Results tagged ‘ Chris Snyder ’

Game 12: Brewers (6-5) @ Pirates (5-6)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Since manager Clint Hurdle seemed a tad disappointed that no one asked the question during the media’s pregame session, let me begin by sharing his unsolicited thoughts about Jose Tabata. Hurdle was specifically impressed with Tabata’s plate discipline and willingness to take a six-pitch walk  in final at-bat on Wednesday. Tabata entered the night with a 10-game hitting streak but was 0-for-2 with a walk when he came to the plate in the eighth.

By taking a walk, he lost his chance at adding another game to his personal streak.

I’m not saying it’s normal, but you’ll find players at times that will put individual accomplishments in front of the game from time to time,” Hurdle said. “A young man going up there, knowing what he needed to do and got down early in the count… took a walk. He’ll have other 10-game hitting streaks. He’ll have longer ones than that. But it was very encouraging to see that that’s his mindset. His mindset is not that he can have an 11-game hitting streak.”

Tabata can begin a new hitting streak tonight. Obviously, he has still reached base in every game this year.

Other pregame news and notes…

  • Catcher Chris Snyder is back and is in the lineup. This means that Ryan Doumit will not see nearly the playing time he had through 11 games. Hurdle didn’t specify what proportion of games Snyder will catch, but it’s clear that Snyder is the team’s primary catcher. He is likely to get a few more days off early on just to ease him back into action.
  • For all the flak Doumit took last year about not being able to throw out runners, he has been much, much better so far this year. Doumit has thrown out three of six runners trying to steal against him and has just looked more comfortable in the process. The pitchers appear to be helping, too, as the stopwatches show that balls are getting from the mound to the plate quicker than they were a year ago.
  • Expect lefty Joe Beimel to be joining the club in Cincinnati on Friday. He has completed his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. A move will have to be made to put Beimel on the 40-man roster.
  • Righty Jeff Karstens is available in the bullpen again tonight, but this is the last night he will be a ‘pen option. The Pirates haven’t announced him as Sunday’s starter, but you can expect Karstens to step in for the start assuming he isn’t needed in long relief tonight.
  • Third baseman Pedro Alvarez gets the night off on Thursday. He arrived at the ballpark early to take some extra swings, and Hurdle said there are some specific mechanical tweaks that were focused on during the session. Hurdle didn’t get into details, but he did suggest that Alvarez’s confidence could be boosted by him being able to start back at the basics.
  • Taking Alvarez’s place at third base will be Steve Pearce. This will be Pearce’s first start at third in the Majors. He was a late-inning substitution there on Saturday.
  • Matt Diaz moves into the cleanup spot, which would seem warranted given his 5-for-19 start. Who would have guessed, though, that all of Diaz’s hits to this point would be off righties? He is 0-for-4 against lefties.
  • Lyle Overbay, who dropped to the sixth spot in the order, is also looking for his first hit against a left-hander.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), M. Diaz (RF), S. Pearce (RF), L. Overbay (1B), C. Snyder (C), R. Cedeno (SS), P. Maholm (LHP)

BREWERS: R. Weeks (2B), C. Gomez (CF), R. Braun (LF), P. Fielder (1B), C. McGehee (3B), Y. Betancourt (SS), E. Almonte (RF), J. Lucroy (C), R. Wolf (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 10: Rockies (5-2) @ Pirates (5-4)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

A beautiful day for baseball at PNC Park, where the Pirates have to win on Sunday to salvage a series split.

