. 
  • Though he is 5-2 this season, Kevin Correia is still searching for that first home victory. Granted, he’s only had two starts at home this season — but both have been losses. He has a 6.94 ERA in those two games at PNC Park. In his career against the Dodgers, Correia is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA (three starts).

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), M. Diaz (RF), N. Walker (2B), S. Pearce (1B), R. Doumit (C), B. Wood (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

DODGERS: J. Carroll (SS), A. Miles (2B), A. Ethier (RF), M. Kemp (CF), J. Uribe (3B), J. Loney (1B), R. Barajas (C), J. Sands (LF), T. Lilly (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 31: Pirates (14-16) @ Padres (12-18)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

I wasn’t covering the game last night, but I found one post-game comment from manager Clint Hurdle particularly interesting and figured we could revisit it briefly. Asked about Brandon Wood’s attempt to move to third with one out on a ball in the dirt, Hurdle had this to say (by the way, Wood was thrown out): “You’re already in scoring position. If you’re safe, we’re happy, but he pushed the envelope a little bit and the catcher made a nice play. It put a damper on an inning with a chance to tie it.”

Maybe it’s not the smartest decision that could have been made, but I certainly saw more of a benefit of trying to be aggressive in this instance than the one lauded by Hurdle on Easter Sunday — you remember, Andrew McCutchen trying to score on a sacrifice fly with the team down by three. If Wood had been able to make it to third, there would have been a number of ways for him to score the tying run.

As it turns out, neither baserunning decision looked all that sensible because of the outcome. Hurdle will continue to preach aggressive baserunning. Moving forward, though, it will be interesting to see which instances he praises and which he criticizes.

A few news and notes…

  • Outfielder John Bowker has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Know that this is not what Bowker wanted. He made it plenty clear the night he was told he was being sent out that he was hoping to be picked up by another club. Turns out he’s now additional outfield depth for the Pirates, who already have Alex Presley, Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew Lambo in Triple-A.
  • Pedro Alvarez is not in Wednesday’s starting lineup. He exited Tuesday’s game with tightness in his right quad and said there was enough tightness still on Wednesday not to want to test it with any exercises.
  • Outfielder Jose Tabata was out running sprints and routes in the outfield this afternoon — certainly a good sign for as he tries to make his way back from hamstring tightness. Tabata will be available “in a limited role” for Wednesday’s game, Hurdle said.
  • For anyone who might have watched Tuesday’s game and is curious, the bunt down the third base line that neither Joe Beimel or Wood went for late in the game was supposed to be Wood’s ball. The infielders had been told on a mound meeting just before the bunt that the play was to go to first. And the coverage was yelled from the dugout right after. “For whatever reason, when the ball was hit, he took a step back and went to the base,” Hurdle said. “He missed his coverage. There was no way to make any excuses for him.”
  • Righty Ross Ohlendorf will throw another session of live batting practice on Friday, and, assuming all goes well, then move onto a Minor League rehab start. The club hasn’t announced how many rehab outings are in order for Ohlendorf, but given his time missed, I’d expect it to be at least two.
  • Today is a homecoming of sorts for Kevin Correia — though he is entirely downplaying his first start back at PETCO Park since leaving the Padres. You can read his thoughts here.
  • This afternoon’s Pirates-Padres game (6:35 pm ET start) is the MLB.TV free game of the day. So if you’re not in the Pittsburgh market and rarely get to see the Pirates live, today is your chance.
  • If you’re interested here is the feature column I wrote on San Francisco hitting coach Bam Bam Meulens for MLB.com. Many of you might remember that Meulens served as a hitting instructor in the Pirates’ Minor League system for a few years. And if that’s not reason enough for you to want to read, maybe this will be: Bam Bam is going to be an astronaut.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), X. Paul (LF), M. Diaz (RF), N. Walker (2B), S. Pearce (1B), R. Doumit (C), B. Wood (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

PADRES: J. Bartlett (SS), W. Venable (RF), R. Ludwick (LF), C. Headley (3B), C. Maybin (CF), B. Hawpe (1B), N. Hundley (C), E. Patterson (2B), C. Richard (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates cut 10 from camp

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates trimmed down the number of players in Major League camp from 54 to 44 this morning. Here are the cuts:

  • Andrew Lambo reassigned to Minor League camp
  • Brian Friday reassigned to Minor League camp
  • Chase d’Arnaud reassigned to Minor League camp
  • Aaron Thompson optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • Ramon Aguero optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • Jeff Locke optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • Tony Watson optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • Gorkys Hernandez optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • Alex Presley optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • Daniel Moskos optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis

Now for some specific notes on these players and their assignments:

