Results tagged ‘ Dave Davidson ’

April 24: Pirates (9-6) @ Padres (9-6)

PETCO.jpgSo while everyone back in Pittsburgh enjoys 80 degree temps today, I’m still looking for the sunshine in what I thought was supposed to be a trip to sunny, southern California. Temperatures aren’t expected to reach any higher than the low-60s all weekend, so I obviously left the nicer weather behind…Here’s a picture for proof.

And now for your pregame news and notes:

Manager John Russell said that Ryan Doumit’s surgery on Thursday “went really well. The bone fit back together perfectly.” Doumit will rejoin the team in Milwaukee on either Sunday night or Monday.

With Doumit’s absence hurting the power potential in the middle of the Pirates’ lineup, I asked Russell if that could mean more playing time for Craig Monroe, who has power potential similar to Doumit’s. Russell’s answer: yes. However, Russell pointed out that strong starts from Brandon Moss and Nyjer Morgan are making it hard for him to sit either. Still, I’d expect the periodic starts from Monroe and Eric Hinske to be more often than when Doumit was healthy.

The Pirates have lost lefty Dave Davidson on waivers to the Marlins, who have assigned Davidson to their Triple-A affiliate. Davidson was designated for assignment last week to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Delwyn Young. The Pirates had 10 days to trade him, release him or put him through waivers with the hope that he would clear.

Davidson, who was drafted by the Pirates in 2002, had allowed two earned runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings with Triple-A Indianapolis this season. His only appearance with the Pirates came in 2007.

Speaking of Young, he spent time working with infield coach Perry Hill earlier this afternoon. The Pirates hope that Young shows he is can play a good enough second base and a capable third base. Right now, the Pirates are still in the evaluation stage.

As we get ready for Friday’s game, keep in mind that the Pirates are 5-0 in the first game of a series this season. Take that for what it’s worth…

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Brandon Moss (RF)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jack Wilson (SS)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Ian Snell (RHP)

Padres lineup:

  1. Jody Gerut (CF)
  2. David Eckstein (2B)
  3. Brian Giles (RF)
  4. Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
  5. Chase Headley (LF)
  6. Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B)
  7. Nick Hundley (C)
  8. Luis Rodriguez (SS)
  9. Kevin Correia (RHP)


Pirates acquire Delwyn Young; Davidson DFAed

The Pirates have acquired switch-hitting outfielder Delwyn Young from the Dodgers in return for two players to be named later or cash considerations. Though the trade was reported late Tuesday evening, the Pirates made the official announcement late Wednesday morning.

Young, 26, began the season on the Dodgers’ disabled list and had not played for Los Angeles’ big league club this year.  He underwent elbow surgery during the offseason and had just finished his rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque when the Dodgers designated him for assignment to clear a roster spot.

Young, who is out of options, will make an immediate impact on the Pirates’ big league team. The organization designated left-handed reliever Dave Davidson for assignment in order to add Young to the team’s 40-man roster. The club will have to clear a spot on the 25-man roster, too, though that move has not yet been made. That move will be made on Friday. 

Luis Cruz is the most likely choice to be sent to the Minors in order to open up that roster spot. Cruz has not yet had an at-bat off the bench with the Pirates this season.

“Delwyn Young is a young, switch-hitter with some defensive versatility who will give John Russell another weapon off the bench,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “Delwyn’s strength is his bat, but with defensive improvements he has the ability to expand his role. We are pleased to add Delwyn to our Major League team.”

Young, a fourth-round Draft pick in 2002, has a .267 career average with 10 doubles, 10 RBIs and three homers in 110 games. He spent most of the ’08 season on Los Angeles’ Major League club and batted .246 in 83 games. He appeared primarily as a pinch hitter.

Though Young is listed as an outfielder, he does have extensive experience playing second base as well. In the 644 games he has played in the Minors, Young played 398 of them at second.

Manatee Community College 6, Pirates 4

No, that’s not a typo. On the 11th try, the MCC Lancers took down the Pirates in the annual charity game. The Pirates came in 10-0 against the local Community College.

