Results tagged ‘ Jeff Clement ’

Bradenton just got a bit busier

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

It’s reporting day, folks. And I have, indeed, reported to Bradenton, Fla., on time. No visa issues to worry about here.

By the end of today (Sunday), the Pirates’ pitchers and catchers are required to be in town. As of last count, 38 of the 41 were. Still missing: Jose Veras, Jose Ascanio and Cesar Valdez. There didn’t seem to be a true grasp on whether any of the above might be dealing with visa issues, though we’ll know that soon.

In addition, of the 62 total players participating in big league camp, 49 are already here. Position players aren’t required to report until the end of the day on Friday. Many, though, come early to get a headstart on their workouts.

A few notes before we get rolling with Day 1 coverage tomorrow:

  • Jeff Clement has been removed from the list of non-roster invitees. He is still recovering from surgery and therefore will be reporting to Minor League camp. With Clement off the list, there were 22 non-roster invitations handed out.
  • For the full list of non-roster invitees, click here.
  • I caught a glimpse of the Pirates’ new batting practice tops. Boy are they, well, bright yellow. Bumble bee-esque, as Evan Meek pointed out. I’m thinking they might be even be visible in the dark.
  • The first pitchers/catchers workout will be on Monday, though it will start a bit later than the subsequent workouts. There are meetings and physicals scheduled for the morning hours. Expect the whole group to take the field sometime around noon.

As it has been for the past two years, the blog will be a significant part of Spring Training coverage. That’s a shameless plug to get you guys to check it frequently over the next seven weeks. I’ll provide updates and photos via twitter, as well, so you can keep a pulse on the team there. And, of course, there will be numerous stories (and some videos) on the main pirates.com site daily.

Looking forward to spending another season with you….

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Roster moves and invitations

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have designated right-hander Joe Martinez for assignment. This opens up the spot on the 40-man roster necessary to add Kevin Correia.

Pittsburgh also announced four more non-roster invites to Spring Training: Tyler Yates (who has signed Minor League deal), Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Huntington on Day 2 of Winter Meetings

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Some thoughts coming out of GM Neal Huntington’s afternoon session with the members of the Pittsburgh media:

  • On whether the Pirates continue to pursue additional starters: “We’ll always continue to try and find a way to upgrade. Maybe it takes one of our established pitchers and making them available in a trade and we can acquire some prospects or acquire some other pieces for our Major League club. Maybe we can add something to our club via Major League free agency. Maybe we can add via trade.”
  • On what the team is looking for as it targets starters: “At this point, we’d like to find some stability in the rotation. We need a guy who we feel comfortable with, who is going to take the ball every fifth day. You never know with pitchers. But we’ve looked at track records. And maybe there is a guy out there that’s got some upside that is coming back from injury in the last couple of years that may be a fit or maybe we have two stabilizers. We need to eat some innings. We need to lighten the load on our bullpen. We need to get deeper into the games as a rotation. We need to give ourselves some options.”
  • On how he is looking to build the bullpen: “A little bit of everything. We’re exploring the free agent market. We’re exploring the trade market. We’re looking at the 4-A free agent market. We’ve got a lot of internal options as well. If we add more starters than we need, we’ve got some additional bullpen options. Maybe then that pushes a guy who has had some success as a starter, maybe it pushes him back in the bullpen again and we deepen our bullpen. Maybe it pushes some of our internal options to come into camp in a little bit better shape. Too many options is never a bad thing, and that’s where we’re trying to go. We’re trying to add depth. We’re trying to give ourselves choices to make. We love power with strikeouts, but short of that, sometimes a variety of looks and a variety of stuff can help give a manager options.”
  • On whether he expects to come out of Winter Meetings with upgrade at short: “Maybe not out of the Winter Meetings. We have laid some groundwork on some things that we can improve upon defensively.”
  • On Ronny Cedeno and his future: “Ronny is still the guy, but at some point you have to stop talking about potential and you have to talk about performance. We’re getting to that point with Ronny. The consistency was there for a good portion of the year. He struggled at the end, no question.”
  • On whether there is still interest in re-signing Chan Ho Park: “We’re leaving the door open. There hasn’t been a ton of dialogue. Chan Ho, I think, is exploring his options. We’re exploring potential fits. With the quality of person that he is and what he did with us, absolutely have to keep an open mind to it. But I’d say things are not imminent at all.”
  • On rehab status of Jose Ascanio, Jeff Clement, Steve Pearce and Kevin Hart: “Everybody is on schedule. Nobody has had any significant setback. Everyone is on schedule for where we thought they would be. As we sit here today, yes, [all will be ready for Spring Training].”
  • On internal bullpen options: “I think a lot of people are beating up our bullpen because of the unknown. There is some power there. There is also some risk. It makes us feel like we don’t have to go seek an upgrade. But if there is one there that makes sense for us, we’ll certainly look.”
  • On whether Sean Gallagher is projected to be a potential starter next season: “In a strange way, being able to outright Sean may actually help his career. We’d love to see him start. But he was caught in that no-man’s land of being out of options and not wanting to lose him so you keep him on the Major League club. In Sean’s case, this may actually help. We’d love to get him stretched back out. We love the arm. He started in winter ball. He wants to start. He’s going to be given every chance in the world to make our club. There is open mindset to him being  a starter.”
  • On Kevin Hart’s best fit being in bullpen: “Given Kevin coming off the injury, it looks that way. It would be awfully hard to stretch him back out and expect him to eat 200 innings. We want to see where he is physically. We want to see where he is as his rehab continues to progress. Sitting here today, it’s a lot harder to envision him as a 200-inning starter next year. Maybe somewhere back down the road, but his quickest path back may be as a reliever. He’s also out of options, and that’s going to be the other challenge.”
  • On discussions to re-sign Donnie Veal and Brian Burres: “Continuing good  dialogue and continuing to remain optimistic on both fronts. Nothing tangible at this point.”