  • Plan on Lambo being used as a corner outfielder in Indianapolis. It sounds like first base is going to be a fallback option for him. He really made an impression defensively this spring. Heck of an arm.
  • Friday should spend most of his time at second, with d’Arnaud getting the majority of the starts at short. The Pirates value versatility, though, so expect the two to flip flop places from time to time to stay sharp at multiple positions. d’Arnaud, general manager Neal Huntington said, might also play a little at third.
  • Both Presley and Hernandez have played extensively in center field, though now both are headed to Indianapolis. Huntington said Hernandez is likely to be the team’s primary centerfielder, while Presley will bounce around.
  • Though Thompson and Locke were both optioned to Double-A, either one could actually start the year in Triple-A. It all depends on how the pitching shakes out by the end of camp.
  • The organization has not determined whether Watson will be starting or relieving this season.
  • Watson and Moskos were named as two lefty candidates for the Pirates’ bullpen, though the Pirates ultimately determined both could use more seasoning in the Minors before making the jump to Pittsburgh.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Yankees 4, Pirates 2

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Charlie Morton had another strong outing on Wednesday, and he continues to give the Pirates every reason to consider him for that final spot in the rotation. Actually, I think it’s fair to call him th favorite at this point — both because of what he has done and what Scott Olsen has not been able to do.

Morton did serve up a homer to Andruw Jones on a sinker, but the right-hander was otherwise efficient and effective. In his three innings of work, Morton gave up only one other hit — that a harmless single.

Keep in mind that by coming in mid-game, Morton didn’t face all the same heavy hitters that Kevin Correia did early. But as manager Clint Hurdle noted afterward, it’s Morton’s demeanor that is especially encouraging so far. He looks confident, and he looks like he’s enjoying baseball again. Don’t discount the importance of the latter.

“Very aggressive with all of his pitches,” Hurdle said. “I think the comfort is picking up. You’re watching him get on the mound, get set over the mound, get a sign and deliver. There’s not a lot of fidgeting. He’s very confident out there. He’s been very, very aggressive.”

Morton has now made three starts and has been efficient enough to pitch his scheduled number of innings in each. The sinker continues to be a good go-to pitch for Morton — of the nine outs he recorded on Wednesday, six were on groundballs.

“For the most part I felt pretty aggressive,” Morton said. “I fell behind in some counts, but I managed to stay in those counts and not allow a bunch of baserunners. That’s good. There are some things that I’m working on, but I feel fine. I’m just glad to get out there and compete instead of hanging out in Bradenton like I was all winter.”

***

Kevin Correia pointed out something interesting during his postgame session with the media — something that I think warrants mentioning because it gets forgotten by those who read so much into results. He talked about his preparation for a game like this, and how that preparation doesn’t involve studying video or flipping through scouting reports.

Unlike regular season starts, pitchers don’t typically go through their same intense pregame preparation before Spring Training games. Pitchers make starts with certain goals in mind — wanting to work on a certain pitch, etc. — and not as concerned with pitching to so-and-so’s weakness. It’s not an excuse (and Correia wasn’t using it as one), but is just something to keep in mind any time you see a shaky line from one of the pitchers.

Curious, I asked Correia if he’d start relying on scouting reports more heavily as it gets closer to Opening Day, just to simulate a normal routine. Correia’s answer:

“If it’s a team that we’re going to play during the year, I’ll definitely talk to some guys,” he said. “Yeah, you definitely will start doing that because it’s a little more of a real start. Now you can start pitching to guys’ weaknesses instead of just working on something.”

***

Since it doesn’t make the box score, here are some defensive observations from the night:

  • Pedro Alvarez made two terrific plays at third base. He showed good range and made a really nice back-handed pick.
  • Andrew Lambo gunned down Eduardo Nunez as he tried to go second-to-third on a flyball that wasn’t by any means shallow. Lambo made a great throwing right to third to get Nunez and help Jose Veras wiggle out of trouble in the eighth.
  • It wasn’t as stellar a defensive night for Corey Wimberly, who got handcuffed on two groundballs at short. Neither were routine plays, but Wimberly hasn’t helped himself in proving to management that he can be a backup shortstop.

***

On the main site tonight, you’ll find the story of A.J. Johnson, which, as noted in the blog earlier, is a story that I hope will give everyone some perspective on, well, life. In the notes you’ll find more on Correia’s start, Hurdle’s thoughts about the Pirates’ 16 (yes, 16) strikeouts at the plate and what the Minor Leaguers are saying about the rising talent in the organization.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Arizona Fall League wrap

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

These are your final Arizona Fall League stats:

  • 3B Josh Harrison: 22 G, .330 BA, 19 R, 10 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 6 SB
  • OF Andrew Lambo: 28 G, .274 BA, 19 R, 8 2B, 4 HR, 23 RBI
  • SS Jordy Mercer: 20 G, .267 BA, 10 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 13 RBI
  • C Tony Sanchez: 18 G, .206 BA, 11 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • RHP Brian Leach: 10 G, 0-1, 10 IP, 11 H, 0 ER, 7 BB, 7 K
  • RHP Aaron Pribanic: 11 G, 18 IP, 18 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 9 K
  • LHP Justin Wilson: 6 GS, 0-1, 16.1 IP, 19 H, 8 ER, 8 BB, 16 K

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Arizona Fall League update

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Here are your updated Arizona Fall League statistics (Note: The AFL season ends on Thursday):