News and notes of the day…

  • Manager Clint Hurdle definitively said that the Pirates will not carry three catchers when Chris Snyder returns. That means that Jason Jaramillo is playing on borrowed time.  He will be the one sent down to Triple-A to make room for Snyder. One of the reasons for not going the three catcher route is because Ryan Doumit never had the opportunity to play right field this spring. He was going to get some work there beginning right about the time he ended up sidelined with an oblique strain.
  • Speaking of Snyder, his rehab assignment is going well with Class A Advanced Bradenton. He drove in six on Friday before striking out three times on Saturday. The important thing, though, is that he is healthy and having no issues with his back. Snyder is scheduled to catch nine innings again on Sunday. The Pirates have not made their timetable for Snyder’s return public.
  • The Pirates will turn to Daniel McCutchen on Sunday if the club needs someone in long relief.
  • Also available in the ‘pen for sure will be Joel Hanrahan and Mike Crotta. Paul Maholm is on call, as well, since this is his day to throw on the side. He could throw as many as two innings, if needed.
  • Asked about the way Saturday’s game had played out, Hurdle had this to offer… if the Pirates had tied the game in the ninth, Kevin Correia would have gone back out for a second inning of work. Hanrahan would have been the next option, followed by Maholm.
  • “It’s a flat-out gamble every time you do it,” Hurdle said of his decision to lift Doumit for a pinch runner on Saturday and use his only other catcher to finish the game. If there were a situation when the second Pirates catcher also had to leave the game, Steve Pearce and Matt Diaz would be the emergency options.
  • The Brewers will send out RHP Shawn Marcum, LHP Randy Wolf and LHP Chris Narveson out to start in the upcoming three-game series.
  • Righty Brad Lincoln will be making his rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday. Expect him to be able to go about four innings (65 pitches) in the effort.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), L. Overbay (1B), P. Alvarez (3B), R. Doumit (C), G. Jones (RF), R. Cedeno (SS), J. McDonald (RHP)

ROCKIES: D. Fowler (CF), J. Herrera (2B), J. Giambi (1B), T. Tulowitzki (SS), S. Smith (RF), J. Lopez (3B), T. Wigginton (LF), C. Iannetta (C), J. Chacin (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 8: Rockies (4-1) @ Pirates (4-3)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Well, it’s not snowing. That’s the nicest thing I can say about the weather at this point. It’s not raining as hard as it was at my house earlier in the day, but there it appears to still be misting on this overcast day. The forecast suggests there could be a window for baseball tonight, so let’s hope.

On a separate subject, don’t forget that the Pirates 5K is set for tomorrow (Saturday) morning. The Pirates announced that 2,500 runners/walkers have already signed up, but there will be limited additional registration from 6:30-7:30 am on Federal Street. All participants get a free t-shirt and ticket voucher, and your money goes to Pirates Charities. Not to mention, you get the honor of running alongside me, assuming I can successfully fight off this virus that has gotten the best of me for the past week.

What more could you ask for.

OK, on to baseball…

  • In case you missed it earlier, the news is not good for Tyler Yates. You have to wonder if he’s about ready to call it quits. It’s coming up on two years since he first had right elbow surgery and this latest setback is not the first. Yates told me this spring that his father had talked him out of retiring before, but this could be the last straw.
  • Right-hander Ramon Aguero is now with Texas, having been claimed off waivers by the Rangers today. Aguero, who was on Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster, had been designated for assignment in order to open up a roster spot for Jose Veras right before Opening Day.
  • Catcher Chris Snyder (lower back soreness) began his rehab assignment with high-A Bradenton on Thursday and went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. He caught in the game as well.
  • Lefty Joe Beimel is scheduled to pitch for Bradenton on Friday. This will be his first rehab appearance.
  • The Pirates face a left-handed starter today for the first time this season. That explains Matt Diaz’s inclusion in the lineup. Also worth noting is the batting order. Manager Clint Hurdle has Diaz hitting fifth and Pedro Alvarez behind him at No. 6. His reasoning for the flip-flop? He wants to go avoid a string of lefty hitters, and by putting Diaz between Lyle Overbay and Alvarez, Hurdle has a left-right-left mix.
  • During his pregame meeting with media, Hurdle also emphasized his policy with not using a reliever for more than three days in a row. Period. Exceptions to this rule are going to be rare (if at all) — Hurdle said the reasoning for that comes after lengthy research about how pitching more than three days in a row leads to more injuries and less effectiveness.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), L. Overbay (1B), M. Diaz (RF), P. Alvarez (3B), J. Jaramillo (C), R. Cedeno (SS), R. Ohlendorf (RHP)

ROCKIES: D. Fowler (CF), J. Herrera (2B), C. Gonzalez (LF), T. Tulowitzki (SS), T. Helton (1B), S. Smith (RF), T. Wigginton (3B), C. Iannetta (C), J. De La Rosa (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Injury updates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates passed along injury progress reports on a number of players:

  • RHP Jose Ascanio pitched one inning in an intrasquad game on Tuesday
  • LHP Joe Beimel pitched one inning in an intrasquad game on Tuesday
  • RHP Brad Lincoln pitched three innings in an intrasquad game on Tuesday
  • LHP Scott Olsen threw a bullpen session on Tuesday
  • C Chris Snyder caught five innings and had three at-bats in an intrasquad game on Tuesday

Also, the Pirates announced on Tuesday night that the club had sign LHP Dan Meyer and RHP Tim Wood to Minor League deals. Both have been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Keep an eye on Meyer, as he could be a decent left-handed option if Garrett Olson does not work out for the club.

