Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Barthmaier ’

Alvarez, Tabata among eight Bucs cut

Jenifer Langosch/

The Pirates optioned top prospects Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday morning as part of eight cuts made in Major League camp. Jonathan Van Every and Doug Bernier were reassigned to Minor League camp.

The Pirates also reassigned Jimmy Barthmaier, Neal Cotts, Craig Hansen and Tyler Yates to Minor League camp. All four have spent the spring rehabbing from various injuries and will begin the year on the DL.

GM Neal Huntington made it clear that the Pirates would have preferred to have kept Tabata and Alvarez at big league camp, but the organization’s hand was forced by a roster status rule. Friday was the last day that a team can option a player that is on the 40-man roster and didn’t play in the Majors last year and is hurt. Neither Alvarez, nor Tabata, are hurt, of course, but if they stayed in Major League camp and were to get hurt here, they would lose a full year of Major League service time. It’s a risk the Pirates didn’t want to take.

More reax from Alvarez and quotes from Huntington to come on the main site later.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 12: Daily Squeeze

Jenifer Langosch/

final day at Pirate City.jpgWe’re moving on to bigger and better things, folks. Like real games. OK, maybe it’s unfair to call them real games since they don’t count. But at least there is something to start evaluating. Today was the last day of workouts at Pirate City (sad times) as everything moves over to McKechnie Field from now through April 1.

The transition was evident, too. As the 66 guys in Major League camp were packing up the clubhouse, all sorts of Minor League players begin filing in. Early camp for Minor Leaguers began on Monday and about 75 players showed up. Pitchers and catchers are required to report by March 5, though farm director Kyle Stark said that just about everyone will be at Pirate City by then.

Here’s your last workout daily squeeze until 2011…

  • Short workout days are always good and Monday was one more of those. Live batting practice has ended, so most pitchers finished their PFPs and were done. A group of nine — Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, Steven Jackson, Brad Lincoln, Virgil Vasquez, Paul Maholm, D.J. Carrasco, Jack Taschner and Chris Jakubauskas — threw a 25-40 pitch side session.
  • Position players had another session of defensive drills and all took batting practice. The day ended with some practice sliding, though the absence of Nyjer Morgan made that a bit less entertaining than usual. Some observations from watching the infielders. …
  • Andy LaRoche and Neil Walker sure can hold their own defensively. You would never know Walker wasn’t always a third baseman. …
  • Jeff Clement looks just fine most of the time, but then there are moments where you see that he has much more work to do to get comfortable at first. I think that’s one of the biggest obstacles — feeling comfortable there. How he looks defensively during games will be very telling. … 
  • Though he continues to wear a knee brace, Aki Iwamura does not seem hampered by his surgically repaired left knee. He’ll be monitored as Grapefruit League play begins, but GM Neal Huntington said Iwamura will not be limited.
  • Infielder Ramon Vazquez also looks just fine running around fielding groundballs even after being minimally limited when camp opened. Manager John Russell said he might limit Vazquez’s playing time for the first few games, but that’s all.
  • I saw four rehabbing Pirates — Jose Ascanio, Tyler Yates, Neal Cotts and Jimmy Barthmaier — throwing long toss today. All continue to slowly progress.
  • For any of you who watched the USA-Canada hockey game and heard broadcaster Doc Emrick mention the Pirates gathering for a hockey watch party in Bradenton yesterday, it wasn’t true. Not sure where that false fact originated, but there was no such event. Now, plenty of players did watch the game on their own, though.
  • Atlanta announced that it will start Kenshin Kawakami against the Pirates on Thursday. The Orioles will start Chris Tillman under the lights on Friday. The Yankees had already tapped Chad Gaudin as Wednesday’s starter.
  • For those of you who enjoy the Jumbotron content at PNC Park, you may enjoy checking out this video. It goes behind the scenes to see how all of that is filmed during Spring Training. You’ll also get a sneak peek into what is in store for 2010.

