Results tagged ‘ Dustin Molleken ’

Minor League Free Agent list

Jenifer Langosch/

It doesn’t get nearly the fanfare the big-league free agent market does, but the Minor League free agent market has opened for all as well. Here is a list of players in the Pirates’ system who were granted Minor League free agency because of service time accrued:

  • C: Hector Gimenez. Erik Kratz, James Skelton, Milver Reyes
  • 1B: Bryan Myrow
  • 2B: Rodolfo Cardona, Yung Chi Chen, Jose de los Santos
  • SS: Doug Bernier
  • OF: Kevin Melillo, Mitch Jones, Jonathan Van Every
  • RHP: Tyler Yates, Jeremy Powell, Jean Machi, Derek Hankins, Dustin Molleken
  • LHP: Dana Eveland, Corey Hamman

* Note: OF Brandon Moss and RHP Steven Jackson were also granted Minor League free agency. They are not on this list above because they were able to declare earlier than these others after being removed from the 40-man roster last week.

Here, in a nice organized form, is the full list of players who became Minor League free agents over the weekend. Why might this be of interest to you? Well, remember the Pirates are now free to scour this list and negotiate with anyone in this group. You’ll find some interesting names in here, too.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

September 4: Cardinals (79-56) @ Pirates (53-79)

Jenifer Langosch/

Well, it has to get better, folks. Right? After an 0-7 road trip that included sweeps at the hands of the Brewers and Reds, the Pirates are home for six against division foes St. Louis and Chicago. There are certainly numbers to back the projection that the Pirates are bound to break out of this losing streak quickly… though there are as many ominous stats, too.

The good: The Pirates are 35-29 at home this season, which includes wins in seven of nine games last homestand.

The bad: The Cardinals and Cubs have combined to go 14-6 against the Bucs this season.

The ugly: The Pirates have won just two of their last nine games overall and are 19-39 against teams from the NL Central this year.

Oh, and I guess the inevitable countdown can begin — three more games until loss No. 82. Enough said.

As for today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • First baseman Jeff Clement is no longer a given to join the club this month. Clement was initially going to be a part of the second wave of call-ups (next Tuesday after the Triple-A season is over), but has been out since Aug. 27 with an oblique strain. The organization is considering sending him to instructional league for extra work this month rather than bringing him up to the big league club right off the injury
  • It’s expected that catcher Robinzon Diaz and shortstop Brian Bixler are the only other two players summoned from Indianapolis’ roster next week.
  • Reliever Jeff Karstens (lower back strain) made another two-inning rehab appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday. He didn’t allow a run and struck out one. He is scheduled to return to the team as soon as his 15 days is up next week.
  • Lefty Donnie Veal (sprained left index finger) will likely remain with Altoona through the Curve’s final set of games and then return to Pittsburgh next week. He has so far pitched 11 1/3 innings in a rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona. He has allowed two earned runs on four hits, walked nine and struck out 16.
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio continues to throw long toss and is close to being ready to throw off the mound. The Pirates are hopeful that he’ll be able to contribute out of the bullpen for the season’s final two weeks or so.
  • Though he’s not in the lineup, Pittsburgh-area native Neil Walker is preparing to play in his first game at PNC Park. He said he expects 20-25 family and close friends to be in attendance on Friday.
  • Altoona named Pedro Alvarez the team’s Most Valuable Player for the season. After starting the year with Lynchburg, Alvarez played his final 60 games with the Curve. He hit .333 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs. The Curve named Yoslan Herrera (11-1, 3.23 ERA in 23 appearances) the team’s Pitcher of the Year. Catcher Miguel Perez (.266 in 28 games) was given Altoona’s “Unsung Hero Award” largely for being a mentor to the young catchers on the team.
  • Indianapolis catcher Erik Kratz was named to the Triple-A Postseason All-Star Team. He led all IL catchers with 11 homers and 42 RBIs this season. Kratz also represented the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in the mid-season All-Star Game.
  • With final rosters for the World Cup not out, the Pirates will be represented by six players. Those include Alvarez (USA), Brad Lincoln (USA), Dustin Molleken (Canada), R.J. Rodriguez (Puerto Rico), Tom Boleska (Great Britain) and Gift Ngoepe (South Africa).
  • Also, for those of you who don’t frequent the Triple-A website — — often, I wanted to point you to something that might be of interest. The Indians are currently having a game-worn jersey auction. The auction ends on Sept. 10 and since a number of these jerseys belong to players who are now in Pittsburgh (Andrew McCutchen, Lastings Milledge, Daniel McCutchen, Walker, Garrett Jones) or elsewhere (Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell, Jack Wilson), I thought some of you might be interested. Here is the auction link.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (1B)
  4. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Brandon Moss (RF)
  8. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  9. Kevin Hart (RHP)

Cardinals lineup:

  1. Skip Schumaker (2B)
  2. Colby Rasmus (CF)
  3. Albert Pujols (1B)
  4. Matt Holliday (LF)
  5. Ryan Ludwick (RF)
  6. Mark DeRosa (3B)
  7. Yadier Molina (C)
  8. Brendan Ryan (SS)
  9. Adam Wainwright (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB     

August 28: Pirates (58-72) @ Brewers (61-66)

Jenifer Langosch/

OK, we’re going to keep this short and sweet since I’ve been dealing with computer issues for the last four hours and am still working with IT to get everything fixed.

