Results tagged ‘ Chase d'Arnaud ’

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.

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Team USA Wrap

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Chase d’Arnaud and Erik Kratz recently completed their stints playing for Team USA, which finished tied for third in the COPABE Pan American Qualifier.

The team went 9-1, but couldn’t play the third-place game against Venezuela due to rain. Still, by finishing in the top six, Team USA guaranteed itself a spot in the 2011 Pan American Games and in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. Both events will take place next fall.

D’Arnaud appeared in eight games and finished with a .321 batting average. He had four doubles, one homer, drove in four and scored six runs. He led his team with two stolen bases. Kratz started half of Team USA’s games. He batted .278 and drove in four.

The Pirates had no other representatives on the squad.

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McCutchen progressing/other Tuesday notes

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Andrew McCutchen said that he is feeling much better — better than he expected to feel this quickly — after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder on Sunday. He’s not in the lineup today and is not taking batting practice or throwing. McCutchen is doing some light running on the field now and will catch flyballs during BP.

He’ll continue to be reevaluated each day until cleared to start swinging again. Swinging and throwing will be the last things he can do since those motions rely so heavily on the extension of his shoulder.

Some other stuff to pass along…

  • Ryan Doumit is out of Tuesday’s lineup in order to give him a breather after he was hit in the mask by a foul tip on Monday. He didn’t sustain a concussion, and the Pirates aren’t even labeling him as having concussion-like symptoms. But he wasn’t 100 percent after the game and manager John Russell says he sees no reason to run him out there. Erik Kratz will make his second Major League start. 
  • Infielder Brian Friday (ankle) has rejoined Triple-A Indianapolis after a short Minor League rehab stint with Bradenton.
  • Pittsburgh had two representatives in Monday’s Dominican Summer League All-Star team: LHP Angel Sanchez and C Samuel Gonzalez. Sanchez is 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings pitched. Gonzalez has hit .348 with 15 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs in 38 games.
  • Speaking of All-Star Games, this is old, but I forgot to pass along the link last week. After being a late addition to the Eastern League All-Star team, infielder Chase d’Arnaud hit a grand slam in the game and earned MVP honors. Altoona catcher Hector Gimenez won the Eastern League Home Run Derby as well. The full story on d’Arnaud’s big game can be found here.
  • Infielder Shelby Ford has been placed on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Ford was hitting. 242 in 55 games with Double-A Altoona at the time of the injury.

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Pirates 7, Braves 6

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

For the third straight day, the Pirates’ starting pitcher wasn’t exactly unhittable. Ross Ohlendorf allowed seven runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday. Paul Maholm allowed five runs in five innings on Wednesday. And on Thursday, five runs scored against Charlie Morton in his five-inning start. Still, much like his fellow rotation mates, Morton showed little concern about the results.

“I guess it was pitch selection because for the most part I felt like I was throwing strikes with everything except my curveball, which I was having trouble getting up,” Morton said. “I bounced a lot of curveballs. Other than that, I felt like I was in the zone. It was just pitch selection because they were hitting the ball.”

Keep in mind that there isn’t a lot of preparation that goes into Spring Training starts in terms of studying scouting reports and pitching to hitters’ weaknesses. So you would have to believe pitch selection might not have been as much an issue if this was a regular season game.

Manager John Russell pointed specifically to the changeup Morton threw to Eric Hinske as an example of a pitch that would normally not have been thrown in the situation but was because Morton wanted to work on it. Hinske took the changeup and sent it over the wall for a three-run homer.

Still…

“I thought he was good,” Russell said of Morton. “A couple wind-blown balls hurt him. But all in all, the ball was coming out of his hand well. His slider was really, really good today. Very explosive with his fastballs.”

As Russell mentioned, Morton threw a whole bunch of sliders in this start against his former team. The slider is a pitch Morton stopped throwing a lot last year, but one that he has been resurrecting this spring. If his curveball takes a little while to get going (like it did on Thursday), Morton will rely more heavily on the slider. On other days, it’s the other way around.

“Yeah, I got some swings and misses and just good strikes on sliders,” Morton said, speaking specifically of Thursday. “I’m still learning how to throw it. It’s probably working a lot better than the curveball.”

Morton has time to make two more starts before the season begins.

***

Delwyn Young made his debut at third base on Thursday after coming in to replace Andy LaRoche in the seventh. I heard he made a nice play in the top of the eighth, though we were down talking to Morton when that happened, so I didn’t see it. Otherwise, Young didn’t see any other action defensively.

On the offensive side of things, Young continues to rake. He leads the Grapefruit League with 18 RBIs after driving in two more on Thursday with an eighth-inning single. And it’s been well noted already that Young sits two home runs away from matching the Pirates’ all-time spring club high of eight.

