Results tagged ‘ Joel Hanrahan ’

Game 34: Astros (13-20) @ Pirates (16-17)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Most importantly, Happy Mother’s Day to all the readers who fall in that category. In particular, wishing my mom (who reminds me often that she is a faithful blog reader), my sister (who is probably huddled up studying for finals) and my grandmothers (who, unfortunately, will never read this because neither has learned to operate a computer) a terrific day. Thanks especially to my mom for unwavering support and unconditional love — I’m sure I didn’t always deserve both.

And, since my mom will likely spend the day watching baseball, let’s honor her with some Sunday morning Pirates news…

  • Pedro Alvarez is still not ready to return to the lineup, but he is currently out taking grounders at third. That’s the first I’ve seen him do any defensive work since the right quad tightness crept up on Tuesday. Alvarez was also supposed to do some running this morning.
  • Evan Meek just completed a session of long toss on the outfield grass. He is eligible to come off the DL on May 12, though I’m guessing he won’t be ready by then since he hasn’t yet resumed pitching off a mound.
  • Manager Clint Hurdle talked this morning about Jose Tabata losing his swing lately. And that has really put a dent in his production after such a strong season start. Tabata is is 2-for-25 since April 25. The injury probably didn’t help his timing, but even before that, Tabata’s swing was getting long — as if he was purposefully trying to hit for more power.
  • Pink bats, wristbands and batting gloves were spotted around the clubhouse this morning. Donning pink is an annual Mother’s Day tradition. Garrett Jones, Ronny Cedeno, Chris Snyder, Tabata, Lyle Overbay, Steve Pearce, Matt Diaz and Neil Walker will all be swinging pink bats. Walker and Joel Hanrahan will be wearing pink cleats. Under Armour will have over 170 Minor League and Major League players and coaches sporting the bright shoes.
  • Once again, the Pirates have a shot at returning to .500 with a win this afternoon.
  • Triple-A starter Rudy Owens has been handed a three-game suspension and will have his next start pushed back to Tuesday (from Monday) as a result. Owens was ejected from his last start for hitting a batter after giving up a home run.
  • Outfielder Alex Presley continues to do little wrong in Indianapolis. With three more hits on Saturday, Presley now has a league-leading 40. He has driven in 15, scored 19 and stolen seven bases, too. Working against Presley, though, is the simple fact that the Pirates don’t need an outfielder. The recent addition of Xavier Paul only further hurt Presley’s chances of earning a big league call-up anytime soon.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), M. Diaz (RF), N. Walker (2B), S. Pearce (1B), R. Doumit (C), B. Wood (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), J. McDonald (RHP)

ASTROS: M. Bourn (CF), C. Barmes (SS), H. Pence (RF), C. Lee (LF), B. Wallace (1B), C. Johnson (3B), B. Hall (2B), H. Quintero (C), J.A. Happ (LHP)

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Game 27: Pirates (12-14) @ Rockies (16-8)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Daniel Moskos arrived in Denver today, and, as you can imagine, is thrilled about his first Major League call-up. He got summed to the manager’s office while he was taking a post-game shower after Triple-A Indianapolis’ game on Friday. Manager Dean Treanor asked Moskos if he had a suit and followed that up with a Congratulations.

As it turned out, Moskos’ girlfriend had traveled to Indianapolis to see him pitch there this weekend, so now she’s joining him in Denver. Moskos said his parents will be in the Coors Field stands as well on Saturday night. I hope they packed for cold temperatures, as it is supposed to start snowing tonight at some point.

Moskos got the call after the Pirates decided it was finally time to put Evan Meek on the DL. Meek will have an MRI on his shoulder next week just to make sure the issue is nothing more than inflammation. But he seems to think he’ll be able to get the rest he needs in order to come off as soon as he is eligible (May 12).