The Pirates have also released Craig Hansen, who made five appearances in 2009 before a nerve issue in his back/neck shut him down. Hansen has not appeared in a Major League game since. He was one of four players the club acquired in the Jason Bay deal in July 2008. Two of those four players — Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche — had already been let go.

I’ll be back on the beat on Thursday for the home opener.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Workout news and notes

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

A few newsworthy items to wrap up today’s workout day:

  • James McDonald is (barring any unforseen setbacks) going to start April 5 agains the Cardinals. The Pirates feel good letting him get on the mound after McDonald threw 69 pitches in Spring Training camp game on Thursday morning. McDonald was unable to pitch in a Minor League game against the Triple-A Yankees as planned due to rainy weather; but he did get his work in and is flying to Chicago this evening.
  • While McDonald will be fine to make his scheduled start on Tuesday, he will be limited in how deep he is able to pitch. Manager Clint Hurdle guessed that the right-hander will be limited to 85-90 pitches in the outing. But the Pirates like their chances with McDonald pitching a solid five innings and then leaving it to the ‘pen rather than having to find someone to make a spot start.
  • McDonald’s velocity reached 95 mph on Thursday, Hurdle said. This certainly suggests that McDonald is having no problems with his side.
  • The Pirates have not yet determined whether Brad Lincoln (right forearm contusion) will begin the season in extended Spring Training or with Triple-A Indianapolis. With the Triple-A season still a week from beginning, the Pirates have some more time to determine Lincoln’s assignment.
  • Catcher Chris Snyder (lower back stiffness) has not returned to game action yet. He can come off the DL as early as April 9, but the Pirates won’t reinstate Snyder until after he can prove he can catch consecutive games without any issue.
  • In the meantime, Ryan Doumit and Jason Jaramillo will both get starts behind the plate. Doumit will get the assignment on Opening Day. Hurdle said that decision was made because of Doumit’s experience: “I think we’ve got enough young guys breaking in tomorrow that we’ll rely upon Ryan with some experience behind the plate.” Jaramillo will catch in a game over the weekend.
  • The Pirates have signed right-hander Tim Wood to a Minor League contract. No word yet on where he’ll begin the season — though it will not be in the Majors. Wood was released by the Nationals on Thursday morning.
  • Outfielder Jose Tabata has no ankle issues — he was taken out of Wednesday’s game strictly for precautionary reasons. He’s just fine.
  • Also, something that was announced while I was off yesterday that I thought was worth noting: Major League Baseball is implementing a 7-day DL this season for concussion injuries only. The hope is that this will help players from trying to rush back from a concussion prematurely; and it allows teams the benefit of not having to play shorthanded while a player recovers. You can read more about the new policy here.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates make final roster moves

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates’ roster is officially set after the club made these final roster moves on Thursday morning:

  • RHP Jose Veras was added to the 40-man roster; space was opened by designating RHP Ramon Aguero for assignment
  • The following players were placed on the 15-day disabled list: catcher Chris Snyder, righty Brad Lincoln, right-hander Jose Ascanio and lefty Scott Olsen

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Snyder reports progress

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Catcher Chris Snyder said his back was feeling much better on Sunday and that there is a chance he will be able to resume some baseball activities as early as Monday. “I’m just going to hope for continued progression,” he said.

Snyder received treatment on Sunday and did additional exercises in the whirlpool. Asked if he could begin the year on the disabled list, Snyder said that he and the club have not yet discussed that possibility.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Yankees 4, Pirates 2

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Most everything you are going to want to read today is written fairly in-depth on the main site. So let me give you those links first:

 ***

You won’t find Kevin Correia complaining much about his start on Saturday — a start in which he threw 92 pitches (59 strikes) in six innings. This was his first six-inning outing of the spring, and it puts Correia in perfect position to be ready for his Opening Day start next Friday.

The results were pretty good, too. He served up a two-run homer to Alex Rodriguez in the first inning after narrowly missing with a two-strike slider to Mark Teixeira right before. Correia then limited the Yankees (who played mostly their “A” lineup) to just four more hits and one other run in his last six innings.