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Bucs make roster moves

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates just announced that they have made the following roster moves:

  • LHP Wil Ledezma, who was to be eligibile for arbitration this winter, has agreed to a one-year contract for 2011.
  • RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Jose Ascanio and 1B Steve Pearce have been reinstated off the 60-day disabled list and put back on Pirates’ 40-man roster.
  • 1B Jeff Clement was removed from 60-day disabled list and outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • The following players were removed from 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A: OF Brandon Moss, LHP Justin Thomas, RHP Sean Gallagher, RHP Steven Jackson
  • RHP Chan Ho Park has been taken off the 40-man roster, as he is now a free agent.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION:

  • Because they have already been outrighted off a 40-man roster before, Moss, Thomas and Jackson are now free to declare Minor League free agency immediately. Expect each of the three to do so very soon.
  • Gallagher has accrued enough Minor League service time to also become a Minor League free agent, but he can’t do that immediately like the aforementioned guys. The Pirates have until 5 p.m. ET to try and negotiate a contract (techincally called a successor contract) with Gallagher to keep him. The Pirates are believed to be making such an attempt to resign Gallagher.
  • Clement doesn’t have the service time to become a Minor League free agent, so he will remain on Indianapolis’ roster. He should be invited to big league camp next spring, though he might still be recovering from knee surgery.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

September 1: Pirates (44-88) @ Cubs (56-77)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

A few housekeeping items first…

  • The Pirates have recalled outfielder John Bowker, who was informed of the call-up after last night’s game. Bowker can play first or right and will get some spot starts during these final 30 games.
  • First baseman Jeff Clement has left to join Triple-A Indianapolis, where he will begin his rehab stint. How things go for Clement in Indy will dictate whether he might be in line for surgery this offseason
  • If the Pirates can win today it would give the team five series win against the Cubs this season. Pittsburgh last accomplished that feat in 1990.


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

McDonald vs. CHC: 0-0 in 1 game, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 1 K

 


Cubs.jpgCUBS:
B. DeWitt (2B), S. Castro (SS), K. Fukudome (RF), M. Hoffpauir (1B), T. Colvin (CF), A. Soriano (LF), J. Baker (3B), K. Hill (C), T. Gorzelanny (LHP)

Gorzelanny vs. PIT: 1-0 in 4 games, 15.1 IP, 16 H, 6 ER, 0 HR, 10 BB, 20 K

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Knee irritation lands Clement on DL

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have placed first baseman Jeff Clement on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Aug. 21) due to left knee irritation. At this point, the cause of the irritation isn’t known, though that will obviously be a point of discussion once the clubhouse opens later this afternoon.