Could Young play his way into an Opening Day starting job with what he has done at the plate this spring? Don’t count on it. The Pirates still don’t seem ready to make a spot for him in the lineup (there’s no one they apparently want to kick out), and they love what he can do off the bench. You wonder, though, how long a team that needs some offensive firepower can afford to keep one of its best bats off the field.

***

By the time the Pirates came back to win this one late, all but one of the day’s starters was already out of the game. That meant that some of the organization’s prospects — like Chase d’Arnaud and Starling Marte – were in the middle of things late.

D’Arnaud went 2-for-2 with two singles and a stolen base. One of his singles was courtesy a generous scoring decision from the official scorer (I would have given the second baseman an error), but d’Arnaud has still held his own in his handful of appearances.

Speaking of d’Arnaud, here’s a nice video of him that is currently being featured on pirates.com.

Marte had an infield single and later scored in the eighth. Boy, that kid can run.

“It’s fun to watch them play,” Russell said, speaking generally of the Minor Leaguers that have seen Grapefruit League action. “That’s the fun thing about our organization now. It’s fun to watch. It’s why we enjoy calling them up and why I enjoy getting them in the game. We have some talent.”

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Minor League news and notes

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Alvarez 2 02-20 _068.jpgWe’ll get back to big league stuff in a minute, but for those of you with one eye on the organization’s Minor League system heading into 2010, here are some notes you might be interested in. Information is courtesy of farm director Kyle Stark (I’ll thank him for you)…

  • Pedro Alvarez: The plan is to keep him at third base, though that could eventually change for one of two reasons. One, how Jeff Clement and Andy LaRoche fare at the big league level could play a role in whether the Pirates think about using Alvarez at first. Two, he has to continue to shore up his defense and conditioning to stick at the hot corner.
  • Neil Walker: For all the talk about where Walker might be able to play, the key is this: If Walker is going to get a strong look from Pittsburgh, he’s going to have to hit. As Stark put it, “If Neil’s bat progresses, we’ll find a spot for Neil.” The plan is to try him out in a few spots this spring to improve his versatility. He’ll keep playing third, but will also likely get continued work at second and learn the corner outfield spots.
  • Jose Tabata: Though Tabata’s most likely spot in Pittsburgh is right field, he’ll keep getting a lot of work in center as long as he’s in the Minors. The Pirates have not ruled out using Tabata in left field eventually because of how spacious it is at PNC Park.
  • Chase d’Arnaud: After splitting the ’09 season between the two Single-A levels, d’Arnaud is projected to begin the year with Double-A Altoona. It’s an agressive move, but the organization wants to get him hitting against Double-A pitching. D’Arnaud will likely have to split time between short and second there because of the number of middle infield prospects expected to be with Altoona. But long-term, the Pirates see him as a shortstop.
  • Brian Friday: He spent all of 2009 at Altoona, but is expected to open the season as Indianapolis’ everyday shortstop.
  • Daniel Moskos: I asked the usual Spring Training question… is Moskos going to start or relieve? The answer: TBD. Stark: “That is a discussion every day. I think that Danny has put himself in position where he’s trying to make 1 of 12 spots as opposed to 1 of 5 (starting spots) or 1 of 7 (relief spots). There are some things that say the starter role will be the best value and have the best upside. Then there are some things that make you think this guy needs to go pitch in the bullpen. I think that regardless of what we do, we’re going to try and get at the bullpen mentality of competing. Last year going through starting, there was some sense of trying to pace himself to get through six or seven innings, and so I think that regardless of whether it’s in that role or in the bullpen, that the attack mentality is the thing that we’re going to focus on with him.”
  • Rudy Owens: The left-hander is in the mix to start at Double-A this year, though it’s not a certainty. Even if he does start at high-A Bradenton, the expectation is that Owens will be in Altoona before the end of the season.
  • Stark noted three Minor Leaguers who are going to be sidelined to start the season. Colton Cain (8th round, 2009) has dealt with a back injury this winter which will keep him from being ready on Opening Day. However, Cain has been cleared to begin workouts, so the injury is not expected to linger. Brett Lorin (acquired in the Seattle trade) will miss the start of the season because of a hip injury. Zac Fuesser (34th round, 2009) is also out with an injury.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Baseball America names Top 10 Bucs prospects

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Baseball America publication has released its latest top 10 prospect list. No surprise that third baseman Pedro Alvarez is atop the list, and it’s worth noting that seven of the top 10 prospects have come into the organization in the last two years. Three were acquired in a trade.