The Pirates fielded a lineup stocked with a number of their Triple-A players and all Minor Leaguers came off the bench.

The highlights: Steve Pearce connected for a solo homer in the third. … Outfielder Brad Corley went 2-for-2 and scored once. … Designated hitter Ryan Mulhern had an RBI double and scored once. … Starter Virgil Vasquez struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings.

The lowlights: Vasquez, who found out on Wednesday that he will be starting the season in the Triple-A rotation, allowed three earned runs on five hits. … Reliever Dave Davidson was pegged with the loss and a blown save when he gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning.


Pirates 6, Twins 4

Thumbnail image for Ford, Shelby 1.jpgLet’s go through an injury checklist first. This will all appear in a story on the main site in a bit, but since it often takes quite a while for those stories to get posted after I send them in, here is the update in the meantime…

  • Phil Dumatrait – He has been shut down after experiencing arm soreness while throwing live batting practice earlier this week. GM Neal Huntingon said there is no need to be overly concerned, as this type of soreness is common during the type of rehab work Dumatrait is progressing through. Huntington estimated that it will be about seven to 10 days before Dumatrait can throw live BP again, though depending on how long Dumatrait sits, he may have to first take a few steps back (i.e. play catch and throw side sessions) . Dumatrait is almost certain to start the year on the DL.
  • Andy Phillips – Phillips is sidelined with stiffness in his lower back and will be out at least for another day. Unexplicably, the stiffness started on Saturday and is still bothering Phillips a bit, he said. The Pirates will want Phillips to be able to take part in an entire morning workout before letting him return to the field for a game.
  • Shelby Ford – Ford (pictured above) jammed his wrist while diving for a ball on Wednesday and is going to be out at least a few days. He tried hitting on Thursday, but reported some tenderness in the wrist after taking a few swings. With another round of cuts coming next week, Ford could potentially have seen his last appearance in a Major League Spring Training game. He’s slated to start the year as the organization’s Triple-A second baseman and could be moved to Minor League camp soon.
  • Eric Hinske – Hinske took 60 dry swings on Thursday after taking 30 on Wednesday, and he reported no discomfort in his left rib cage area afterward. Hinske is also slowly increasing his throwing distance. After throwing from 60 feet on Wednesday, he moved back to throw from 90 feet on Thursday. Manager John Russell seemed optimistic that Hinske could be ready to return within a few days.


With Craig Monroe’s three-home run day the focus of the game-related story on the main site, we’ll give some props to starter Virgil Vasquez here.

Vasquez made his first spring start (second appearance) and pitched three shutout innings. He allowed just two baserunners and struck out one.

“He attacked the zone, used both sides of the plate,” Russell said. “Made a couple of mistakes up, but when you hit your spots, you can make a couple of mistakes. I thought he threw the ball very well. Overall, using both outings together, he’s shown the ability to attack the zone.”

Vasquez is being listed as a candidate for one of the Pirates’ open rotation spots, though it still seems most likely that he’ll start the season in the Triple-A Indianapolis rotation. Still, Vasquez’s competitveness on the mound has drawn praise already this spring and has opened some eyes for future consideration.


Up Next: The Pirates make their only trip to Clearwater, Fla., on Friday to play the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET affair. Scheduled to pitch for the Pirates: Zach Duke, Daniel McCutchen, Matt Capps, Brian Slocum and Dave Davidson. This will be the first appearance for Davidson since he returned from playing in the World Baseball Classic.

Philadelphia is scheduled to start righty Joe Blanton.     

Pirates 10, Twins 1

Moss 09ST 02-13 (040.jpgObviously the big story/concern of the day is the severity of Brandon Moss’ (pictured left) thumb injury.

There’s a story up on the main site with all the ins and outs of Moss’ injury, so I won’t rehash it here. That story can be found here.

