Results tagged ‘ Eric Kratz ’

Thursday's Minor Matters; Cruz to be recalled

It seemed likely, and now it’s official. Luis Cruz will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and join the Pirates in Philadelphia on Friday. He takes the roster spot that had belonged to Steve Pearce, who was sent down on Wednesday.

Cruz started the season on the Major League roster as a utility player, but was sent down on April 21 after the Pirates acquired Delwyn Young from the Dodgers. Cruz had only two at-bats while with Pittsburgh. With Indianapolis, Cruz hit .253 in 66 games.

And some Minor League notes to pass along…

  • Ryan Doumit caught nine inning for Triple-A Indy on Thursday. It was the first time Doumit has caught a full game since he began his rehab assignment. It also came on the heels of Wednesday’s game in which Doumit caught seven innings. Doumit finally also broke through offensively and went 2-for-4 with two singles. Those were his first hits since beginning his rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League.
  • Triple-A Indianapolis had two players – RHP Chris Bootcheck and C Eric Kratz – selected to play in the league’s All-Star Game next week. However, only Kratz will be participating. Bootcheck’s father recently had surgery and the reliever is going to spend the All-Star break with his family as a result. The Triple-A game will be played next Wednesday. 

July 2: Mets (38-39) @ Pirates (36-42)

What became a 10-game homestand because of a makeup game, finally concludes today with a mid-day contest against the Mets. Thursday’s game is a makeup from June 3, also the day that Nate McLouth was dealt away. Interestingly enough, since that McLouth trade, the Pirates are 12-14, not starkly different than the 24-28 they were before the deal. Take that for what it’s worth.

As for your news and notes for the morning…

  • Triple-A Indianapolis will be represented by right-handed reliever Chris Bootcheck and catcher Eric Kratz in the Triple-A All-Star game on July 15.
  • Oddly enough, this is the second of just nine home games the Pirates play this month, and they won’t be home again for 15 days.
  • The Pirates will be looking to win their fifth straight game against the Mets at PNC Park. Pittsburgh has averaged 6.75 runs a game in those last four wins.
  • There’s no one the Pirates would rather have on the mound here than lefty Paul Maholm, who is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA at home this season. That’s the fourth-lowest home ERA among all National League starters. Going back even further, Maholm has a 2.98 home ERA since the start of 2007.
  • The Mets enter Thursday’s game having won just one of their last six games.
  • Nyjer Morgan will make his debut for the Nationals on Friday after not playing in Washington’s day game against the Marlins on Wednesday. Burnett, though, has already made his first appearance. He was charged with a blown save on Wednesday after allowing a game-tying home run in the seventh. It was the only hit Burnett allowed in 1 1/3 innings.
  • Just a day off for Freddy Sanchez today. Manager John Russell had planned to sit Sanchez on Sunday until Ramon Vazquez came down with a stomach flu.
  • The fact that Sanchez is out prompted Russell to bump Wilson up into the No. 2 hole. It’s the third time the season that Wilson will hit second.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen  (CF)
  2. Jack Wilson (SS)
  3. Delwyn Young (RF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Garrett Jones (LF)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (2B)
  9. Paul Maholm (LHP)

Mets lineup:

  1. Luis Castillo (2B)
  2. Alex Cora (SS)
  3. David Wright (3B)
  4. Gary Sheffield (RF)
  5. Fernando Tatis (LF)
  6. Ryan Church (CF)
  7. Nick Evans (1B)
  8. Omir Santos (C)
  9. Tim Redding (RHP) 

Day 47: Red Sox @ Pirates; Karstens, Monroe, Cruz in; Eight others out

Today held the big wave of cuts we had all been anticipating… and finally, the final 25-man roster is coming into view. Here’s the news from this morning…

  • Jeff Karstens has been named the team’s fifth starter. Virgil Vasquez was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis where he will be in the starting rotation. Ultimately, the Pirates decided against keeping Vasquez with the big league team as a long reliever. The thought is that if the need for a long reliever presents itself, the team will dip into its Minor League options.
  • Utility infielder Luis Cruz has been told that he will be on the team, barring any unforseen acquisition. Craig Monroe has not been officially added to the roster, though GM Neal Huntington said he expects that to be done by the end of the day today. Monroe had an escape clause in his deal that would have allowed him to leave the organization today if he did not make the team. The Pirates are ready to put Monroe on the club, but have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster before officially doing so.
  • Three relievers — Jason Davis, Chris Bootcheck and Denny Bautista — were reassigned to Minor League camp. Also reassigned to Minor League camp were Andy Phillips, Garrett Jones, Eric Kratz and Jeff Salazar.
  • There are now five relievers — Craig HansenSean Burnett, Donnie Veal, Evan Meek and Jesse Chavez — competing for the final four bullpen spots. Huntington said that none of those relievers has won a job just yet. Hansen and Burnett are out of options, so they are likely to break camp with the team. Donnie Veal must make the team as a Rule 5 pick or be offered back to the Cubs, and Huntington said on Sunday that it would be hard to leave Veal off the roster at this point. That would seem to leave Meek and Chavez fighting for that final spot.
  • Meek’s health is improving, but he is still out with bronchitis. His shoulder feels fine, though. Huntington said that the team would like to give Meek another opportunity to show where he is physically and command-wise before making any final bullpen decisions. The question is whether Meek can get healthy quickly enough.
  • Though the Pirates have been scouring the waiver wire and calling teams about possible trades, Huntington said that there are no imminent acquisitions likely.

“We continue to look and we continue to explore. Some of the people that we’ve talked to have chosen other opportunities. Some of the people that we’ve talked to our looking for more than we are willing to give and that’s in trades and free agency. Nothing is imminent, nor do we feel like we have to do anything to add. We like what we have. Can we be better? We can always be better. But we feel good about the options that we have internally really at every spot. Now we just need young guys to step up and capture their opportunities.”

  • Though jobs have been handed out, Huntington made it quite clear that jobs have to be kept. He singled out left field (Nyjer Morgan), right field (Brandon Moss), third base (Andy LaRoche), the rotation and the four relievers-to-be-named-soon as having the most to prove early.
  • With Wednesday’s cuts, the Pirates have 27 players remaining in camp. Phil Dumatrait is scheduled to start the season on the 15-day DL, which means that there is only one other cut necessary before the start of the season.

And if that isn’t enough for you… here’s the starting lineup, one that looks as I’d expect it to look on Opening Day on Monday.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Brandon Moss (RF)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Paul Maholm (LHP)

Red Sox lineup:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
  2. Dustin Pedroia (2B)
  3. Chris Carter (1B)
  4. Rocco Baldelli (DH)
  5. Jed Lowrie (SS)
  6. George Kottaras (C)
  7. Chip Ambres (LF)
  8. Ryan Kalish (RF)
  9. Gil Velazquez (3B)

Pitcher: Josh Beckett