UP NEXT: The Pirates open up against the State College of Florida on Tuesday with a seven-inning exhibition game. It doesn’t look like the weather is going to cooperate, though, so the Pirates might never get the chance to avenge last year’s loss. If there is a game, the following pitchers are scheduled to throw for an inning: Bryan Morris, Donnie Veal, Ronald Uviedo, Justin Thomas, Ramon Aguero, Jeff Sues and Anthony Claggett.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 2: Daily Squeeze

By Jenifer Langosch/

Octavio Dotel (Small).jpgWith physicals out of the way, players had an earlier start to workouts on Friday. Everyone was on the field by 10 am and off by 12:30 pm. That included position players, who continue to work out in advance of the first full squad gathering.

Sorry, but there won’t be a new video today. But here are your highlights from Pirate City:

  • Right-hander Jean Machi, who has held out of workouts on Thursday for a follow-up to his physical, participated in full on Friday. He also threw his first side session.
  • In addition to Machi, another 15 pitchers took the mound for the first time in Spring Training. That group included: Zach Duke, Daniel McCutchen, Brendan Donnelly, Octavio Dotel, Evan Meek, Vinnie Chulk, Ronald Uviedo, Jeff Sues, Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Powell, Wil Ledezma, Brian Bass and Ramon Aguero.
  • Another two pitchers — Jimmy Barthmaier and Neal Cotts — took the mound after the scheduled side sessions ended. Both are rehabbing from elbow surgery. Barthmaier, who is expected back in mid-May, threw 30 pitches. Cotts, who is just seven months removed from his procedure, threw 60.
  • Two other rehabbing pitchers — Craig Hansen and Tyler Yates — each did long toss for about 15 minutes.
  • First baseman Jeff Clement continued to get extra on-field attention from infield coach Carlos Garcia. Garcia really seems to be emphasizing the positioning of the glove when Clement fields ground balls. Clement will be the focus of my spring feature on Saturday, so look for more on him then.
  • Spotted Ryan Church this morning as he arrived at Pirate City for the first time. He met a number of his new teammates but did not participate in on-field activities with other position players.
  • With Church here, only seven position players — Andrew McCutchen, Lastings Milledge, Ronny Cedeno, Delwyn Young, Jonathan Van Every, Gorkys Hernandez and Argenis Diaz — are unaccounted for.
  • After donning his catching gear briefly a few days ago, Neil Walker fielded ground balls at second base on Friday. He’s going to continue to improve his versatility with the hope that it can eventually land him a role on the big-league club.
  • Andy LaRoche might want to consider having his first name stiched onto the back of his jersey for the time being. As LaRoche came off the field, he was hounded by fans yelling: “Adam, can I have your autograph?” “Who?” LaRoche responded, smiling. Some fans caught their mistakes. Others didn’t. Regardless, Andy happily signed his name to everyone for asked.
  • All pitchers spent 40 minutes taking part in fielding drills again. The group that then did not throw off the mound spent time practicing bunts in the cages.
  • One of the pitchers to throw his first side session on Friday was Dotel (pitcured above). When asked about his early impression of the team’s new closer, manager John Russell said: “He was very professional about his side today. He did everything right. That’s the veteran he is.”
  • Saturday’s workouts are expected to again begin around 10 am.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Hanrahan out with elbow injury; Vazquez undergoes knee surgery

Jenifer Langosch/

General manager Neal Huntington went through a list of injured Pirates this morning and among them are RHP Joel Hanrahan and INF Ramon Vazquez. More details and reax coming later, but here are your nuts and bolts:

  • Hanrahan has a flexor-pronator strain in his right elbow that will cause him to miss the opening part of the season. How long Hanrahan will be out is not yet known. He is scheduled to see Dr. Patrick DeMeo today in Bradenton and is scheduled to be examined by Dr. James Andrews next week. Hanrahan said he felt some discomfort at the end of the last season and that it flared up again in mini-camp and hasn’t gotten better. Hanrahan said that early reports have not detected any sort of structural damage.
  • Vazquez had a knee scope around Thanksgiving  to repair some cartilage. Everything is progressing with his rehab and he is expected to be ready on Opening Day. He will be monitored this spring and is limited with the fielding and running he can do right now. Vazquez, who has never had issues with his knee before, said he started feeling discomfort after doubling off Cardinals pitcher Joel Pineiro in early August.
  • RHP Jose Ascanio (right shoulder surgery) is progressing well and is targeting an early June return. He is scheduled to have a check-up with Dr. Andrews next week.
  • LHP Neal Cotts (left elbow surgery) is eyeing a return in mid-June to early-July. His rehab work is going very well.
  • RHP Craig Hansen (upper, mid-back nerve damage) has begun throwing and is scheduled to have his first mound session on March 10. His strength is coming back, though he still has a long way to go before being close to returning. The Pirates have not yet set a target date for that return.
  • RHP Tyler Yates (right elbow surgery) is on track to return in July. He is progressing as expected.
  • RHP Jimmy Barthmaier (right elbow surgery) is progressing fine and is looking to return sometime in mid-May.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates sign Yates, Burres, Cotts

Jenifer Langosch/

UPDATE 10:20 pm: Here are your contract details:

  • Yates: $975,000 Major League salary with incentives worth another $325,000
  • Cotts: $900,000 Major League salary with incentives worth another $350,000
  • Burres: $550,000 Major League salary with clause that he can leave and sign with Asian team if not on Opening Day roster

The Pirates have agreed to terms on Minor League deals with right-hander Tyler Yates, left-hander Neal Cotts and left-hander Brian Burres. Each player will be a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, though Yates and Cotts will not be ready to pitch at the start of the season because each underwent Tommy John surgery last July.

The updated list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training now includes these three pitchers plus: RHP Jimmy Barthmaier, RHP Vinnie Chulk, RHP Craig Hansen, RHP Jeff Karstens, LHP Wil Ledezma, RHP Jean Machi, RHP Jeremy Powell, LHP Jack Taschner, LHP Justin Thomas, RHP Virgil Vasquez, C Erik Kratz, C Tony Sanchez, OF Jonathan Van Every.

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May 18: Pirates (16-21) @ Nationals (11-25); Bucs claim RHP Jackson, Barthmaier released

Greetings from DC. I’m back on the beat, and now you’re stuck with me for 17 games in a row.

First things first, just received word from the Pirates that the club has claimed RHP Steven Jackson off waivers from the Yankees. In order to put Jackson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates gave RHP Jimmy Barthmaier, who just underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery, his unconditional release.

Jackson, who has been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis, had a 1.88 ERA and one save in 14 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre before the Yankees designated him for assignment on May 8 to clear a roster spot. Jackson was a 10th-round pick by the D-backs in 2004. The 27-year-old has never pitched above Triple-A.

As for Barthmaier, he only made one brief (two hitters) appearance this year before being shut down with an elbow injury. The Pirates claimed the right-hander off waivers before the 2008 season. Barthmaier made three appearances for the Pirates in ’08, going 0-2 with a 10.45 ERA. He fared much better as a starter in Indy (3-1 with a 3.53 ERA in 16 starts last season).

The Pirates could have placed him on the 60-day disabled list but instead decided to grant him his release.


As for the happenings in DC…

  • Nyjer Morgan, who missed both games this weekend, was in the starting lineup until he came off the field at about 4 pm and said he still felt a little discomfort in his left hamstring. Morgan did a lot of on-field sprinting this afternoon to test it and felt the slight strain only when making turns. Delwyn Young was inserted into the lineup in place of Morgan, who is expected to return to the field on Tuesday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny is still with the team, though a timetable for his duration here is still undetermined. It all depends on how the bullpen is able to recover these next few days. If the starters can pitch deep and give the bullpen time to get back in one piece, Gorzelanny will likely be gone by the end of the week.
  • Craig Hansen is down in Bradenton, Fla., to begin his rehab work, which will start with three side sessions. Hansen will throw the first session on Tuesday.
  • Manager John Russell will try to stay away from using both Evan Meek and Sean Burnett in tonight’s game. Meek threw two innings on Sunday, while Burnett was called on for three innings in Saturday’s rain-interrupted affair.