Other news and notes…

  • With Moskos on the roster, the Pirates have two lefties in the bullpen for the first time this year. That will give manager Clint Hurdle the flexibility to call in either Moskos or Joe Beimel in left-on-left situations and know he still has another lefty available later. That’s a luxury Hurdle has wanted from the start.
  • As for the eighth inning, Hurdle will continue to mix-and-match with what reliever he uses to get to closer Joel Hanrahan. Chris Resop and Jose Veras are the most likely to get the call, though Beimel would be another option.
  • Speaking of Hanrahan, if he is able to get a save on Saturday, he would be the first Pirates pitcher since Mike Williams in 2002 to have more than eight saves in the month of April.
  • Righty Ross Ohlendorf has thrown two bullpen sessions without issue this week. He still has to throw at least one session of live batting practice before a rehab stint would begin.
  • Ronny Cedeno’s triple in Friday’s win was the first three-base hit the Pirates have had all year. As you can imagine, they were the only club without a triple this late into the month. The last club to go this long into a season without a triple was the 2005 Yankees, who hit their first triple in their 27th game. Cedeno’s came in game No. 26.
  • In case you missed the note in last night’s game story, the Pirates hadn’t had a shutout in the city of Denver ever until Friday. The team has played 74 games here (65 in Coors Field).
  • For all the flak the organization takes about failed first-round Draft picks, it’s worth noting that the club now has five of its first-round picks on the Major League roster. Moskos (2007) joins Paul Maholm (2003), Neil Walker (2004), Andrew McCutchen (2005) and Pedro Alvarez (2008).
  • The next road win for the Pirates would give them more than half the total number of road wins they had all last season. Yes, really.
  • Garrett Jones is hitting .341 on the road this year. He’s also batting just .130 at home, though he doesn’t have to worry about that stat for almost another week.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), G. Jones (RF), N. Walker (2B), L. Overbay (1B), C. Snyder (C), P. Alvarez (3B), R. Cedeno (SS), P. Maholm (LHP)

ROCKIES: D. Fowler (CF), J. Herrera (2B), T. Helton (1B), T. Tulowitzki (SS), C. Gonzalez (LF), J. Lopez (3B), S. Smith (RF), C. Iannetta (C), J. Hammel (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 23: Giants (10-11) @ Pirates (10-12)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The defending World Series champs are in town, which means former Pirates Freddy Sanchez and Javier Lopez are visiting for the next three days. Oh, and it’s been raining. Weather could be a factor each of the next two days.

News and notes…

  • In case you missed it, the Pirates claimed Xavier Paul off waivers today from the Dodgers. He’s an outfielder, so you’d have to think that either John Bowker or Steve Pearce are going to be on their way out soon. More on that here.
  • Paul is likely to arrive in Pittsburgh either Wednesday or Thursday. He has 72 hours to report, so technically he could also meet the team in Colorado on Friday.
  • Ross Ohlendorf will throw his first bullpen session on Wednesday. He threw from a distance of 120 feet today. Ohlendorf will throw 2-3 bullpens and then a live batting practice session. Once he gets through all those steps, he’ll begin a Minor League rehab assignment that will likely last one or two starts.
  • In case you missed it last night, it was confirmed that Jameson Taillon (No. 2 overall pick in 2010) will make his professional debut on Wednesday. He is joining the low-A West Virginia rotation. And as the schedule would have it, Taillon will be facing Bryce Harper’s Hagerstown team. So it’ll be No. 1 vs. No. 2.
  • Manager Clint Hurdle mentioned yesterday that he wanted to find a day off for Jose Tabata and Neil Walker pretty soon. For Tabata, that day ended up being Tuesday. Matt Diaz moves to left and Garrett Jones sticks in right. Walker’s day off will have to wait, though Brandon Wood is spelling Ronny Cedeno a day.
  • With his save on Monday, Joel Hanrahan is 6-for-6 in save opportunities this month. The last Pittsburgh closer with more than six April saves was Salomon Torres. He had eight in April 2007.
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio (who was struck in the head by a line drive last Friday) returned to the mound for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. It was not a stellar outing (1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB), but certainly a good sign that he was OK after a scary incident.
  • All-Star ballots have been released and you can find more information on how to vote online here. This year’s game will be played in Phoenix.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), M. Diaz (LF), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), G. Jones (RF), R. Doumit (C), P. Alvarez (3B), B. Wood (SS), C. Morton (RHP)

GIANTS: A. Rowand (CF), F. Sanchez (2B), A. Huff (1B), B. Posey (C), P. Sandoval (3B), P. Burrell (LF), C. Ross (RF), M. Tejada (SS), M. Cain (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Game 10: Rockies (5-2) @ Pirates (5-4)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

A beautiful day for baseball at PNC Park, where the Pirates have to win on Sunday to salvage a series split.

