Results tagged ‘ Josh Fields ’

Bucs deal Fields to Rockies

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have traded infielder Josh Fields to the Rockies for a player to be named later or cash.

Fields had been reassigned to Minor League camp last Friday and the Pirates had told him they would help him try to find an opportunity elsewhere if he wanted. The corner infielder went 5-for-29 this spring after signing a Minor League deal with the Pirates over the winter.

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Day 40: Pirates @ Rays; Bucs cut five

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates cut five players from big league camp on Friday morning, in turn dwindling the number of players still around to 36. That still means that 11 players will have to leave in the next week. But the roster is beginning to take shape with some clarity.

The following moves were made on Friday:

  • RHP Tyler Yates reassigned to Minor League camp
  • RHP Sean Gallagher reassigned to Minor League camp
  • RHP Daniel McCutchen optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • INF Josh Fields reassigned to Minor League camp
  • C Wyatt Toregas reassigned to Minor League camp

Also, general manager Neal Huntington confirmed that lefty Joe Beimel will not be ready to begin the season with the Major League club. Beimel will throw another bullpen session this weekend, but that does not give him time to get enough innings in before next week’s season opener. Beimel will remain in Florida for extended Spring Training and could even pitch a bit in Indianapolis, if he still needs to build his innings count by the time the Minor League season begins.

With Beimel out of the Opening Day mix, the following relievers are competing for two open spots: Garrett Olson, Brian Burres, Chris Leroux and Mike Crotta.

Other morning news and notes…

  • Huntington said that the team has not yet finalized whether it will take two or three catchers north. A decision on that should come soon, Huntington added. The makeup of the bench really hinges on which way the Pirates go with this.
  • Before leaving McKechnie Field on Friday, Fields say he was unsure whether he’d report to Triple-A Indianapolis or ask for his release.
  • With Fields out of the mix for the corner utility bench spot, that leaves Steve Pearce and Andy Marte as the last two standing. Huntington said that there really is no scenario in which both Pearce and Marte make the club.
  • Brad Lincoln (right arm contusion) threw from a distance of 120 feet on Friday and said he felt fine. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday.
  • James McDonald remains scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday.

On a side note, MLBlogs is changing its software (hopefully for the better) today, which means this blog is expected to be down during the afternoon hours. It might still be able to be accessed by you, but it won’t be able to be updated by me. Wanted to give you a head’s up so that you weren’t searching for anything new on here this afternoon. Once the update is done, I’ll get to learning the new program.

Lineups:

PIRATES: P. Ciriaco (CF), J. Rodriguez (SS), J. Bowker (LF), R. Doumit (C), S. Pearce (3B), M. Diaz (RF), A. Marte (1B), C. Wimberly (2B), C. Morton (RHP)

Pitchers: C. Morton, J. Hanrahan, J. Veras

RAYS: B. Zobrist (RF), E. Johnson (2B), E. Longoria (3B), M. Ramirez (DH), D. Johnson (1B), B.J. Upton (CF), K. Shoppach (C), R. Brignac (SS), S. Fuld (LF), J. Niemann (RHP)

Pitchers: J. Niemann

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Twins 4, Pirates 1

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

As I close out the day with a blog entry of notes, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is one of three players still on the field taking extra batting practice. (Josh Rodriguez and Josh Fields are the other two). The game has been over for an hour now, but Alvarez has been getting some hitting instruction from manager Clint Hurdle – the empahsis being on hitting breaking pitches.

As I have pointed out previously this spring, Alvarez’s work ethic has been phenomenal. He left the game after six innings on Monday and instead of getting out of the park ASAP as some do, Alvarez stuck around for extra work.

Now Alvarez has stopped hitting from the pitch machine and Hurdle is on the mound throwing to him.

***

Paul Maholm threw 96 pitches in his start on Monday, putting him right where he needs to be with one more start left before the regular season. Maholm did allow nine hits on Monday; eight were singles. Maybe most impressive, though, was his work in the fifth. After the Twins loaded the bases with none out, Maholm induced a double play groundball. Though a run scored on the play, it put Maholm in position to get out of the inning with no further damage.

“I think you get in it and just have to slow it down and make a pitch and get your groundball and hope it’s at a guy and we turn a double play,” Maholm said. “You’ve got to have confidence in your infielders.”

The Twins’ hitters worked the counts well against Maholm, particularly the top four hitters (who combined for seven hits off the lefty). But Maholm did well throwing inside, and there seems to be little concern about him not being ready by April 1.

“I thought he pitched well today,” Hurdle said. “He was aggressive with his fastball. He threw some good changeups. Paul will give up some hits now and again, but he was aggressive. He was pitching to contact. It was a good outing.”

***

Speaking of Maholm, the Pirates will name him or Kevin Correia the team’s Opening Day starter this week. Hurdle said the announcement will not come on the off day (Tuesday), but expect it on Wednesday or Thursday.