Some interesting tidbits concerning Monday’s pitching matchup of Ross Ohlendorf and Ross Detwiler (who is making his Major League debut)…. Both were drafted by Mike Rizzo, who is currently the Nationals’ active GM….And this will be the first time in baseball history that two pitchers with the first name “Ross” start against each other.


As an aside, this is my first visit to Nationals Park (I skipped the trip last year), and I have to say, it’s a nice park they have here. The press box is quite high — almost at the top of the stadium — but there is a nice view of the top of the Capitol from the view up here.


Thumbnail image for Nationals Park.jpgAlso, for anyone who may be out here for the series, or who is planning a trip to DC in the future, I highly recommend a stop at the Newseum — located off Pennsylvania Avenue, right near the Capitol. I spent my morning at the Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism and the news, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Plenty to do, plenty to see even if you don’t have the same journalism background as I do. Oh, and for those of you who need a sports fix, yes, they have a 25-minute film dedicated to the history of sports reporting.


Pirates lineup:

  1. Delwyn Young (RF)
  2. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  3. Nate McLouth (CF)
  4. Craig Monroe (LF)
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  6. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

Nationals lineup:

  1. Cristian Guzman (SS)
  2. Nick Johnson (1B)
  3. Ryan Zimmerman (3B)
  4. Adam Dunn (RF)
  5. Josh Willingham (LF)
  6. Willie Harris (CF)
  7. Anderson Hernandez (2B)
  8. Josh Bard (C)
  9. Ross Detwiler (LHP)  

Barthmaier to have elbow surgery; out for season

Triple-A starter Jimmy Barthmaier will miss the remainder of the season because of reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday and will be done by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham.

Barthmaier, who came into Spring Training as an option for the Major League rotation, had been on the Minor League DL since April 11 with what had originally been diagnosed as right elbow tendinitis. Barthmaier hurt his elbow in his first start in Triple-A this season. He was removed from the game after walking the first two hitters that he faced.

Barthmaier, who is on the team’s 40-man roster, went 0-2 with a 10.45 ERA in three starts for the Pirates last season.

Barthmaier, Morris injury updates

Pirates Minor League pitchers Jimmy Barthmaier and Bryan Morris underwent MRIs on Monday and both are going to be shut down for the next few weeks.

Morris, ranked as the organization’s No. 5 prospect by Baseball America, will be out longer of the two, with it looking like the right-hander might not make his first appearance of the year until June. Fortunately, there is nothing structurally wrong in Morris’ right shoulder, but he has a significantly restricted range of motion, which has forced the Pirates to shut him down from throwing.

Morris will slowly work back to strengthening and stretching his shoulder out during a rehab period that Pirates farm director Kyle Stark estimated could be between four and six weeks.

The right-handed Barthmaier, who started the season in the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis, has been shut down from throwing because of inflammation and a strain of the flexor mass in his right elbow.

He will not throw for a couple of weeks before working his way back onto the mound. Barthmaier suffered the injury on Friday, in what was his first start of the season. He exited the game after walking the first two batters in the Indians’ second game of the season.

April 13: Astros (1-5) @ Pirates (3-3) – Home Opener

Well, it’s finally Opening Day in Pittsburgh. The Pirates will begin their 81-game slate of home games on Monday before what is expected to be a sellout crowd. In the words of manager John Russell this morning: “It’s going to be a good homestand for us.” The Pirates play three games against the Astros, Braves and Marlins before getting back on the road.

Home Openers haven’t been so kind to the Pirates in recent years. They’ve lost their last four and have won just two since 1994. Yes, 1994.

