Results tagged ‘ Ramon Aguero ’

Game 8: Rockies (4-1) @ Pirates (4-3)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Well, it’s not snowing. That’s the nicest thing I can say about the weather at this point. It’s not raining as hard as it was at my house earlier in the day, but there it appears to still be misting on this overcast day. The forecast suggests there could be a window for baseball tonight, so let’s hope.

On a separate subject, don’t forget that the Pirates 5K is set for tomorrow (Saturday) morning. The Pirates announced that 2,500 runners/walkers have already signed up, but there will be limited additional registration from 6:30-7:30 am on Federal Street. All participants get a free t-shirt and ticket voucher, and your money goes to Pirates Charities. Not to mention, you get the honor of running alongside me, assuming I can successfully fight off this virus that has gotten the best of me for the past week.

What more could you ask for.

OK, on to baseball…

  • In case you missed it earlier, the news is not good for Tyler Yates. You have to wonder if he’s about ready to call it quits. It’s coming up on two years since he first had right elbow surgery and this latest setback is not the first. Yates told me this spring that his father had talked him out of retiring before, but this could be the last straw.
  • Right-hander Ramon Aguero is now with Texas, having been claimed off waivers by the Rangers today. Aguero, who was on Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster, had been designated for assignment in order to open up a roster spot for Jose Veras right before Opening Day.
  • Catcher Chris Snyder (lower back soreness) began his rehab assignment with high-A Bradenton on Thursday and went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. He caught in the game as well.
  • Lefty Joe Beimel is scheduled to pitch for Bradenton on Friday. This will be his first rehab appearance.
  • The Pirates face a left-handed starter today for the first time this season. That explains Matt Diaz’s inclusion in the lineup. Also worth noting is the batting order. Manager Clint Hurdle has Diaz hitting fifth and Pedro Alvarez behind him at No. 6. His reasoning for the flip-flop? He wants to go avoid a string of lefty hitters, and by putting Diaz between Lyle Overbay and Alvarez, Hurdle has a left-right-left mix.
  • During his pregame meeting with media, Hurdle also emphasized his policy with not using a reliever for more than three days in a row. Period. Exceptions to this rule are going to be rare (if at all) — Hurdle said the reasoning for that comes after lengthy research about how pitching more than three days in a row leads to more injuries and less effectiveness.

Lineups:

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

ROCKIES: D. Fowler (CF), J. Herrera (2B), C. Gonzalez (LF), T. Tulowitzki (SS), T. Helton (1B), S. Smith (RF), T. Wigginton (3B), C. Iannetta (C), J. De La Rosa (LHP)

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Pirates make final roster moves

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates’ roster is officially set after the club made these final roster moves on Thursday morning:

  • RHP Jose Veras was added to the 40-man roster; space was opened by designating RHP Ramon Aguero for assignment
  • The following players were placed on the 15-day disabled list: catcher Chris Snyder, righty Brad Lincoln, right-hander Jose Ascanio and lefty Scott Olsen

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Pirates cut 10 from camp

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates trimmed down the number of players in Major League camp from 54 to 44 this morning. Here are the cuts:

  • Andrew Lambo reassigned to Minor League camp
  • Brian Friday reassigned to Minor League camp
  • Chase d’Arnaud reassigned to Minor League camp
  • Aaron Thompson optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • Ramon Aguero optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • Jeff Locke optioned to Double-A Altoona
  • Tony Watson optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • Gorkys Hernandez optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • Alex Presley optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis
  • Daniel Moskos optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis

Now for some specific notes on these players and their assignments:

  • Plan on Lambo being used as a corner outfielder in Indianapolis. It sounds like first base is going to be a fallback option for him. He really made an impression defensively this spring. Heck of an arm.
  • Friday should spend most of his time at second, with d’Arnaud getting the majority of the starts at short. The Pirates value versatility, though, so expect the two to flip flop places from time to time to stay sharp at multiple positions. d’Arnaud, general manager Neal Huntington said, might also play a little at third.
  • Both Presley and Hernandez have played extensively in center field, though now both are headed to Indianapolis. Huntington said Hernandez is likely to be the team’s primary centerfielder, while Presley will bounce around.
  • Though Thompson and Locke were both optioned to Double-A, either one could actually start the year in Triple-A. It all depends on how the pitching shakes out by the end of camp.
  • The organization has not determined whether Watson will be starting or relieving this season.
  • Watson and Moskos were named as two lefty candidates for the Pirates’ bullpen, though the Pirates ultimately determined both could use more seasoning in the Minors before making the jump to Pittsburgh.