News and notes of the day…

  • Manager Clint Hurdle definitively said that the Pirates will not carry three catchers when Chris Snyder returns. That means that Jason Jaramillo is playing on borrowed time.  He will be the one sent down to Triple-A to make room for Snyder. One of the reasons for not going the three catcher route is because Ryan Doumit never had the opportunity to play right field this spring. He was going to get some work there beginning right about the time he ended up sidelined with an oblique strain.
  • Speaking of Snyder, his rehab assignment is going well with Class A Advanced Bradenton. He drove in six on Friday before striking out three times on Saturday. The important thing, though, is that he is healthy and having no issues with his back. Snyder is scheduled to catch nine innings again on Sunday. The Pirates have not made their timetable for Snyder’s return public.
  • The Pirates will turn to Daniel McCutchen on Sunday if the club needs someone in long relief.
  • Also available in the ‘pen for sure will be Joel Hanrahan and Mike Crotta. Paul Maholm is on call, as well, since this is his day to throw on the side. He could throw as many as two innings, if needed.
  • Asked about the way Saturday’s game had played out, Hurdle had this to offer… if the Pirates had tied the game in the ninth, Kevin Correia would have gone back out for a second inning of work. Hanrahan would have been the next option, followed by Maholm.
  • “It’s a flat-out gamble every time you do it,” Hurdle said of his decision to lift Doumit for a pinch runner on Saturday and use his only other catcher to finish the game. If there were a situation when the second Pirates catcher also had to leave the game, Steve Pearce and Matt Diaz would be the emergency options.
  • The Brewers will send out RHP Shawn Marcum, LHP Randy Wolf and LHP Chris Narveson out to start in the upcoming three-game series.
  • Righty Brad Lincoln will be making his rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday. Expect him to be able to go about four innings (65 pitches) in the effort.

Lineups:

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

ROCKIES: D. Fowler (CF), J. Herrera (2B), J. Giambi (1B), T. Tulowitzki (SS), S. Smith (RF), J. Lopez (3B), T. Wigginton (LF), C. Iannetta (C), J. Chacin (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 39: Pirates @ Orioles

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The news of the day came just about two hours ago, when manager Clint Hurdle named Kevin Correia the Opening Day starter. My guess had been that Paul Maholm would get the assignment and that Correia would pitch the home opener at PNC Park for a handful of reasons, one being Maholm’s tenure with the club. But the Pirates decided to go in a different direction.

Correia will face Chicago’s Ryan Dempster in that April 1 game at Wrigley Field.

Hurdle also announced that the rotation would go in this order: Correia, Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton and James McDonald.

All this is set assuming that McDonald can get his arm built back up in time. The hope is that he can extend himself to 50 pitches in an outing on Saturday. Then, McDonald would stay in Florida to pitch on March 31 — with the goal being 80 pitches. If McDonald can reach both of those thresholds without any setback, Hurdle said the team would be comfortable having McDonald start on April 6 in St. Louis.

As for the rest of your news…

  • Catcher Chris Snyder returns behind the plate on Thursday after missing two weeks with back soreness. He hasn’t had any back issues since resuming hitting and catching over the past few days.
  • Joe Beimel was scheduled to throw off the mound on Thursday. The Pirates haven’t announced what his progression will be from there, as Beimel returns from left elbow discomfort. One thing to keep in mind — if Beimel does not pitch in a Grapefruit League game the rest of the way, the Pirates would have the option of placing him on the DL to begin the season. And the club could make that DL stint retroactive to March 22. This means that Beimel would be eligible to come off on April 6. Going this route would give Beimel — who has made just two appearances so far this spring — a bit more time to prepare for the season but wouldn’t cost him the usual 15 days.
  • The Pirates’ other option is not to put Beimel on the 40-man roster until he’s healthy. Doing this would negate needing a DL stint since Beimel is a non-roster player right now.
  • Hurdle said that the club has already picked additional pitchers to be in the team’s bullpen, but he would not give names at this point. You’d have to guess that in addition to Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan that Chris Resop, Jose Veras and Jeff Karstens are in. So, too, is Beimel once he is healthy. I also get the impression that Garrett Olson has a real strong shot to be the seventh since he would give the Pirates another left-handed option.
  • If Beimel does not start the season with the club, the Pirates can choose any one of the number of right-handers left in camp to take his spot in the ‘pen until he returns.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), P. Alvarez (3B), G. Jones (RF), R. Cedeno (SS), C. Snyder (C), R. Ohlendorf