Today’s news, notes and randomness…

  • Manager John Russell said he has not yet determined who will start Monday’s extra doubleheader game in Cincinnati. Paul Maholm will obviously start one of the two (since it’s his normal day to pitch), though it hasn’t been decided if that will be the day game or the night cap. Phil Dumatrait is still a candidate to start the second game, though his availability will depend upon if he is needed in the bullpen this weekend. The Pirates would like to avoid having to call someone up from Triple-A to make the start knowing that rosters expand the next day
  • Ronny Cedeno remains out of the lineup with the pinky injury. Though the Pirates were most concerned about how it would affect his ability to grip a bat, it’s actually bothering him fielding and on short throws more than anything else. Obviously, he’s hitting just fine, evidenced by the two pinch hits in as many at-bats during the Phillies series.
  • No word yet from Russell about when Jose Ascanio (right shoulder injury) will resume tossing again.
  • Luis Cruz got hit in the head with a line drive off Garrett Jones’ bat during batting practice this afternoon and had to come off the field briefly. Fortunately, a few minutes later Cruz was up and bouncing around as normal, joking that he was just practicing his soccer skills. He remains in the lineup.
  • While I was off the last few days, Team USA announced its World Cup team. Both third baseman Pedro Alvarez and right-hander Daniel McCutchen were selected from the squad and will be participating. This eliminates any possibility that McCutchen will be a September call-up. He’ll have to wait until next spring to fight for a big-league rotation spot, and yes, he’ll certainly be in the mix. Double-A right-handed reliever Dustin Molleken has been selected to play for Team Canada. The Pirates also expect that Lynchburg righty Tom Boleska (Canada), Lynchburg right-hander RJ Rodriguez (USA) and GCL Pirates shortstop Gift Ngoepe (South Africa) to also be on their respective country’s final rosters. 
  • The Pirates have decided to stick with a five-man rotation in September, even as Kevin Hart and Ross Ohlendorf creep closer to what managment has deemed their maximum innings counts. GM Neal Huntington, who made the trip to Milwaukee with the team, said that once Hart and Ohlendorf hit their innings count, they will be shut down. That likely won’t be but one or two starts before the end of the season. 
  • Huntington listed Virgil Vasquez and Dumatrait as the most likely candidates to spot start when needed. Eric Hacker was an outside possibility, but not the most likely.
  • Huntington said that third baseman Neil Walker is still being considered for a call-up in September based on merit. The concern, though, is finding him enough at-bats to make it worthwhile. Regardless, spending September with the Major League team would at least allow Walker the chance to work with infield coach Perry Hill.
  • Oh yeah, and in case anyone forgot — which I doubt you have — the Pirates haven’t won here at Miller Park since  May 3, 2007. I started covering the team less than two weeks after that, so no, I have never seen the club win in Milwaukee. Altogether, the Pirates have lost 18 straight.
  • And I guess that wasn’t too short afterall. Oh well.. had to get all the news in.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  7. Steve Pearce (1B)
  8. Luis Cruz (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Brewers lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez (2B)
  2. Jason Bourgeois (RF)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Mike Cameron (CF)
  7. Jason Kendall (C)
  8. Alcides Escobar (SS)
  9. Manny Parra (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Alvarez 0-for-4 in Double-A debut

Pedro Alvarez’s anticipated debut with Double-A Altoona on Tuesday night ended without much to brag about. The third baseman went 0-for-4 with the Curve and struck out three times.

Also making their Double-A debuts on Tuesday were pitchers Dustin Molleken (1 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 1 K) and Mike Dubee (1 IP, 1 K), both of whom earned promotions from Single-A Lynchburg to Altoona with Alvarez.

In case you’re interested, here are Alvarez’s post-game comments (Thanks to the Altoona media relations staff for compiling and sending these overs)…

  • On his debut: “Fun. Excited to be out there. Everything didn’t go my way, but it happens. Tomorrow’s another day, and I’ve just got to put today behind me.  I’m prepared for that, and I’ve just got to make sure whenever I get the opportunity just to capitalize and try to put a good swing on a pitch.  I’ve just got to make sure I stay patient. When I am patient, I get my walks and I hit mistakes and everything works out well. I’ve just got to make sure I stay within myself and not try to do too much.”
  • Any nerves?: “I think I was fine. Did I look nervous? There is some nervousness. I guess it’s not out of fear, it’s just out of excitement and eagerness to do well. I’ve just got to stay within myself and not try to do too much.  I try to eliminate as much as possible external factors, and this is part of the game. So I deal with everything, try to deal with everything with as much professionalism as I can and just live life by the minute.”
  • Curve manager Matt Walbeck on Alvarez: “It’s good to see Pedro in the lineup. I know he didn’t have the game he was looking for, but he certainly adds a lot of excitement to our offense.  After a while, he gets his feet wet here, I think we’re going to start to see him do some damage He got pitched tough. I think there were some pitches there that may have caught him off guard a little bit. It’s going to take him a while, I don’t know if it’s going to be a couple games or more, to get used to the way they’re going to pitch him. Good hitters generally take a couple of games to kind of get their feet underneath them. I thought his presence was good. He may have pulled off a couple pitches early that he could have driven, maybe trying a little too hard or whatever. But nevertheless, just to have his presence in the box and on our team helps.” 

More Minor Matters

In addition to the promotions given to 3B Pedro Alvarez (headed to Double-A) and RHP Brad Lincoln (headed to Triple-A), the Pirates are promoting the following Minor Leaguers from Lynchburg to Altoona: pitchers Dustin Molleken and Michael Dubee and OF/1B Miles Durham.

Durham will first participate in the California-Carolina League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Infielder Chase D’Arnaud, the Pirates’ fourth-round pick in 2008, has been promoted from low Single-A West Virginia to high Single-A Lynchburg.

The Pirates have also signed three additional 2009 Draft picks: 1B Aaron Baker (11th round), RHP Phillip Irwin (21st round), RHP Ed Fallon (43rd round)