Results tagged ‘ Kyle McPherson ’

Day 27: Phillies @ Pirates (ss); Pirates @ Blue Jays (ss)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Let’s jump right into news…

  • Andrew McCutchen is back in the lineup on Saturday after being pulled from Friday’s game with soreness in his left wrist. McCutchen said he wasn’t sure how he hurt his wrist, but that he woke up Friday morning with it feeling sore. He had X-rays for precautionary reasons, but the issue was believed to be nerve related.
  • James McDonald is not doing any on-field work on Saturday, he said, after leaving Friday’s game with discomfort in his left side. McDonald said he isn’t entirely sure when he’d be cleared to do light work again. The Pirates sent out a statement saying he will be re-evaluated over the next few days. McDonald said he was unsure whether he’d have to miss a spring start or not. No other specifics on the injury have been given.
  • The Pirates made four cuts on Saturday morning, whittling down camp from 58 to 54. Bryan Morris was optioned to Triple-A; Kyle McPherson was optioned to High-A; Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson were reassigned to Minor League camp.
  • Tyler Yates, whose is from the Hawaiian island of Kauai, reported that his family was feeling no effect from the earthquake/tsunami.
  • Jose Ascanio and Fernando Nieve are both on the field as I type working through some delivery motion work.
  • Since I was off on Friday, I will pass along this note from the club regarding Ryan Doumit: Doumit was diagnosed with a right oblique strain and is unavailable in games until further notice. He will be reevaluated on Wednesday, and the team will provide its next update then.
  • Scott Olsen threw batting practice on Friday without any issue. The team has not announced what his next step will be, though I’d imagine he’ll be making a game appearance soon. Monday, perhaps?
  • Chris Snyder was a late scratch from the game in Dunedin because of soreness in his back. The team announced Snyder’s status as day-to-day.

Lineup for Phillies @ Pirates:

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

Pitchers: R. Ohlendorf (four innings), J. Veras, A. Thompson, T. Yates

PHILLIES: P. Orr (2B), R. Gload (DH), R. Ibanez (LF), R. Howard (1B), B. Moss (RF), J. Mayberry (CF), W. Valdez (3B), E. Kratz (C), F. Galvis (SS)

Pitchers: V. Worley, D. Herndon, S. Mathieson, M. Zagurski

Lineup for Pirates @ Blue Jays:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), J. Rodriguez (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), M. Diaz (RF), A. Marte (3B), J. Fields (1B), G. Atkins (DH), C. Snyder D. Brown (C), C. Wimberly (SS)

Pitchers: J. Locke (2 innings), S. Gallagher (2/3 innings), D. McCutchen (2 innings), R. Aguero, M. Crotta

BLUE JAYS: S. Podsednik (LF), R. Davis (CF), T. Snider (DH), J. Rivera (RF), E. Encarnacion (1B), B. Lawrie (3B), JP Arenibia (C), M. McCoy (SS), J. Diaz (2B)

Pitchers: R. Romero

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Day 9: Daily Squeeze

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Atkins, Garrett.jpgI’ll admit that watching fielding drills day after day can get a bit monotonous after a while. But there can be times when something catches your eye — which was the case in the relay/cutoff throw drill that third base coach Nick Leyva ran yesterday. There was something different in the instructions than I remember there being last year.

The detail is small, but, after talking with Leyva about it today, he believes it could also be significant. In a situation where a runner is on second and a ball is hit up the middle, Leyva is instructing the first baseman (Lyle Overbay, in most cases) to come to the middle of the infield and be the cutoff man. Last year, that was the third baseman’s duty.

Leyva said that his reasoning for making the change is simple — and he added that 90-95 percent of clubs already position their players this way for cutoffs. By keeping the third baseman on the bag, that forces the baserunner to be more honest. He can’t sneak down the line as far as he might if it was just the shortstop running over to cover. Those few extra feet can make a big impact.