For those coming to the game, bring your coats and get here early. There are a number of pregame ceremonies/festivities going on before the 1:35 p.m. ET first pitch.

Pre-game festivites are set to begin at 12:50. … Nate McLouth will receive his Rawlings Gold Glove Award at 1 p.m. … Steve Blass, who is beginning his 50th season with the club, will be honored at 1:02 p.m. … Team introductions will take place at 1:10 p.m. … The Pirates will also be wearing Pittsburgh Bureau of Police caps during the game to honor the three officers who were killed in the line of duty nine days ago. The Astros will wear the hats during pre-game introductions.

As for pregame news and notes…

  • Andy LaRoche, who is 0-for-14 this season, gets Monday off as he continues to work through his early season struggles. This will be the third time that Ramon Vazquez has started in place of LaRoche in seven games this season.
  • RHP Jeff Karstens will be available out of the bullpen on Monday for the final time before getting ready for his start on Thursday. If Karstens doesn’t get into Monday’s game, he will throw an extended simulated game after Monday’s game.
  • Triple-A starter Jimmy Barthmaier (elbow) and Single-A prospect Bryan Morris (shoulder) are both scheduled to undergo MRIs on Monday. More will be known later on Monday about the extent of their injuries. Righty Ty Taubenheim has assumed Barthmaier’s spot in Indianapolis’ rotation. Yoslan Herrera has also been promoted to Indy, where he will pitch out of the bullpen.

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. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Astros lineup:

  1. Kaz Matsui (2B)
  2. Miguel Tejada (SS)
  3. Lance Berkman (1B)
  4. Carlos Lee (LF)
  5. Hunter Pence (CF)
  6. Jason Michaels (CF)
  7. Jeff Keppinger (3B)
  8. Humberto Quintero (C)
  9. Brian Moehler (RHP)

April 8: Pirates (1-1) @ Cardinals (1-1)

Busch Stadium.jpgJust finished watching third baseman Andy LaRoche take about 30 minutes of fielding/throwing practice under the watchful eye of almost the entire coaching staff (manager John Russell, base coaches Perry Hill and Tony Beasley and bench coach Gary Varsho). LaRoche’s three errors in the first two games of the season certainly dictated the need for the extra work. And it comes as little surprise that LaRoche was out of the lineup in favor of Ramon Vazquez to give LaRoche a day to regroup. LaRoche will be back in the lineup on Thursday.

The main point of emphasis during the extra infield work was to try to rid LaRoche of a bad habit that Hill just noticed creeping up. The desire is for LaRoche to stop flipping his glove — meaning that it’s facing toward him before the ball is hit and then flips open and down to field a ground ball. It’s something that LaRoche did very minimally during Spring Training, but has done without knowing it these last two days.

Other news and notes for the time being:

  • Catcher Ryan Doumit starts Wednesday’s game still looking for his first hit of the season. He’s 0-for-8 so far. But he has to be pleased to see St. Louis starter Todd Wellemeyer on the mound. Doumit is 5-for-11 against Wellemeyer in his career with a double, homer and three RBIs.
  • Some Minor League notes: Shelby Ford will likely miss the first few games for Triple-A Indianapolis, as he is still recovering from that sprained right wrist he suffered during Spring Training. He shouldn’t be out long, though. … Indianapolis, which starts play on Thursday, has set its rotation through the weekend. Jason Davis will make the Opening Day start and will be followed by Jimmy BarthmaierTom Gorzelanny and Daniel McCutchen.

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. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Zach Duke (LHP)

Cardinals lineup:

  1. Colby Rasmus (LF)
  2. Khalil Greene (SS)
  3. Albert Pujols (1B)
  4. Ryan Ludwick (RF)
  5. Yadier Molina (C)
  6. Rick Ankiel (CF)
  7. David Freese (3B)
  8. Todd Wellemeyer (RHP)
  9. Brendan Ryan (2B)