Pitchers: R. Ohlendorf (5/6 innings), E. Meek, G. Olson, C. Leroux

ORIOLES: B. Roberts (2B), N. Markakis (RF), D. Lee (1B), V. Guerrero (DH), L. Scott (LF), F. Pie (CF), M. Reynolds (3B), M. Weiters (C), J.J. Hardy (SS)

Pitchers: J. Arrieta, M. Hendrickson, K. Gregg

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 34: Red Sox @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

As the Pirates meet with a nutritionist this morning, I bring you today’s morning news and notes…

  • Brad Lincoln was walking around the clubhouse with a sleeve on his right arm after getting hit by a line drive near his elbow on Friday. Lincoln said his arm is very stiff and that he will continue to get treatment today. Normally, he’d be scheduled to throw a side session two days after his last outing (so that would be tomorrow), but his guess now is that he won’t be able to do that. How that might affect Lincoln’s next start is unknown at this point.
  • You can read more on pirates.com later, but Kevin Hart was legitimately disappointed to know that he is going to have to open the season on the disabled list. Until recently, the right-hander truly believed he’d be ready to go by Opening Day. Now, he has no chance of being in Pittsburgh until June at the earliest. “You always think you’re going to be the exception,” Hart said, implying that he thought his recovery from surgery would be quicker than most.
  • Right-hander Chris Resop talked this morning about the difficulty of coming in cold yesterday to finish out the third inning after Lincoln left with the injury. He went with all fastballs to get through that frame and loosen up his arm. Resop did mix in a number of changeups in his next two innings and ended up having a pretty good day. He hasn’t been told he has made the club yet, but I just don’t see a scenario in which Resop isn’t on the 25-man Opening Day roster.
  • The Pirates are on Fox Sports Net today for those of you back in Pittsburgh.
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio is scheduled to throw batting practice over at Pirate City today. If my memory is right, this will be Ascanio’s second BP session. Usually pitchers are cleared to return to game action after two, so it will be interesting to see if Ascanio makes his first spring appearance next week.
  • Left-hander Garrett Olson, who the Pirates claimed off waivers on Friday, is scheduled to arrive in Bradenton tonight. The tentative schedule is to have him throw a side on Sunday and then pitch in Monday’s game.
  • The following pitchers are scheduled to throw on Sunday: Charlie Morton, Evan Meek, Michael Crotta, Chris Leroux
  • Righty Joel Hanrahan is down to throw one inning in a Triple-A game on Sunday.
  • Steve Pearce is expected to get some playing time at third base today. I have not seen Pearce play third in a game yet, so I’ll be interested to see how he looks there.
  • We’re down to 32 teams in the NCAA tournament after two days of games, and S. Gassert is currently leading the Bucs Bits Bloggers tourney. I’ll update the leaderboard after each round.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), L. Overbay (1B), P. Alvarez (3B), M. Diaz (RF), R. Cedeno (SS), D. Brown (C), K. Correia (RHP)

Pitchers: K. Correia, J. Hanrahan, J. Beimel, F. Nieve, J. Thomas

RED SOX: M. Scutaro (SS), D. Pedroia (2B), J. Saltalamacchia (C), K. Youkilis (3B), M. Cameron (DH), D. McDonald (CF), D. Nava (LF), J. Reddick (RF), N. Spears (1B)

Pitchers: J. Beckett, A. Aceves, D. Wheeler

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Blue Jays 5, Pirates 0

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

I’ve written plenty about James McDonald’s season goals. About how he talks about taking the team to a World Series. About how he wants opponents to fear the Pirates’ pitching staff. About how he needs to throw more first-pitch strikes.