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Blue Jays 6, Pirates 4 (ss); Phillies 11, Pirates 4 (ss)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Fastball command came in spurts for starter Ross Ohlendorf on Saturday.

It wasn’t so good in the first inning, which saw the Phillies score four times on four hits and two walks. Ohlendorf was leaving too many pitches up — some for balls and some that were turned into basehits.

Ohlendorf made an effort to throw inside — particularly to left-handers — and fared so-so in the attempt. He admitted to too often throwing a hittable pitch with two strikes, and many of those mistakes were turned into basehits.

If there was some good news, it’s that not all of the five hits he allowed were really all that hard hit. A few groundballs found holes and another of the hits would have been an easy catch had John Bowker not lost it in the sun. Ohlendorf didn’t help his cause, either, with a fielding error.

“The results aren’t necessarily the box score,” Ohlendorf said. “It might be how hard they hit the ball. Like today, most of the hits I didn’t feel like were hit that hard. I definitely wish it would have gone better today. I threw a lot more pitches than I should have.”

Ohlendorf needed about 35 pitches to get through the first inning. He couldn’t come anywhere close to finishing four innings (as scheduled) as his pitch count was already near 60 after facing two hitters in the third. When Ohlendorf couldn’t retire either of those two hitters, he was taken out.

“My arm still feels great, and my stuff still feels good,” Ohlendorf said. “I’m definitely encouraged by that.”

***

For those who might have missed the late addition to the morning blog, catcher Chris Snyder was scratched from today’s game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin because of back soreness. Snyder received treatment on his back at McKechnie Field on Saturday afternoon, and the team is expected to update Snyder’s status on Sunday.

Right now, the club said Snyder is day-to-day. The Pirates better hope that the ailment doesn’t linger, as it already looks like the team is going to be without Ryan Doumit (strained right oblique) for a while.

Snyder, who last played on Wednesday, is 4-for-15 this spring.

***

Over in Dunedin, the Pirates blew a 4-1 lead on the way to a 6-4 loss. Rough days were had by Daniel McCutchen and Ramon Aguero, though I wasn’t at the game to give you an accurate report about exactly how rough those outings were. An extra-base hit off the wall and a ball lost in the sun show up the same in the box score, so I hesitate to read too much into the raw stats.

Most encouraging about the game in Dunedin, though, has to be the day had by Andrew McCutchen. One day after complaining of left wrist soreness, McCutchen returned to the lineup on Saturday. He doubled and scored in his first at-bat, only to outdo himself with a two-run blast his next time up.

The wrist apparently is just fine.

A few other random items that caught my attention from the game in Dunedin:

  • Lefty Jeff Locke threw 29 of his 41 pitches for strikes in his two-inning outing. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out three.
  • Manager Clint Hurdle had this to say about Locke throwing so many first-pitch strikes: “That’s one of the things we have not been doing well overall as a staff. We had a little glitch, bumped it up over 60 percent, closer to 65, then we went south. He came in there and filled up the zone. The first-pitch fastball strikes were impressive and the fact that he was finishing his fastball. He was working both sides and spun the ball pretty effectively. It was a good outing and fun to watch him today.”
  • With two hits, Corey Wimberly now has five hits in his last six at-bats. This comes after Wimberly started the spring 0-for-12.
  • Michael Crotta tossed another 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He has now not been scored upon in 6 1/3 spring innings.
  • With a single, outfielder Matt Diaz has now hit safely in five of his last six games.
  • Steve Pearce played third base again, entering the game to take over for Andy Marte in the bottom of the sixth.

