Results tagged ‘ Jim Negrych ’

Orioles 6, Pirates 4 (ss); Pirates 6, Rays 5 (ss)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates split the split-squad affairs, with the road group claiming a victory against the Rays in Port Charlotte. I didn’t see that game, obviously, but a few things stand out in the box score:

  • Garrett Atkins had a three-run homer, his second homer of the spring if you count the one he hit off the college kids on Friday. Both of Atkins’ hits in Grapefruit League play have been for extra bases.
  • The line wasn’t pretty for Fernando Nieve, one of many guys fighting for a bullpen spot. He was scheduled to pitch two innings and only made it through one. In that frame, Nieve allowed five hits and three earned runs. Two of those hits were doubles and four of the knocks were line drive hits.
  • Bryan Morris appeared to have a strong first inning and worked his way out of trouble in his second inning of work. He struck out Evan Longoria in a 1-2-3 first and induced a key double play in the second. A wild pitch allowed one run to score against him.

***

The most important development in Paul Maholm’s outing on Monday — and what I highlighted in the Beat item on the left-hander — was his attention to throwing inside. Be sure that this is going to be key not just for Maholm, but for this entire rotation to take significant steps forward. This and first-pitch strikes are going to be crucial.

Maholm learned long ago the importance of setting aside spring results and focusing on particulars. That said, he seemed hardly concerned about his final line — which included four hits and two runs.

“I would say I’m getting a lot more comfortable on the mound right now and getting in better rhythm,” Maholm said. “My rhythm is good. Everything is good. It’s just being able to do it consistently for a long stretch. For me, that’s what spring is for.”

Spring Training is also a pretty loose environment, and Maholm made sure to give Orioles catcher Craig Tatum some friendly flack. Maholm and Tatum were battery mates at Mississippi State, and Tatum tagged Maholm for a single when they faced each other in the second inning on Monday. Maholm responded by promptly picking Tatum off first.

“He can only pull the ball. I made him look good by throwing him a fastball in,” Maholm said, grinning. “I picked him off to make him look bad. We’re somewhat even. I’ll send him a text later asking him what he was thinking.”

***

Split-squad days, in particular, allow a handful of players from Minor League camp to get an opportunity in front of the Major League coaching staff. A number of those players spend the day with the big-league club and serve as late-inning substitutions when the starters take their early exits.

On Monday, Mel Rojas Jr., Miles Durham and Jim Negrych had their chance to make a first impression on new manager Clint Hurdle. For Durham, the impression was an especially good one.

Durham came to the plate twice, drawing one walk and launching a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth.

“First day and I just wanted to come here and help them out a little bit, and I did pretty well,” Durham said afterward. “[Hurdle] had never seen me play before, so it’s good to get a good first impression.”

The homer came after Durham fell just short on what would have been a sensational diving catch in the eighth. Durham laid out as the ball just missed his glove.

“I got real close,” Durham said. “It hit off the end of my glove and once I hit the ground, I lost it.”

Durham was the Pirates’ 22nd-round pick in 2006. He hit .259 with Double-A Altoona last season and went 3-for-10 in six Major League Spring Training games last year.

***

On the main site, you will find the following tonight:

  • The main story takes a look at Pedro Alvarez, who has showcased a terrific work ethic and has a serious motivation to not rely solely on his natural talent to be good. Let me emphasize for the last time that a report about Alvarez gaining 15 pounds this winter was entirely inaccurate. Alvarez did gain muscle this offseason (not nearly 15 pounds worth), but it’s been unfair that he has had to answer questions this spring about a weight issue that isn’t an issue at all.
  • Bucs Beat has an update on Joe Beimel, as well as a closer look at Maholm’s outing. From Port Charlotte, MLB.com’s Evan Drellich contributes a note about Morris’ outing. Interesting, too, that Morris faced Manny Ramirez, who was a part of that three-team trade that sent Morris to Pittsburgh and Ramirez to the Dodgers back in 2008.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

August 5: D-backs (48-59) @ Pirates (45-61); McCutchen out of lineup

Thought I’d bring you some comments courtesy of D-backs skipper A.J. Hinch. During his pregame media session on Tuesday, the former farm director-turned-manager made two interesting points about the Pirates recent turnover…

First, despite the fact that these two teams played less than two weeks ago, he noted the difficulty in the advance scouting process coming into the series considering this team has so many new faces since that series in Phoenix.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap where we think we know the other team, but they’ve made a lot of moves since we last saw them which was 10 days ago,” Hinch said. “I think it’s challenging to the extent of having all our scouting reports done and be prepared to come into the series. It probably would have been harder to deal with them over the deadline given how many moves they made.”