Well, here’s a new one for you: McDonald is shooting for the number 10. That is, 10 hits for himself by the end of the year.

It seems a lofty goal for McDonald, who has accrued one hit in 33 career Major League plate appearances. But McDonald is serious when he talks about getting better on the offensive end.

He was legitimately bummed, too, that he did not get to bat Sunday, which was the first spring game the Pirates played without a DH. McDonald would have hit in the bottom of the third, but he had to be pulled with two out in the top half of the inning.

“I vowed that I would get at least 10 hits,” McDonald said. “If I can be decent at hitting and at least get my bunts down, I can help this team.”

I don’t think I can properly emphasize how much McDonald focuses on the team when he talks. His lofty personal goals all go back to wanting to help this club take steps forward. He has mentioned multiple times this spring that his goal is to win a World Series with the Pirates. And he is not at all being facetious.

***

The Pirates hadn’t been able to will a ball over to Corey Wimberly at short for days now, so much so that general manager Neal Huntington joked about it before Sunday’s game. Well, Wimberly finally got his chances on Sunday. And the outcome, as those of you who watched at home can attest to, wasn’t all that pretty.

On the first ball hit to him at short this spring, Wimberly sailed a throw over Josh Fields’ head at first base. The error eventually led to two unearned runs. Wimberly had another chance in the fifth and made a low throw over to first. The ball took a short hop just in front of Fields, who had to make a terrific pick to record the out.

The Pirates are intrigued by Wimberly’s speed, but it has been noted multiple times that the club has to carry a middle infielder who can play short well. That was the Pirates’ biggest concern with Wimberly coming in, and it’s a concern that has not been alleviated to this point.

It’s impossible to get into a player’s mind, but it sure looks as if Wimberly might be trying too hard to make an impression. He is also 0-for-12 at the plate.

“We’re just going to keep working with him,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We ran him out for a bunch of innings and couldn’t get him a groundball and they came in bunches today. We’ve got to loosen him up a little bit so he’ll be able to pick up some rhythm and timing at short. At the end of the day, we’ve got to be able to have him at short. We’ve got to be able to have him at centerfield.”

At the same time, Pedro Ciriaco has impressed He has been sure handed on defense and has handled the bat pretty well, too. The latter was the bigger concern coming into spring. Shortstop is not a position where the Pirates can make defensive sacrifices, so you have to like Ciriaco’s chances of winning a spot on the bench as the team’s backup middle infielder.

***

Some odds and ends:

  • The Pirates struck out 13 times on Sunday, though no position player struck out more than once. That’s hard to do.
  • Outfielder Matt Diaz went 0-for-3 and stranded five runners on base. He has made mention about his tendency to be slow out of the gate and it’s shown so far.
  • A good bounce back outing by Joel Hanrahan, who pitched a perfect fourth. The Blue Jays took some solid swings against him, though, and drove a few balls just foul. It was also evident that Hanrahan was making it a point to pitch inside.
  • Not the sharpest of appearances for Chris Resop or Daniel McCutchen today. McCutchen worked out of trouble successfully, but two of his three outings now have been less than stellar.
  • Pedro Alvarez is quietly having himself an impressive start to the spring. With two more hits on Sunday, Alvarez is now 7-for-20 with four RBIs. He hit in the clean-up spot again.

***

On the main site tonight, you will find a look at which players are out of options and how those option concerns could play a role in the battles for roster spots. Also, there will be items about the work being done to improve the road record, the so-so outing by McDonald and the time Steve Pearce continues to put in at third base.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 3: Daily Squeeze

Hanrahan, Joel.jpgJenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Ladies and gentleman, you have your closer.

Manager Clint Hurdle informed us after workouts today that Joel Hanrahan has been named the team’s closer to begin the season. This means, of course, that Evan Meek slots into a set-up role.

You can find the full story and reaction from both players here. Reading Meek’s face, the disappointment was evident. He wanted to close. Any good reliever does. I think he realizes that his chances will come (who knows how soon), but the competitor in him believes he is ready now. The question is, how will being passed up for this spot fuel his motivation for this year? We’ll find out soon enough.