Coming up in Clement’s place is left-hander Justin Thomas. This will mark the third time that Thomas has come up to Pittsburgh this season. So far, he’s 0-0 with a 6.23 ERA in seven appearances. Thomas, who gives the Pirates a second lefty in the bullpen, is expected to be in uniform for tonight’s game. The Pirates now have an eight-man bullpen.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Putting a bowtie on the Trade Deadline

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Wow. So much for the expectation of a slower-than-usual Deadline day. Granted, this Trade Deadline period hasn’t been anything like it was last year, but it got pretty busy in the last 24 hours.

In order to help you sift through all the coverage from today, here it is itemized with links to take you to what you want to read.

That should get you through today’s non-game content. Would love to hear your thoughts on the Pirates’ deals of the last 24 hours. I will tell you this — have heard from multiple reputable baseball folks (not within the Pirates organization) who lauded Huntington’s return for a group of players that were not going to be cornerstones of the organization.

Obviously, it’s going to take years to see how good or bad each trade turns out to be. But considering the Bucs did not give up any starting pitchers or starting position players, there’s a good chance the scales could ultimately tip in their favor. The bench and bullpen are the two easiest aspects of a club to rebuild in the winter, and that’s where all the subtractions came from.

Your thoughts?

Pirates, D-backs announce five-player deal

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

With the Pirates’ Deadline deal now official.. here is the full story in advance of it going on pirates.com shortly:

The Pirates have acquired catcher Chris Snyder and Minor League shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the D-backs in exchange for three of the team’s veterans – Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby and D.J. Carrasco.

The deal was officially announced by Pittsburgh just three hours before Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Pirates also received $3 million from the D-backs, according to a baseball source, to help compensate for part of Snyder’s salary.

Snyder won’t be the only player joining the Pirates in St. Louis before Saturday’s game. The club has also recalled shortstop Argenis Diaz and first baseman Jeff Clement. The pair will take the roster spots left vacant by Church and Crosby. Diaz can serve as a backup middle infielder, and Clement provides some insurance at first in case the Pirates need to plug Garrett Jones into an outfield spot.

The acquisition of Snyder gives the Pirates another option behind the plate, where Ryan Doumit – currently on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion – has been the everyday starter since 2008. Snyder has filled mostly a backup role for Arizona this season behind Miguel Montero, who took over the starting job when Snyder missed time in ’09 with a back injury.

In 65 games this year, Snyder is hitting .231 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs. He is a career .233 hitter in parts of seven seasons with Arizona. Snyder has never played anywhere else, having been drafted by the organization in the second round of the 2002 First-Round Player Draft.

“Chris Snyder is a solid Major League player who will provide us with a quality catching option for this year and next year,” general manager Neal Huntington said.  “He brings leadership to the club, along with a game calling and receiving ability that will help our pitching staff mature. Additionally he will add some home run power to our lineup.”

One of the biggest questions with the acquisition is how Snyder’s arrival might affect Doumit’s future in Pittsburgh.

Snyder is under contract for $5.75 million next year with a club option for 2012 worth $6.75 million. There is a $750,000 buyout attached to that option. That means that if the Pirates hold on to both Snyder and Doumit next year, Pittsburgh would be paying $10.85 million to its catching tandem in 2011.

There are some other options, though. The Pirates could deal either catcher before next season, or there is the possibility that Pittsburgh could consider using Doumit at another position. He has played some outfield and first base in the Majors.

In Ciriaco, the Pirates receive a 25-year-old shortstop who was hitting .259 with 28 extra-base hits and 51 RBIs in 87 games with the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate. Ciriaco, has stolen 14 bases this year after swiping a combined 78 in his last two seasons.

Ciriaco’s skill set is fairly comparable to that of the team’s current starting shortstop, Ronny Cedeno. This is the first full Triple-A season for the Dominican Republic native, who is known primarily for his defense and speed.

The fact that Pittsburgh targeted a shortstop makes perfect sense given the organization’s lack of middle infield talent at the high Minor League levels.

The Pirates did not lose any critical pieces in the deal, as none of the three players acquired by Arizona was expected to be a long-term fit in Pittsburgh. All three had been signed as free agents during the winter

Both Crosby and Church had a chance to earn more playing time either this season, but neither seized the opportunity. Church hit just .182 with 18 RBIs in 69 games, while Crosby batted .224 in 61 games.