There’s a chance we might know more later Saturday night once the Pirates get the results of Moss’ X-rays. If not, though, the Pirates should know tomorrow how long they can expect their right fielder out for.

We won’t go into worst-case scenarios just yet, since we don’t know anything, but in the meantime, the Pirates outfielders are dropping pretty quickly.

Here’s what we’re looking at on the injury front right now:

  • Eric Hinske has been out since Feb. 26 with a left rib cage strain. He’s progressing, but isn’t expected back until the latter part of next week.
  • Steve Pearce, too, hasn’t appeared in a game since Feb. 26 and is dealing with a strained left calf. Pearce is tentatively expected back late next week as well, but that’s only if everything progresses well.
  • Jose Tabata is slowly working his way back to throwing after being shut down because of some mild inflammation in his right shoulder. Manager John Russell said that Tabata could play as a DH maybe as early as Monday, but his return to the outfield isn’t so imminent.

So with the slew of outfielder injuries, where does that leave the team? The club has five healthy outfielders left in camp — Nyjer Morgan, Nate McLouth, Andrew McCutchen, Jeff Salazar and Craig Monroe. However, they also have a number of listed infielders who can play the outfield, too. Garrett Jones, Andy Phillips and Luis Cruz all fall in this category.

Also, don’t be surprised if the Pirates dip into mini-camp for a few extra bodies to hold them over until these injured outfielders start returning.


Lost in the news of Moss’ injury and a hit parade by the offense were some notable pitching performances. Starter Zach Duke and Russell both were pleased with the Duke’s third start of the spring. Unlike some of Duke’s rotation counterparts earlier this week, he was successfully able to finish three innings of work.

“I left a couple pitches up in the zone. Other than that I felt pretty good,” Duke said. “I’m definitely where I’d like to be [right now]. My feel for my secondary pitches is a lot further along than it has been at this point in past years. It’s a very encouraging sign for me.”

Duke allowed one run on three hits in his three inning. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out one. Afterward, Duke credited some improved offseason workouts and work with a physical therapist (arm care specialist as he so perfectly put it) to his increased strength and sturdiness up to this point.

“I liked the way the ball was staying down more today,” Russell said. “His breaking ball was more consistent. He used both sides. When he does that, he’s pretty efficient.”


Daniel McCutchen, also fighting for a rotation spot like Duke, also made a nice impression with Russell. After struggling a bit in his first two spring appearaces, a more relaxed McCutchen took the mound on Saturday and had notable success.

He allowed just one baserunner in two innings.

“He’s starting to trust what he’s doing more,” Russell said. “He’s looking more comfortable on the mound, and the more outings he gets, the better rhythm he’s getting.”

McCutchen is still likely to start the season in the Triple-A rotation, but he’s giving the Pirates a good look now at what they can expect from him in the Majors down the road.


The long line of relievers continue to throw scoreless innings this spring. Craig Hansen, Chris Bootcheck and Tyler Yates all kept that 0.00 Spring Training ERA with scoreless one-inning appearances on Saturday. Each allowed one baserunner.

Hansen has accumulated five scoreless innings, Bootcheck has accumulated six and Yates has accumualted four.


World Baseball Classic Update:

  • Lefty reliever Dave Davidson pitched the eighth inning for Team Canada on Saturday in the Canadians’ 6-5 loss to Team USA. Davidson pitched a scoreless frame, allowing one hit, one walk and striking out one.
  • Ramon Vazquez earned the start at third base and is batting second for Team Puerto Rico against Team Panama. However, that game is just getting underway as I sit here typing that, so you’ll be on your own for checking on his final stats. 


For those wanting to check in with former Pirate John Van Benschoten, I wanted to pass along a link. My colleague in Chicago, Scott Merkin, talked with JVB for this story and pulled out some pretty good thoughts from the always quotable right-hander.   


Up Next: The Pirates play at home on Sunday against the Astros in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest. Ross Ohlendorf will make the start for the Pirates and is scheduled to be followed by Jesse Chavez, Matt Capps, Denny Bautista and Donnie Veal. Brandon Backe will start for Houston.