As for the rest of your workout updates:

  • Matt Diaz and Pedro Ciriaco are now accounted for in camp. Both worked out with the position players on Wednesday. That means we are missing just four position players — Alex Presley, John Bowker, Ronny Cedeno and Brian Friday.
  • Jose Ascanio remains MIA as well due to visa issues. Word is that he might still get here as early as Thursday, though he has to wait for his passport to be returned. This delay certainly puts him behind the rest of the pitchers.
  • Not that it is big news, but Hurdle strongly hinted that Joe Beimel will be the team’s left-handed set-up man. It’s probably best to compare Beimel’s situation to what D.J. Carrasco went through last year. Just as Carrasco signed a Minor League deal fully knowing he would be added to the roster, Beimel is here knowing that unless something crazy happens, he’s on the club.
  • Keep an eye on the name Jose Veras. He is a non-roster invitee, but one who is turning heads early. His experience (176 Major League relief appearances) is something that is going to help his case for a bullpen spot.
  • President Frank Coonelly attended workouts on Wednesday, before speaking to the Bradenton Boosters during a luncheon. Coonelly had been in Pittsburgh to attend Chuck Tanner’s viewing on Tuesday. Kent Tekulve has also arrived to help as an instructor. He, too, was at the viewing.
  • A private funeral was held for Tanner in New Castle on Wednesday.
  • Andrew McCutchen and first base/baserunning/outfield coach Luis Silverio spent considerable time together discussing baserunning. The two talked about McCutchen’s tendencies when he is getting ready to steal and his first step. Hurdle has said the team is going to be aggressive on the basepath this year, so baserunning will continue to be an emphasis throughout camp.
  • The pitchers had their own baserunning session as well. They also all took time to practice squaring to bunt and then pulling back to hit. Other fielding drills were mixed in.
  • Hitters were focused on situational hitting during batting practice today. Thus, we did not see as many home runs as we have in recent days.
  • The following 15 pitchers threw their second side session on Wednesday: Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia, Hanrahan, Veras, Beimel, Aaron Thompson, Justin Wilson, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald, Evan Meek, Scott Olsen, Kyle McPherson, Rudy Owens, Michael Crotta and Jeff Locke.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Hurdle: Hanrahan to close

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates will begin the season with right-hander Joel Hanrahan as the team’s closer, manager Clint Hurdle announced after workouts on Wednesday. Evan Meek will set Hanrahan up in the eighth.

Both players were informed of the decision on Tuesday afternoon.

“We had a lot of internal discussion,” Hurdle said. “I don’t think there was a bad choice. But based on some experience that Joel has had in the past, just for the makeup of our ballclub, the continuity that was shown late last season with them piggybacking each other, that’s the way we’re going to start the season.”

Hanrahan was asked how much he wanted this role: “We both just want to help the team win. We didn’t have communication with each other saying, ‘I want to be it.’ It was a decision that they had to make. Everybody wants to be the closer. I think all the guys in the bullpen would love to have that role and would take ownership of it.”

And Meek’s reaction to the news: “We both knew that it was going to be between us. Knowing Joel, he’s going to do a great job in the role. They knew that they had two guys who could take care of that. We’re going to have a real strong backend of that bullpen. Whatever role I have, it’s going to be getting him that ball.

“In a perfect world, obviously, I would love to do it. But more power to him. He’s going to do a great job, and he’s the right guy to be there.”

Full story to come this afternoon on pirates.com.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Milledge signs with White Sox

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Former Pirates outfielder Lastings Milledge has signed a Minor League deal with the White Sox. The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. The Pirates non-tendered Milledge earlier this offseason as the club preferred to court free agent Matt Diaz to fill a need in right field.

Milledge, as you might remember, joined the Pirates with Joel Hanrahan in June 2009. The pair came over from the Nationals, who received Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett in return. Though Milledge never ascended to the level the Pirates had hoped, Pittsburgh could still be a long-term “winner” in this deal if Hanrahan continues to dominate as a late-inning reliever or closer.

In 171 games with the Pirates, Milledge hit .282 with eight homers and 54 RBIs.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

 

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