Just something for you to keep an eye on once games begin…

  • Third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who missed Monday’s workouts with a muscle spasm in his neck, was back to work early Tuesday morning. He went out to take some swings in the batting cage and then joined his teammates for defensive drills. He appeared to be just fine, though he did not go through a full day’s workout.
  • A total of 13 pitchers threw live batting practice to hitters. Kevin Correia, James McDonald, Paul Maholm and Ross Ohlendorf all took mounds simultaneously to kick things off. Don’t think that grouping was on accident, either. Hurdle had praise for the four members of the Pirates’ rotation afterward, too.
  • One person that was missing from the pack today was right-hander Jose Ascanio. GM Neal Huntington confirmed that Ascanio felt some tightness in his right elbow on Monday and is, as a precautionary measure, taking it easy for a few days. Ascanio had thrown his first bullpen session on Sunday. The good news is that the Pirates don’t believe the discomfort is anything more serious than a day-to-day issue, and Ascanio was already ahead enough in his workload (he pitched in winter ball through December) that this won’t set him back at all. 
  • The position players’ first drill of the day was working on hit and runs, delayed steals and reading balls in the dirt. The emphasis on the hit-and-run play was for a player to keep his lead consistent so as not to give away that he’s running. The coaching staff is pushing players to try to move first to third on a single this year, in what is being defined as “disciplined aggression.” For the most part, if the ball touches grass on the way through the infield, the expectation is that a player advances to third. The coaches also talked about the importance of knowing where the outfielders are in order to get the best read on the ball.
  • “Shin guards tell the story,” Hurdle said, as he walked over while the Pirates position players were deciding whether to advance on balls in the dirt. “This is a game changer right here and anyone can do it.” You better believe Hurdle is going to expect his players to.
  • Catchers spent some time practicing blocking balls in the dirt, as their priority was on the other side of the play.
  • Pitchers and position players worked together through signs to know who covers on a stolen base attempt. Then the groups split up for some individual work. The infielders took grounders, with Neil Walker working specifically on taking a double play feed from the shortstop. Outfielders tracked fly balls. Pitchers practiced covering first base on a grounder to the right side.
  • Garrett Atkins was taking his infield work at first base after working at third on Monday. Corey Wimberly, who is getting work in the outfield and infield, spent time at both second and short. Moving these utility players around will continue to be a key component of workouts: “They don’t seem like a high priority position, but when you can stabilize your roster with a guy that is versatile, they are very valuable,” Hurdle said. “We have a handful of guys that we’re looking at in that situation.”
  • Hurdle announced after practice that he will be using seven pitchers for one inning apiece in Friday’s exhibition game against the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Aaron Thompson will make the start and be followed by Tyler Yates, Jeff Locke, Michael Crotta, Justin Wilson, Kyle McPherson and Rudy Owens.
  • Hurdle said he will announce the beginning of his Grapefruit League pitching assignments on Wednesday.
  • Yates is not throwing live batting practice with the rest of the group, though he has not had any sort of setback. Pitching coach Ray Searage thought Yates would instead be better served having a supervised side session on Wednesday where the focus could be on the right-hander’s mechanics. Yates was actually so far ahead in his throwing program that he had thrown batting practice before the start of Spring Training.
  • On the field as guests today were members of the Manatee adult baseball league. They fielded balls in the outfield during batting practice. Tomorrow, the Manatee High School baseball team will be at Pirate City to do that.

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Bucs set 40-man roster; designate Duke, LaRoche, Young

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young were all designated for assignment on Friday in order to open up room on the 40-man roster for the Pirates to protect players in advance of the Rule 5 Draft.

The three were all eligible for arbitration. The Pirates obviously decided not to tender contracts to any of the three, and by designating them for assignment now, Pittsburgh cleared the space it needed to protect the players it wanted to.

Michael Crotta, Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson, Daniel Moskos and Tony Watson have all been added to the 40-man roster. That roster is now full.

UPDATE: Just spoke with GM Neal Huntington, who said that the Pirates did try to negotiate a contract with Zach and were unsuccessful. The team did not feel he was worth what he was going to make in arbitration (probably around $5 million). The club also explored trade opportunities with no success.

This from Duke: “I am truly thankful for the opportunity the Pirates have given me and genuinely enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh. I understand this business decision and wish the Pirates and my friends still on the team the best of luck in the future.”

Here is the full story.

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