Baseball America’s Top 10 Pirates Prospects:

1. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
2. Jose Tabata, OF
3. Tony Sanchez, C
4. Brad Lincoln, RHP
5. Chase d’Arnaud, SS/2B
6. Starling Marte, OF
7. Tim Alderson, RHP
8. Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP
9. Rudy Owens, LHP
10. Gorkys Hernandez, OF

Baseball America’s Best Tools list:

  • Best hitter for average: Tabata
  • Best power hitter: Alvarez
  • Best strike-zone discipline: d’Arnaud
  • Fastest baserunner: Jose de los Santos
  • Best athlete: d’Arnaud
  • Best fastball: Victor Black
  • Best curveball: Lincoln
  • Best slider: Black
  • Best changeup: Daniel McCutchen
  • Best control: Owens
  • Best defensive catcher: Sanchez
  • Best defensive infielder: Argenis Diaz
  • Best infield arm: Diaz
  • Best defensive outfielder: Hernandez
  • Best outfield arm: Marte

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AFL: Rising Stars Showcase results

By Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Hopefully some of you were able to tune in and watch the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars game on MLB Network on Saturday night. If you didn’t, however, here is how the Bucco representatives in the contest fared:

  • Outfielder Jose Tabata hit leadoff and went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and one run scored.
  • Infielder Chase D’Arnaud pinch hit and then remained in the game to play third base. He finished the game 2-for-3 with two singles.
  • It was a rough showing for lefty Daniel Moskos, who was charged with four runs allowed in two-thirds of an inning. Moskos allowed four hits, including a solo homer.

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Arizona Fall League update

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

While I’m sitting in the cafeteria of Yankee Stadium waiting for the start of Game 6, how about we take a look at how the Pirates’ six organizational players are doing so far in the Arizona Fall League:

  • Daniel Moskos: The lefty is pitching out of the bullpen in Arizona and has so far made seven appearances. He has allowed six earned runs on 14 hits and seven walks in 9 1/3 innings. Moskos has nine strikeouts.
  • Donnie Veal: Veal has gone 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA in four starts. He was named the AFL pitcher of the week last week after throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Veal has walked just two and has 12 strikeouts.
  • Tony Watson: In six relief appearances, Watson has limited opponents to just one earned run in seven innings. He has allowed four hits, walked three and struck out six.
  • Chase D’Arnaud: D’Arnaud is hitting .211 in his first 10 games with the Scottsdale Scorpions. In 38 at-bats, D’Arnaud has four extra-base hits and two RBIs.
  • Brian Friday: The middle infielder has scuffled a bit out of the gate, batting just .194 in his first seven games. Friday has driven in four, but also has 10 strikeouts in 31 at-bats.
  • Jose Tabata: The promising young outfielder has hit .348 in 16 games for the Scorpions. He has six extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and 12 runs scored. Heading into Wednesday’s action, that average was second best on the Scottsdale club.

Also worth noting: D’Arnaud, Moskos and Tabata have been named to the AFL’s rising stars rosters, which is a showcase game that will be played on Saturday (much like an All-Star Game). A total of 50 players earned the honor. The game will be telecast on the MLB Network at 6:15 p.m. MT.

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Lynchburg takes Carolina League Championship

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Behind a 4-for-5 night form shortstop Jordy Mercer, the Lynchburg Hillcats sealed a Carolina League Championship series sweep with an 8-7 win over the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night.

Mercer had two doubles, drove in two and scored once in the win, which was highlighted by the Hillcats’ six-run second inning. Outfielder Jamie Romak finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while second baseman Chase D’Arnaud drove in two.

The win went to Michael Colla, who pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Jeff Locke, one of three players acquired in June for Nate McLouth, allowed four runs on six hits and lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his start. The Red Sox scored twice in the sixth and once in the ninth to pull within one, but reliever Ronald Uviedo sealed the win and collected the save.

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Lynchburg takes 2-0 lead in Championship series

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Hillcats are one win away from winning the Carolina League’s Mill Cup Championship after a come-from-behind, 5-4, win over the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday. A walk-off solo homer by outfielder Jose De Los Santos with two out in the bottom of the ninth sealed the  victory.

Lynchburg (high Single-A) entered the bottom of the 8th down by one but tied the game up when Jamie Romak drew a bases-loaded walk with no outs. The Hillcats, however, were unable to push another run across in the inning, though that only set the stage for De Los Santos’ heroics an inning later. The center fielder had gone 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Game 1 of the Championship series.

Rudy Owens started the game for the Hillcats and allowed two earned runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven. Ronald Uviedo picked up the win after pitching a scoreless ninth.

Second baseman Chase D’Arnaud went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Game 3 of the series will be played in Salem on Thursday.

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