Second, he cautioned against jumping to too many conclusions on the organization based upon the omnipresent revolving door for the past two seasons.

“I think they are obviously a team in transition trying to find a balanced team that can be competitive. I don’t have a comment on the moves that they made. They made massive changes. That signals I  think an attempt for them to move in a new direction. I’m not saying they’re easy decisions. The players they traded are good players, but what comes from that when you trade for Minor League players they become Major League players. The patience that an organization has to have when you have to make moves like that, it tests you and it’s tough, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.”

Anyways, what Hinch has to like is the fact that his Arizona staff has shutout the Pirates for the last 28 innings. The Pirates will be trying to break that on Wednesday against lefty Doug Davis, who, you guessed it, shut out the Pirates in six innings on July 25.

As for today’s other news, notes and randomness…

  • After making 54 consecutive starts since being called up from Triple-A, Andrew McCutchen is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday. He was hit in the head with first baseman Chad Tracy’s glove while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning on Tuesday. McCutchen stayed in the game, but did have some headaches later in the night. Manager John Russell was looking to give him a day off sometime soon, so the consensus was to do it on Wednesday to make sure McCutchen had no lingering affects. He’s expected to return to the lineup on Thursday.
  • With McCutchen out, Ronny Cedeno – the owner of Tuesday’s lone hit — moved up to hit leadoff. This is just Cedeno’s third career start hitting leadoff.
  • Despite coming into the season with some in the organization projecting he could be Major-League ready as soon as Opening Day 2010, Shelby Ford has been one of the organization’s biggest disappointments. He has hit just .188 in his first season in Triple-A and on Wednesday was demoted to Double-A. With Jim Negrych out for the season, Ford can get regular playing time with Altoona.
  • Taking Ford’s place in Indianapolis is infielder Pedro Lopez.
  • Left-hander Phil Dumatrait is making another rehab start on Thursday, this one coming for Indianapolis. It’s one of at least two more that he is scheduled to make before being reinstated from the DL.
  • Anybody seeing what 3B Pedro Alvarez has done lately? After going 3-for-6 on Tuesday, the No. 2 overall pick in 2008 has hit .458 in his last seven games. He is hitting .307 in 35 games since being promoted to Double-A. 
  • Former Pirate Tom Gorzelanny had a nice debut for the Cubs on Tuesday as he picked up his first win as a starter in over a year. Gorzelanny allowed one run on three hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings against the Reds. He struck out six. As things stand now, Gorzelanny is scheduled to make two more starts before Ted Lilly comes off the DL. That next start would be Sunday, followed by one on Friday when the Pirates arrive in town. Could be interesting for sure.
  • Since Zach Duke couldn’t do it on Tuesday, Ross Ohlendorf has his sights set on becoming the team’s first 10-game winner as he takes the mound on Wednesday. No starter reached that win mark in 2008.
  • Major League Baseball’s “Buses for Baseball” event came to PNC Park Wednesday afternoon. Forty underpriviledged children from the area were greeted by players before BP and received all sorts of autographs. Paul Maholm and Duke were among the players sitting in the dugout signing autographs earlier.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  2. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  3. Delwyn Young (2B)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Jeff Salazar (CF)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

D-backs lineup:

  1. Stephen Drew (SS)
  2. Gerardo Parra (LF)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Mark Reynolds (3B)
  5. Miguel Montero (C)
  6. Ryan Roberts (2B)
  7. Chad Tracy (1B)
  8. Chris Young (CF)
  9. Doug Davis (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

Altoona's Jim Negrych has surgery for hematoma

Double-A starting second baseman Jim Negrych is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery on Tuesday for a hematoma.

Negrych suffered the hematoma – defined as a collection of blood, usually clotted, in a tissue or organ, caused by a break in a blood vessel – during a collision with shortstop Brian Friday on Monday. The Altoona middle infielders were converging on a groundball when they struck each other.

The location of the hematoma and surgery was Negrych’s abdomen, Pirates director of player development Kyle Stark confirmed. According to Stark, Negrych is not expected to deal with any long-term effects from the incident. The organization is refraining from commenting on Negrych’s return to the field for the time being and instead focusing on solely on his health.

Negrych, who was the Pirates’ Minor League player of the year in 2008, was hitting .272 with 18 doubles, three homers and 30 RBIs in 93 games for Altoona. He was batting .310 during the month of July.

Negrych released a short statement through Altoona’s media relations department on Tuesday saying, “The people in Altoona have been unbelievable towards me and I’m very grateful of them.”

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