“I thought it was definitely my best outing in spring,” Correia. “I felt strong the whole time. You want your last Spring Training outing to be good. You don’t want to go into the season thinking about how you didn’t pitch well the time before. I felt pretty good about this one.”

The one thing the Pirates don’t have to worry about is Correia not being stretched out to begin the year. He has done as well as anyone on the staff in terms of getting in the spring innings necessary to pitch deep at the onset of the regular season. With 92 pitches on Saturday, Correia should be good to go over 100, as needed, on Opening Day.

“I thought he got stronger as he went on,” Hurdle said. “He expects a lot of himself. He never shuts himself down on an inning or an outing. He takes a lot of pride in getting the ball and pitching deep and getting as many innings as he can get. I thought it was a very good way for him to finish up.”

Correia will get five days of rest (instead of the normal four) before his next outing.

***

Michael Crotta allowed one run on two hits in an inning of relief, but he remains very much in the mix for a bullpen spot in Pittsburgh. One of three relievers fighting for two openings in the bullpen, Crotta hadn’t allowed an earned run (10 innings) until this game.

“He is a big guy,” Hurdle said. “He repeats his delivery pretty well. He’s got good downhill plane. It’s hard sink and he’s added a complementary breaking ball to it at times. He’s pounded the strikezone. He has done everything that he can possibly do to at least build his confidence.”

***

Don’t look now, but the Pirates have dropped five in a row and nine of the last 11. That’s not exactly the way I’d imagine the club wants to head into the regular season. Hurdle, however, downplayed the importance of needing some wins this week when asked about the losing afterward. 

“We play every game to win but if we don’t, we don’t,” he said. “We’re going to start the season and we’re not going to have any. You’ve got to play good baseball to win and we haven’t played complete games for the last 10-11 games. You have to throw a complete package out there. I’ll be more concerned when we’re running our regular team out there. Winning is always the intent, but again the focus will obviously shift to a higher degree of that once the season starts.”

With four spring games remaining, the Pirates are 10-19.

“We’ve got to go out and win ballgames and find ways to win ballgames,” first baseman Lyle Overbay said. “I think we need to do a little better job of picking each other up when things go wrong. It seems like it starts snowballing, and someone needs to pick us up – whether it’s a pitcher or a great defensive play – to snap us right out of it.”

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 39: Pirates @ Orioles

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The news of the day came just about two hours ago, when manager Clint Hurdle named Kevin Correia the Opening Day starter. My guess had been that Paul Maholm would get the assignment and that Correia would pitch the home opener at PNC Park for a handful of reasons, one being Maholm’s tenure with the club. But the Pirates decided to go in a different direction.

Correia will face Chicago’s Ryan Dempster in that April 1 game at Wrigley Field.

Hurdle also announced that the rotation would go in this order: Correia, Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton and James McDonald.

All this is set assuming that McDonald can get his arm built back up in time. The hope is that he can extend himself to 50 pitches in an outing on Saturday. Then, McDonald would stay in Florida to pitch on March 31 — with the goal being 80 pitches. If McDonald can reach both of those thresholds without any setback, Hurdle said the team would be comfortable having McDonald start on April 6 in St. Louis.

As for the rest of your news…

  • Catcher Chris Snyder returns behind the plate on Thursday after missing two weeks with back soreness. He hasn’t had any back issues since resuming hitting and catching over the past few days.
  • Joe Beimel was scheduled to throw off the mound on Thursday. The Pirates haven’t announced what his progression will be from there, as Beimel returns from left elbow discomfort. One thing to keep in mind — if Beimel does not pitch in a Grapefruit League game the rest of the way, the Pirates would have the option of placing him on the DL to begin the season. And the club could make that DL stint retroactive to March 22. This means that Beimel would be eligible to come off on April 6. Going this route would give Beimel — who has made just two appearances so far this spring — a bit more time to prepare for the season but wouldn’t cost him the usual 15 days.
  • The Pirates’ other option is not to put Beimel on the 40-man roster until he’s healthy. Doing this would negate needing a DL stint since Beimel is a non-roster player right now.
  • Hurdle said that the club has already picked additional pitchers to be in the team’s bullpen, but he would not give names at this point. You’d have to guess that in addition to Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan that Chris Resop, Jose Veras and Jeff Karstens are in. So, too, is Beimel once he is healthy. I also get the impression that Garrett Olson has a real strong shot to be the seventh since he would give the Pirates another left-handed option.
  • If Beimel does not start the season with the club, the Pirates can choose any one of the number of right-handers left in camp to take his spot in the ‘pen until he returns.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), P. Alvarez (3B), G. Jones (RF), R. Cedeno (SS), C. Snyder (C), R. Ohlendorf