  • RHP Brian Leach: 10 G, 10 IP, 11 H, 0 ER, 7 BB, 7 K
  • RHP Aaron Pribanic: 0-1, 10 G, 17 IP, 17 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 9 K
  • LHP Justin Wilson: 0-1, 6 G, 16.1 IP, 19 H, 8 ER, 8 BB, 16 K
  • C Tony Sanchez: 17 G, .215 BA, 11 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • 3B Josh Harrison: 20 G, .329 BA, 19 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 SB
  • SS Jordy Mercer: 20 G, .267 BA, 10 R, 4 2B, 13 RBI, 1 SB
  • OF Andrew Lambo: 26 G, .293 BA, 19 R, 8 2B, 4 HR, 23 RBI

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Arizona Fall League update

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Here are your updated Arizona Fall League statistics:

  • RHP Brian Leach: 8 G, 8 IP, 10 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 5 K
  • RHP Aaron Pribanic: 7 G, 12.1 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K
  • LHP Justin Wilson: 4 G, 10 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 10 K
  • C Tony Sanchez: 13 G, .204 BA, 9 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI,
  • 3B Josh Harrison: 15 G, .354 BA, 15 R, 8 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB
  • SS Jordy Mercer: 14 G, .259 BA, 5 R, 4 2B, 11 RBI, 1 SB
  • OF Andrew Lambo: 21 G, .305 BA, 17 R, 7 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBI

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Arizona Fall League update

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Arizona Fall League will have its annual Rising Stars Game on Saturday (9 p.m. ET) and catcher Tony Sanchez has been named a participant. Sanchez, the Pirates’ first-round pick in 2009, will be the only Pirates representative.

If you’re interested in seeing Sanchez, the game will be televised on MLB Network and on MLB.com (for those who have MLB.TV subscription).

Here is a complete statistical update on all of the Pirates’ prospects participating in the AFL:

  • RHP Brian Leach: 6 IP, 10 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Aaron Pribanic: 8.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
  • LHP Justin Wilson: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
  • C Tony Sanchez: 9 G, .265 BA, 6 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  • 3B Josh Harrison: 12 G, .333 BA, 12 R, 7 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • SS Jordy Mercer: 11 G, .273 BA, 4 R, 3 2B, 9 RBI
  • OF Andrew Lambo: 16 G, .308 BA, 15 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Bucs finalize AFL roster

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have finalized their Arizona Fall League roster and will be sending pitchers Aaron Pribanic, Brian Leach and Justin Wilson to play for the Mesa Solar Sox next month.

The organization’s participating position players – catcher Tony Sanchez, infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer, and outfielder Andrew Lambo - had already been previously announced.

Pirates director of player development Kyle Stark said that only one of the three pitchers (likely Wilson) will be a starter for the Solar Sox, though there is no need to read anything into that decision. The organization has targeted innings counts that they don’t want their pitchers to exceed, and there are only so many starting spots available.

Wilson is coming off a strong end to his season, as he recently helped Double-A Altoona capture the Eastern League Championship title. Wilson, the Pirates’ fifth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, pitched 13 scoreless innings in the playoffs.

The left-hander went 11-8 with a 3.09 ERA in 27 regular season appearances (26 starts). He struck out 134 but walked 71 in 142 2/3 innings.

Pribanic and Leach both spent the year pitching in Class A Bradenton’s rotation. Pribanic, who was acquired from the Mariners in the Jack Wilson trade last year, finished 7-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 27 starts. A 25th-round pick in 2008, Leach posted a 3.85 ERA and 9-9 record in 27 games (25 starts).

AFL action begins on October 12.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

Arizona Fall League rosters announced

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Tony Sanchez, the organization’s first-round Draft pick in 2009, headlines a group of Pirates prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League, which begins in October.

Sanchez, infielder Josh Harrison, infielder Jordy Mercer and outfielder Andrew Lambo have all been named to the Mesa Solar Sox roster. The Pirates will also send three pitchers, though those pitching spots have not yet been finalized.

Sidelined since late June with a jaw injury, Sanchez will use the AFL as a way to make up for the number of missed at-bats. Sanchez is almost fully recovered from jaw surgery, though director of player development Kyle Stark said on Tuesday that it is “doubtful” Sanchez will play again with high-A Bradenton this season.

“It’s going to be another wonderful opportunity,” Sanchez said. “I try to compare it to the Cape [Cod League]. It’s more competitive out there now, but I’m feeling the same way as when I found out I was going to play in the Cape. You’re looking forward to playing against the best guys in the country.”

Sanchez will participate in the organization’s instructional league before joining the Solar Sox.

Mercer, a third-round Draft pick in 2008, is finishing his first full season at Double-A, where he has hit .275 with 34 extra-base hits and 62 RBIs in 120 games.

Harrison ranks third on Altoona’s roster with a .302 season average. Acquired from the Cubs as part of the John Grabow/Tom Gorzelanny trade last July, Harrison has driven in 73 and connected for 39 extra-base knocks.

Lambo is new to the organization, having been obtained just a month ago from the Dodgers in exchange for closer Octavio Dotel. The 22-year-old outfielder has hit .310 since joining Altoona and is now batting .282 overall this season.

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