For those coming to McKechnie Field on Sunday, be sure to show up early. The Pirates will be holding their third annual street fair outside the stadium on 9th St. W. Players will be signing free autographs and there will be plenty of activities for kids.

For those back in Pittsburgh, the game will be broadcast on 104.7 FM

Photo Credit: Dave Arrigo (Pirates)  

Reds 10, Pirates 6

For those wondering why Steve Pearce has seemingly disappeared this spring, he’s slowed by a sore right calf. Pearce has not played since Feb. 26 and is 1-for-3 in four plate appearances. Manager John Russell listed Pearce as day-to-day, but it may still be a while before he shows back up in the lineup. As of Thursday, he was still not able to do much work outside of taking batting practice.

Pearce was already a longshot to make the team out of Spring Training (as a backup outfielder), and this setback could hurt his chances even more, especially if he is out for a while longer.


Though starter Paul Maholm wasn’t the focus of any of my site stories today, his outing is worth mentioning here. Maholm needed only 30 pitches to throw three innings in his start on Thursday. The lefty allowed two hits and one run.

“Today, I wanted to make sure my command and everything was there,” he said afterward. “I mixed in some more breaking balls early and felt good with it. I got the ground balls and stuff when I needed to. The main work is in-between starts, then you go out there and make sure you get quick outs.”


Infielder Luis Cruz returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s game as a precautionary measure for his earlier left hip flexor strain. Cruz showed no problems running the bases when he singled in the ninth. He also made a dazzling defensive stop in the bottom half of the inning and came just a step short of recovering in time to throw out the runner at first.


As for your World Baseball Classic update:

  • Infielder Ramon Vazquez went 2-for-3 with an RBI as Team Puerto Rico took on the Red Sox. Vazquez started at third.
  • Reliever John Grabow allowed one hit and hit a batter (Ryan Howard) in 2/3 innings of relief for Team USA.
  • Reliever Dave Davidson tossed another scoreless inning for Team Canada. He struck out two.


Up Next: The Pirates are back home on Friday and will face the defending American League champion Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET. Most notable about tomorrow’s affair is that it will be the first Spring Training appearance for Virgil Vasquez. Vasquez was slowed by some arm soreness in mid-February, which caused him to fall behind in his pitching schedule.

Also scheduled to pitch for the Pirates are Jimmy Barthmaier, Matt Capps, Sean Burnett and Jesse Chavez.

For those not down here in sunny Bradenton, the game will be webcast for free on  

Pirates 5, Netherlands 4

Snell 1 2-23.jpgIn addition to the Pirates’ win over the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team, away from McKechnie Field today a handful of Pittsburgh players had notable days as well.

Ian Snell (pictured left) started for Puerto Rico and pitched three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out the side in the first.

Ramon Vazquez started at third for the Puerto Rican team and went 1-for-4 with an RBI single.

Reliever Dave Davidson pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Team Canada to pick up a save in the Canadians’ win over the Blue Jays. Davidson struck out one.


Ross Ohlendorf wasn’t as sharp on Tuesday as he was in his first Spring Training outing, but managed to limit the damage to one run despite giving up four hits in two innings.

Ohlendorf had initially been slated to throw three innings, but with his changeup not working exceptionally well, Ohlendorf was pulled after two and finished his day by throwing some changeups in the bullpen.

“The changeup was a little more erratic today as opposed to the other day,” manager John Russell said afterward. “He was just trying to do some things with his changeup that weren’t working so well.”

On a positive note, though, Ohlendorf did impress by effectively throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. 

“Last time was a little better, but I was able to get double plays, which was really good,” said Ohlendorf, who ended both the first and second with twin-killings. “More so than numbers, I think it’s [important to see] if they hit the ball hard or not. I didn’t feel like I got hit hard.”


Rule 5 Draft pick Donnie Veal made his fourth scoreless appearance on Tuesday. And for a guy who was supposed to have control issues, Veal’s showed very little problem throwing strikes. He has walked just one batter in four innings. And on Tuesday, he struck out the side.