***

Not everyone on the team will have Tuesday off. Jose Ascanio is slated to throw two innings of batting practice (35 total pitches) to hitters. There will also be a “B” game of some sort, in which Sean Gallagher, Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen are listed to pitch. Karstens is scheduled to go four innings.

The Pirates are building up both Karstens and Brian Burres (who will pitch four or five innings in Wednesday’s game) in case either is needed in the rotation at the beginning of the year. This could be a sign that James McDonald might miss one turn through the rotation to open the season.

***

Catcher Chris Snyder took multiple at-bats in Minor League games (yes, games is plural) on Monday. He jumped around to a few fields to get at-bats where they could be had. Snyder is expected to catch in a Minor League game on Tuesday.

Ryan Doumit and Ronny Cedeno also went over to Minor League camp to get at-bats on Monday.

***

Steve Pearce made his first spring appearance in left field and did so without any issue. He wasn’t all that busy out there, but he seemed to handle the new spot just fine. He has now played at every corner infield and outfield spot this spring.

“He’s done fine wherever we put him,” Hurdle said.

***

Catcher Jason Jaramillo had another hit, bringing his spring total to 11 in 22 at-bats. Keep in mind that it might not matter if Jaramillo hits 1.000 — if the Pirates elect to keep just two catchers, he won’t be able to make the Opening Day roster. But that hasn’t stopped Jaramillo from making every effort he can to impress.

Hurdle noted on Monday that Jaramillo’s pitch calling and defense have also improved as spring has progressed.

“He’s worked very hard,” Hurdle said. “It’s gotten better each time out. Handling the ball, receiving the balls, it’s cleaned up. He’s slowed the game down, which I think was the biggest thing early in the spring was that games were moving real quick for him behind the plate. He’s showed up very, very good. I think he’s in a confident place and he’s worked very, very hard.”

***

I’ve finished typing and Hurdle is still out throwing BP to Alvarez, Fields and Rodriguez. Coaches, including Bill Virdon in left field, are still shagging balls.

Anyways, tomorrow is an off day for the team, though you can look for MLB.com’s Top 10 Pirates prospect list to be released during the day.

As for today’s content, you can read here all about Scott Olsen’s situation and Charlie Morton’s position in the rotation. There will also be notes about Garrett Olson’s debut, Garrett Atkins’ decision to ask for his release, a slew of injury updates and something short about the morning’s other roster moves on the site later tonight.

And since I forgot to do it this morning, your latest NCAA bracket update has T. Coulter and E. Brosius leading the group. My bracket… not looking so good at the moment.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 24: Pirates @ Yankees

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have their first of three spring night games tonight and it comes against the Yankees up here in Tampa. The contrast between the Yankees’ Spring Training park — George M. Steinbrenner Field, to be precise — and every other one strikes me every year. It’s as grandiose as a Florida Spring Training facility gets, though I’m not sure that’s something to brag about.

One of the neatest aspects of Spring Training, in my opinion, is the intimacy of the ballparks. Fans who come to Pirate City or McKechnie Field stand just feet away from Pirates players. The access is tremendous. Here, not so much. The ballpark is nice, yes, but also a bit stuffy. But I guess old charm isn’t what a team like New York is going for.

On an entirely different note… I know that when you get online each day you are have a limited amount of minutes to spend reading the news. I understand that you don’t have time to read everything — I’m in the same boat — but I do want to turn your attention to a story I wrote today about A.J. Johnson.

My hope is that you’ll read it, not because I wrote it, but rather to get some perspective. Instead of reading about Scott Olsen’s hamstring or Joe Beimel’s elbow for one day, I hope you enjoy a story about a young man whose story will make you think twice about how much a baseball game really matters. And I just hope I was able to give A.J.’s story the justice it is due.

You can find the story here.

As for the rest of your news…

  • I was not at Tuesday’s game against the Twins, but I hear that Steve Pearce looked just fine at third base. Now that Pearce has gotten some game time in during a “B” game, you’d have to expect that he will play some third in a regular Grapefruit League game sometime soon.
  • Speaking of corner utility players, I would have to believe that the Pirates are going to have to start whittling down their list soon. With Pearce, Andy Marte, Josh Fields and Garrett Atkins all essentially fighting for one bench spot, there is not going to be enough playing time to go around. Especially not when you consider that Lyle Overbay and Pedro Alvarez need to get their work in, too. Don’t be surprised if one of the four bench candidates gets sent out of camp soon.
  • Back at McKechnie Field, Gillette and ESPN are filming some national TV commercial today/tonight. Among those appearing in the commercial are ESPN personality Kenny Mayne and Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
  • Scott Olsen and Joe Beimel both threw at Pirate City on Tuesday and everything went without incident. The club has not announced what the next step is for either. Olsen, at least, should be ready to start pitching in games soon. That is especially necessary if the Pirates still want time to build him up as a starter.
  • The following pitchers will throw for the Pirates in Thursday’s night game against the Orioles: Paul Maholm (four innings), Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, Jeff Karstens, Tony Watson.
  • That game on Thursday is also a night game (7:05 p.m. ET scheduled first pitch) and will be televised back in Pittsburgh on FSN.
  • Tonight’s game can be heard on 104.7 FM for those of you back in the ‘Burgh.
  • Remember Brendan Donnelly, the veteran reliever who spent a few months with Pittsburgh last year? He has told MLB.com that he has officially retired.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), C. d’Arnaud (2B), P. Alvarez (3B), M. Diaz (LF), G. Jones (RF), S. Pearce (1B), C. Snyder (C), P. Ciriaco (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

