Results tagged ‘ Evan Chambers ’

July 1: Cubs (36-38) @ Pirates (36-41); Wilson apologizes for comments

Shortstop Jack Wilson sought out the media on Wednesday so that he could publically apologize for some of his comments made on Tuesday afternoon, just minutes after hearing that teammates Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan had been traded. For those who may have missed it, here is what Wilson said yesterday.

Wilson was understandably frustrated, having seen the Pirates trade away teammates over and over again during his tenure here. But it was the tone he used and what could be perceived as negativity toward Pirates management that he wanted to step away from after reading what he had said the day after…

“I really didn’t sleep last night. I think some of my comments were pretty harsh,” Wilson said. “When you’re here and you’re in the moment and you’re talking to guys and everyone is bummed out, you tend to maybe lose your head a little bit and vent. A lot of things I said, I thought about last night when talking with my wife and they were pretty inaccurate I would say. I definitely don’t want to be that guy who is butting heads with the organization or causing any type of negativity. I apologize for that. I haven’t talked to Neal [Huntington] or anything like that, but that’s not the player I want to be. That’s not the person I want to be for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’m definitely passionate about winning, about being a Pirate and sometimes it comes out in a negative way. For that, I apologize for going against the organization.”

Other news and notes for the day:

  • Jeff Salazar has arrived at PNC Park, but he has not been added to the roster yet because of what is being described as extenuating cicumstances. Manager John Russell said he couldn’t comment on the situation, but we are expected to be notified closer to game time what’s going on and when/if Salazar will be added. Salazar said he’s under the impression that he’ll be available tonight. UPDATE 6:20 pm: Salazar has been activated and is available to play on Wednesday.
  • Craig Monroe has cleared waivers and been given his unconditional release.
  • The Pirates have signed third-round Draft pick Evan Chambers. He has been assigned to begin his professional career with short season State College. Chambers, 20, is a center fielder drafted from Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College.
  • The Pirates have also signed SS John Gourley (13th round) and RHP Ryan Beckham (18th round). Gourley was drafted out of high school. The Pirates have now agreed to terms with 15 of 51 players. 
  • Joel Hanrahan arrived in the clubhouse at about 3:45 pm today, only to be greeted with a bear hug from Delwyn Young. Hanrahan’s transition should be a bit smoother considering he already knows Young, both LaRoches and John Grabow.
  • Russell is wasting no time getting Garrett Jones into the lineup, putting him in left and in the No. 3 spot on Wednesday. Russell emphasized that Jones will get plenty of opportunity to show that he could be an everyday player, which suggests that he will likely be a more regular starter than Eric Hinske was.
  • Three players from Double-A Altoona have been selected to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game. Those include LHP Daniel Moskos, SS Brian Friday and OF/1B Jason Delaney
  • Andy LaRoche is out of the lineup for nothing more than just a day to rest.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (LF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Brandon Moss (RF)
  6. Ramon Vazquez (SS)
  7. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Virgil Vasquez (RHP)

Cubs lineup:

  1. Sam Fuld (LF)
  2. Ryan Theriot (SS)
  3. Derrek Lee (1B)
  4. Milton Bradley (RF)
  5. Jake Fox (3B)
  6. Kosuke Fukodome (CF)
  7. Geovany Soto (C)
  8. Andres Blanco (2B)
  9. Randy Wells (RHP)

Draft Day 1 Wrap

Before getting into some discussion about the Pirates’ first-round pick, C Tony Sanchez, here’s the skinny on the Pirates’ other three selections made on Tuesday, courtesy of GM Neal Huntington

  • 49th overall pick: RHP Victor Black (Dallas Baptist University): “Black is a large-framed college right-handed starter with an above-average fastball (top 96, average 92-93) to complement a quality breaking ball and change-up.  Victor has the size, frame, delivery and arm action to log quality innings and attain his up-side as solid Major League starting pitcher. Victor is a quality person and has more upside than the typical college pitcher because he has only been pitching for three seasons after being converted from catcher upon entering Dallas Baptist University.”
  • 53rd overall pick: RHP Brooks Pounders (Temecula Valley HS (Calif.)): “Pounders is a large-bodied high school right-handed starter with a quality mix of now stuff, future ceiling and an advanced feel for pitching.  Brooks has shown an above-average fastball (top 94, average 90-92), breaking ball and change-up.  Brooks has the mental and physical aptitude to refine his pitch arsenal to match his ability to pitch and develop into a solid major league starting pitcher.”
  • 84th overall pick: CF Evan Chambers (Hillsborough Community College): “Chambers is a solid five-tool, athletic, muscular, compact center fielder with a short, loose swing that drives the ball from gap-to-gap with developing home run power.  He has solid instincts defensively, offensively and on the bases.  He has the potential to become a solid all around major league center fielder.”

As for Sanchez, Pirates management is plenty aware that Pirates fans are crying “Money!” over the decision to choose Sanchez over more well known players like Aaron Crow, Alex White, Mike Minor, Grant Green, etc…

Is this a repeat of 2007, when the Pirates passed over can’t-miss-catcher Matt Wieters to instead take LHP Daniel Moskos, a decision that most believe was dictated by money? Well, first off, there was no Wieters-type talent in this Draft. If there had been, Huntington emphasized that the Pirates would have taken such a player.

Huntington wanted everyone to know that Sanchez sat in the third spot on the Pirates’ Draft board, a position that, yes, had something to do with signability, but more to do with upside. Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley were the only two players that the Pirates had listed higher. Both were gone by the time the third pick of the Draft rolled around.

The Pirates’ thinking is simple (and feel free to disagree with it if you’d like — I’m just here to be the messenger): This Draft did not have a lot of premium college position player talent. By getting Sanchez, then, the Pirates got a premium college player. This Draft is also full of pitching depth, so there seems little concern that the Pirates won’t be able to load up on pitching in the later rounds.

And then there’s the simple fact that the Pirates didn’t see a first-round pick worth using the majority of their signing bonus allotment for, as was the case with Pedro Alvarez. As a result, by selecting Sanchez and signing him for “slot” or lower money, the Pirates have significant funds available to be agressive in the rest of the Draft.

In other words, despite any conclusions you might want to make immediately, this Draft is going to have to be viewed as a success or failure based on the entire 50-round package.