Veal also impressed with his ability to throw his breaking pitches for strikes.

“He came into Spring Training pretty consistent with everything he’s got,” Russell said. “He’s continuing to take it to the mound.”

It’s still early, but at this point, Veal seems to have a hand on one of those final bullpen spots. Remember, if the Pirates don’t take him north, they lose him. 


Non-roster invitee Garrett Jones had the offensive performance of the day, with two hits and three RBIs in his four at-bats. Jones is an intriguing option as the Pirates look to fill out their final two bench spots. He can play first and also anywhere in the outfield.

And as Russell said, Jones has always had a knack for the big hit.

“I like Garrett,” Russell said. “He has good at-bats with guys on base. What he did today is what I remember of him.”

Jones is now 4-for-9 this spring.


Former Pirate Randall Simon made a visit to McKechnie Field on Tuesday as the captain of the Netherlands’ team. Yes, he talked about the infamous sausage race fiasco. But he also talked about using the WBC as an opportunity to try and break back into the Majors.

“I think I can still play,” he said. “I’ve been working hard this offseason to stay ready and to stay in shape. I’m letting everybody know that I can still play the game of baseball and that I can still play in the Major Leagues. These three [exhibition] games and the Classic, it’s a great exposure for me to show that I can still play.”

Simon played independent ball last year.  


Up Next: The Pirates (5-1) will play the Twins on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field. And get excited… for the first time this spring, you won’t have to rely solely on me to bring you the report. The game will be webcast for free on our website,

Tom Gorzelanny will be making the start for the Pirates. Chris Bootcheck, Tyler Yates and Craig Hansen are all scheduled to pitch in relief. The Twins will start Francisco Liriano. 

Pirates 6, Tigers 4

McLouth 09ST 02-12 (032.jpgIf nothing else, centerfielder Nate McLouth was just glad that he finally got a hit. It was a bonus that it went over the fence for a three-run homer.

After going 0-for-5 this spring, McLouth connected on a 3-2 fastball in the fifth for the home run.

“At least I can’t hit .000,” he joked later.

Freddy Sanchez called it wind-blown and Ryan Doumit labeled it as wind-aided, but McLouth called it legit.

“I hit it well,” he said, not giving all credit to the wind.


Speaking of the wind, it played havoc with the outfielders on Sunday. Both McLouth and Nyjer Morgan were victims of the wind as they tried to make running, over-the-head outfield grabs. The wind came after a morning thunderstorm that brought in significantly cooler temperatures.

“If you can play the outfield and you can hit in wind like that in Florida, you can play anywhere,” McLouth said.

Not only that, but kudos to the corps of relief pitchers, who allowed just one run in seven innings despite the blustery conditions.

“They did a nice job on a tough day to pitch,” manager John Russell said. “Usually your second or third time out is the time when you start to get a little rusty.”


Lefty Phil Dumatrait said that he has five more bullpen/live batting practice sessions to throw before he will be ready to begin pitching in a game. That would put Dumatrait’s timetable at about two weeks before he’d be ready to make that first appearance.

With Dumatrait not scheduled to make his first game appearance until mid-March, it still seems most likely that he’ll start the season on the DL. That would give Dumatrait ample time to finish building up his arm as a starter.


The Pirates said goodbye to Ramon Vazquez, Ian Snell and Dave Davidson on Sunday, as each headed to join their World Baseball Classic teams. Snell and Vazquez will be training in Fort Myers, Fla., with the Puerto Rican team, while Davidson will be in Dunedin, Fla., with Team Canada.


Odds and ends: Luis Cruz (left hip flexor) has been cleared to return to game-play on Monday. He is not expected to start, but he will get in before the end of the game. …Garrett Jones made his first start of the spring at first on Sunday. He spent the first half of the game there before finishing in right field. The Pirates would like to see Jones’ versatility, as that could come into play when the Pirates determine who they want to fill the final two bench spots. … Andy LaRoche has hit safely in all three of his spring appearances after singling home a run on Sunday. … Right-hander Brian Slocum (hamstring) threw a side session on Sunday.