Pitchers: R. Ohlendorf (5/6 innings), E. Meek, G. Olson, C. Leroux

ORIOLES: B. Roberts (2B), N. Markakis (RF), D. Lee (1B), V. Guerrero (DH), L. Scott (LF), F. Pie (CF), M. Reynolds (3B), M. Weiters (C), J.J. Hardy (SS)

Pitchers: J. Arrieta, M. Hendrickson, K. Gregg

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Astros 10, Pirates 6

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Manager Clint Hurdle and hitting coach Gregg Ritchie had Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Ronny Cedeno all on the field after the game today taking extra swings. Hurdle didn’t want to make that big of a deal about the extra batting practice (which three players, including Alvarez, participated in on Monday). But that doesn’t mean that the extra work shouldn’t be pointed out.

“It’s something I’ve always done,” said Hurdle, a former hitting coach. “I would have preferred to have done it a few times earlier, but we waited because of the workload these guys have been carrying. It’s just more practice is all it is.”

You can read more on pirates.com tonight specifically about what Alvarez is targeting in these extra sessions.

***

It wasn’t a great day for lefty Brian Burres, who had previously not been scored upon this spring. On Wednesday, Burres was knocked around for 10 hits and six earned runs in five innings. The good news was that Burres was able to get his pitch count up. The bad news is that a lot of those pitches were up and over the plate. Command was the biggest issue.

“Even when I was throwing strikes, it wasn’t where I wanted them all the time,” Burres said. “Little bit wild with the strike zone today. I wasn’t keeping the ball over the plate enough and when I was, it was up and they did a pretty good job taking advantage of it.”

Burres and Jeff Karstens, as Hurdle pointed out again on Wednesday, are being built up as starters as part of a Plan B. In other words, either would be ready to step in if the Pirates need another starter the first time through the rotation. This could be the case if James McDonald is not ready to begin the year in the rotation.

Otherwise, Burres still has a shot at a bullpen role. The Pirates lack left-handed options, though I have a hard time seeing Karstens and Burres (both of whom fill very similar roles) both in the bullpen.

Burres said he’s trying not to think about such roster decisions, though that’s obviously easier said than done.

“You try every time to go out there and just take it outing by outing,” Burres said. “The other stuff is going to take care of itself after you’re done pitching so you want to make it as simple as possible with how you pitch and go out there and throw as many strikes as you can and not think about what will happen afterward.”

***

Speaking of McDonald, he is scheduled to return to game action on Saturday. Hurdle said the return will likely be in a Minor League game. By pitching McDonald in a Minor League game, the Pirates would be able to place McDonald on the 15-day disabled list to start the season but could do so with a retroactive date that would allow him to miss just one start.

Players who do not appear in an “A” game after March 22 can be backdated to the 22nd for DL purposes. That means that a player would eligible to come off the DL on April 6.

Burres or Karstens could step in for that one start and then McDonald could jump back into the rotation.

I bring this up as a possibility simply because McDonald has yet to pitch more than 2 2/3 innings in any of his three starts. He has time for just two outings (Saturday and then another late next week) before he’d be up in the rotation, and I just wonder if that’s enough time to get his pitch count up to where it needs to be.

***

Catcher Chris Snyder had 10 at-bats in a Minor League game on Wednesday, Hurdle reported, and will return behind the plate for the Pirates’ game against the Orioles on Thursday.

***

With another two hits and a walk, Lyle Overbay just keeps on producing this spring. He’s now batting .425 (17-for-40) and has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.

Spring Training results often mean little, but the Pirates are hopeful that these recent results are a product of Overbay’s changed approach at the plate. If so, the success could carry over into the season.

“We started talking about him being more aggressive in the count early,” Hurdle said. “He’s had a good eye. Last season, we talked about the reason for some of the numbers. I think last season was more of an aberration.

“This man is determined this spring. He has made a conscious effort of getting out of the blocks clean. The confidence should have been built up. I think he’s found an approach that is going to work. It’s good to see.”

***

On the main site tonight, you can find notes about Alvarez’s extra work, Matt Diaz’s determination to get off to a better start, John Bowker’s push for a bench spot and Snyder’s expected return.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 586 other followers