Church was under contract for $1.5 million this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining. Crosby, who was earning $1 million, was to be a free agent again at the end of the season.

Carrasco, who was hopeful of being dealt to a contending team, has been a key piece in the Pirates’ bullpen. Used often as a long reliever, the righty accumulated 55 2/3 innings and posted a 3.88 ERA. He is under contract for $950,000 this season – with another $300,000 possible in incentives – and the D-backs can now retain his rights through 2012.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Bucs dealing Church, Crosby, Carrasco; Diaz, Clement called up

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

UPDATE: 1:14 PM: Deal is official. Chris Snyder and Pedro Ciriaco to Pirates for D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby. Pirates also getting $3 million in cash to compensate for Snyder’s salary.

Pirates also officially announced recalls of Argenis Diaz, Jeff Clement and Daniel McCutchen. All three, as well as Snyder, will be in St. Louis for Saturday’s game. Ciriaco assigned to Triple-A.

***

UPDATE: 10:52 AM: The Pirates will also be getting a Minor League player in addition to Snyder. No name yet.

***

UPDATE: 10:39 AM: One source confirmed a report that the D-backs will be getting Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby in exchange for Snyder. Also, source says reliever D.J. Carrasco will be going to Arizona, too.

***

UPDATE: 10:32 AM: Garrett Jones is not involved in any deal, a source confirmed. Also, hearing that the two roster moves are related to the Snyder deal.

***

The Pirates apparently have something else cooking as today’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline approaches. According to a source, infielder Argenis Diaz and first baseman Jeff Clement have been summoned from Triple-A Indianapolis, so obviously there are two position player spots about to open.

No word yet on who might be on the move, though you have to wonder if the Pirates have considered trading Garrett Jones with his value high. Again, that’s pure speculation on my part. Clement’s only position is first base, while Diaz can play the middle infield.

Keep in mind, too, that this could have to do with the Chris Snyder deal with Arizona. That is expected to be finalized later today. To this point, it’s not known who the Pirates have offered in return and it’s possible that the Pirates have called up Diaz and Clement to compensate for what they’re giving up.

The Pirates weren’t necessarily expected to be dealing position players, so the news that there look to be two on the way out comes as a bit of a surprise.

More details as they come…

Clement has hit .305 with 15 doubles, eight homers and 33 RBis in 40 games with Triple-A Indianapolis. He was sent down in June after an unsuccessful stint as the Pirates’ everyday first baseman.

Diaz, known much more for his glove than his offensive ability, is hitting .248 with 22 RBIs in 80 games with Indianapolis. He was with the Pirates briefly once earlier this season.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Lincoln, Tabata headed to DC

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

So I’m supposedly “off” this week (I know, bad timing), but I’ve gotten word that right-hander Brad Lincoln has already taken a flight to Washington D.C. and that outfielder Jose Tabata was told after Indianapolis’ game on Tuesday that he would be heading to the big league club as well.

The additions of Lincoln and Tabata on Wednesday were obviously made possible by the two roster moves the Pirates made after Tuesday’s loss. Reliever Jack Taschner was designated for assignment, and first baseman Jeff Clement was optioned to Triple-A.

Lincoln had been widely speculated as the one who was going to take the TBD spot in the Pirates’ rotation. The addition of Tabata, though, wasn’t as expected, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t plenty deserved.

The 21-year-old outfielder hit .308 with 40 runs scored, 13 doubles, two triples, three homers and 18 RBIs in 52 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season. He had also swiped 23 bases.

I’d have to believe that Tabata is going to jump into the starting lineup immediately and stay there. I can’t see the Pirates bringing up one of its top prospects and putting him on the bench. That likely means that Garrett Jones is headed to play first base regularly.

Tuesday may have been the Nationals’ day to see part of its future, but Wednesday is poised to be the Pirates’ time in the limelight. Tabata and Lincoln represent 2/3 of the Big 3 prospects that everyone knew would be up sooner or later this summer. Pedro Alvarez, obviously, represents the remaining one, and his arrival will undoubtedly be the biggest.

OK.. now back to my “night off.” This NBA game is getting good…

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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