And no, we will not speak of today’s Mizzou basketball game in this forum.


Up next: The Pirates play their Florida neighbors — the Reds — on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field. It’s the first of six meetings between the two NL Central foes this spring. Zach Duke will throw the first two innings and is expected to be followed by Daniel McCutchen, Jason Davis, John Grabow and Craig Hansen. The Reds will start Homer Bailey.


Day 16: Tigers @ Pirates

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for n15901182_36884191_8270.jpg
No better Sunday cartoon than this one right here. 

My eyes will be on the baseball game here at McKechnie Field, but I can’t promise that my mind won’t wander just a bit. 

2 p.m. ET: Mizzou @ kU (I was told during my education at Missouri that it’s never appropriate to capitalize the “k” in kU because it’s neither a proper noun, nor a proper place.)

This is the game that we — Tigers fans — look forward to more than any other all year. Fingers crossed for a season sweep.


Pregame news and notes:

  • Virgil Vasquez is throwing live batting practice on Sunday, a sign that he should be ready to appear in a game next week.
  • Ramon Vazquez gets the start at DH to give him a few more at-bats before joining the Puerto Rican team later today. Vazquez, Ian Snell and Dave Davidson will all leave after the game to join their World Baseball Classic teammates. 

Grapefruit League Game 5:

Pirates lineup:

1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)

2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)

3. Nate McLouth (CF)

4. Ryan Doumit (C)

5. Craig Monroe (RF)

6. Ramon Vazquez (DH)

7. Andy LaRoche (3B)

8. Garrett Jones (1B)

9. Jack Wilson (SS)

Pitchers: Jimmy Barthmaier, Chris Bootcheck, Sean Burnett, Evan Meek, Tyler Yates

Tigers Lineup:

1. Curtis Granderson (CF)

2. Placido Polanco (2B)

3. Gary Sheffield (DH)

4. Brent Clevlen (LF)

5. Mike Hessman (1B)

6. Ryan Raburn (RF)

7. Brandon Inge (3B)

8. Matt Treanor (C)

9. Adam Everett (SS)

Pitchers: Justin Verlander


Bucs to send nine to WBC

Final 28-man rosters for the upcoming World Baseball Classic were released on Tuesday, and the Pirates have nine players that will be participating:

  • Ian Snell (Puerto Rico): Snell is one of three starters for Team Puerto Rico and will be starting the second game his team plays.
  • Ramon Vazquez (Puerto Rico): Vazquez, who signed a two-year deal with the Pirates this winter, is expected to be the team’s starting third baseman.
  • Dave Davidson (Canada): Davidson, who pitched for the Canadian team in the 2008 Olympics, will be coming out of the bullpen for Team Canada again.
  • Joshua Hill (Australia): The right-hander started at Double-A Altoona last year, finishing 4-11 with a 4.53 ERA in 22 appearances (21 starts).
  • Paul Mildren (Australia): Mildren, who was signed by the Pirates this offseason, will be making his second appearance in the Classic.
  • Eliecer Navarro (Panama): Navarro is one of 13 pitchers on the Panamian team. The 21-year-old lefty pitched for the Pirates’ Domincan Summer League team last year.
  • Gift Ngoepe (South Africa): The 19-year-old infielder was signed by the Pirates last fall.
  • Chi-Hung Cheng (Chinese Taipei): Cheng was another offseason acquisition by the Pirates, though he has never pitched above Single-A after being signed by the Blue Jays in ’03.
  • Raymond Chang (China): After being acquired by the Pirates midseason, Chang pitched in five games last year for Double-A Altoona. 

The Pirates will also be represented by bullpen coach Luis Dorante, who will serve in the same capacity for the Venezuelan team.

All information regarding the World Baseball Classic can be found on’s official WBC site.