Pitchers: K. Correia (four innings), C. Morton (three), D. McCutchen, J. Veras

YANKEES: D. Jeter (SS), R. Martin (C), M. Teixeira (1B), A. Rodriguez (DH), R. Cano (2B), A. Jones (LF), E. Chavez (3B), J. Maxwell (RF), M. Mesa (CF)

Pitchers: B. Colon, M. Banuelos, R. Soriano, P. Feliciano, D. Turpen, L. Ayala

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

Contract information for Olsen, Correia and Fields

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Passing along some new contract information I’ve gotten my hands on. What stands out to me is that 2012 option on Olsen’s contract. Take a look for yourself.

I’ve tried to interpret the numbers in layman’s terms, so hopefully it will all make sense to you:

Scott Olsen

  • 2011 guaranteed salary: $450,000
  • Club option for 2012: $4 million or $100,000 buyout
  • Incentives for games started in 2011: $100,000 for 8 games and 10 games; $150,00 for 12 games and 14 games; $175,000 for 16 games, 18 games, 20 games, 22 games, 24 games, 25 games, 26 games, 27 games, 28 games, 29 games, 30 games, 31 games, 32 games, 33 games
  • Maximum Olsen can make in 2011 if he hits all the incentives (includes base salary): $3.4 million
  • Incentives for games started in 2012: $75,000 for 22 games and 24 games; $87,500 for 26 games, 28 games, 30 games, 32 games
  • Maximum Olsen can make in 2012 if option is picked up and he reaches all incentives (includes base salary): $4.5 million
  • Awards incentives for 2011 and 2012: $100,000 for Cy Young ($75,000 for second; $50,000 for third); $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove; $25,000 for All-Star
  • The Pirates cannot offer Olsen arbitration if he is a Type A free agent

Kevin Correia

  • Signing bonus: $2 million
  • 2011 guaranteed salary: $3 million
  • 2012 guaranteed salary: $3 million
  • Incentives for 2012: $100,00 for 170 innings, 180 innings, 190 innings, 200 innings, 210 innings; $125,000 for 26 games started, 28 games started, 30 games started, 32 games started
  • Maximum Correia can make in 2012 if he reaches all incentives (includes base salary): $4 million
  • Awards incentives for 2011 and 2012: $100,000 for Cy Young ($75,000 for second; $50,000 for third); $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove; $25,000 for All-Star
  • The Pirates cannot offer Correia arbitration if he is a Type A free agent after 2012 season

Josh Fields

  • If he makes the 25-man roster, Fields’ Major League salary in 2011 will be $750,000
  • Incentives based on plate appearances: $25,000 for 350 and 380: $50,000 for 410, 440, 470 and 500
  • Maximum Fields can make in 2011 if he makes Opening Day roster, stays on the roster all year and reaches all incentives: $1 million

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Bucs ink Fields to Minors deal

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The number of non-roster Spring Training invitations handed out by the Pirates now sits at eight after Pittsburgh announced signing infielder Josh Fields to a Minor League contract on Monday.

Fields, 28, missed most of last season recovering from right hip surgery, which he underwent in late April. Fields came off the disabled list on Sept. 1 and finished the season by appearing in 13 games with the Royals. He went 15-for-49 with three homers and six RBIs during that brief stint.

Fields was eligible for arbitration this offseason but was not tendered a contract by Kansas City. That made Fields a free agent.

A former first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Fields has appeared in the Majors in each of the last five seasons. He broke in with the White Sox in ’06, played in a career-high 100 games in ’07 and remained with Chicago until being traded in November 2009.

In 796 career at-bats, Fields has hit .234 with 25 doubles, 34 homers and 107 RBIs. Twenty-three of those home runs came in 2007, when the right-handed hitting Fields drove in a career-best 67 runs.

Fields came up through the White Sox’s system as a third baseman and has played mostly at third in the Majors. He has also played 22 games in left field and 17 at first base.

Fields will compete to make the Pirates’ roster as a utility player, much in the same way that another former top prospect – Andy Marte - will. The Pirates need someone who can back up Pedro Alvarez at third, and both Fields and Marte, who signed a Minor League deal with the club earlier this month, could fill that role.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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