***

Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward before you go to bed. The Pirates are going to have a late morning on Sunday, meaning that the daily morning blog won’t be posted so early. The clubhouse opens at 10:30 and the team is not taking batting practice. There will be some light fielding work before the game against the Red Sox.

On the main site tonight, you can read about Rudy Owens’ chances to be in the Pirates’ rotation by the end of the year. Also, there are notes about McCutchen’s wrist, James McDonald’s side and the four cuts the Pirates made prior to Saturday’s games.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Bucs make six cuts

The Pirates made their first cuts of the spring after Sunday’s 10-5 win over the Yankees, sending six players out of Major League camp.

Outfielder Brandon Jones and infielder Argenis Diaz were both optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Pitchers Ronald Uviedo and Ramon Aguero, as well as outfielder Gorkys Hernandez were optioned to Double-A Altoona. Infielder Brian Friday was reassigned to Minor League camp. Friday is expected to be Indianapolis’ starting shortstop this season.

None of the six came into Spring Training expecting to be in competition for an Opening Day roster spot. Jones, who the Pirates claimed off waivers in January, is the only one of the group who has prior Major League experience.

With the cuts, Pittsburgh now has 54 active players in Major League camp.

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Pirates 6, Manatees 1

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The title of best baseball program in Bradenton is back in the Pirates’ hands after the club avenged its ’09 loss to State College of Florida with a win on Tuesday. The seven-inning exhibition game was highlighted by back-to-back-to-back home runs from Steve Pearce, Brandon Moss and Erik Kratz in the fourth.

Also on an important note, with 1,872 fans in attendance, the game raised $13,104 for charity. That money will be split up to benefit the Manatee Education Foundation, Wakeland Elementary and Rogers Garden Elementary.

***

Bryan Morris, who started the game, got the win after pitching a scoreless inning. He struck out two. Morris is the subject of my feature on pirates.com (should be up later this afternoon), so you can read more about the mechanical changes and mental adjustments that he has made since the end of a pretty ugly 2009 season.

As for Morris’ thoughts on his first outing of the spring: “It was good to get back out on the mound since last year and since the mechanical changes we did during the winter. I might have been a little too excited to start, but I fought my aggression and put it together.”

***

Ramon Aguero was the only other one of the seven Pirates pitchers to record a 1-2-3 inning against the junior college boys. Aguero also struck out two.

Jeff Sues gave up a monstrous home run on the first pitch he threw and walked two more in between striking out the side in the sixth. Anthony Claggett managed to give up three hits without allowing a runner to score in the game’s final frame.

Donnie Veal (1 BB, 2 K), Ronald Uviedo (2 H, 1 K) and Justin Thomas (2 H, 2 K) each pitched scoreless innings.

***

There would be no slow start for third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who had three hits (including an RBI bloop double) in his first three at-bats. He finished 3-for-4.

Jose Tabata drilled a 390-foot double off the center field wall in his 1-for-4 performance. Kratz and Moss each finished with two hits.

“He’s been swinging the bat well,” manager John Russell said of Moss. “It’s tough in the first game no matter who you’re playing. Brandon swung the bat well. We know what he’s capable of doing. It’s just being able to put it all together. Hopefully he can relax enough and let his mind relax enough to where he can do some of the things he’s capable of doing.”

Moss is by no means guaranteed a spot on the 25-man roster. He’s fighting for a bench spot and quite possibly, his future on the team.

***

It was not such a great day for center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left five men on base. Remember, though, that pitchers (even junior college ones) are always ahead of hitters this early in the exhibition season. You’ve still got to love the feistiness this kid exudes.

***

Up Next: The Pirates kick off Grapefruit League play with a 1:05 pm ET game against the Yankees in Tampa on Wednesday. Paul Maholm is scheduled to start for Pittsburgh and will be followed by Ross Ohlendorf, Brian Bass, D.J. Carrasco, Chris Jakubauskas, Steven Jackson, Jack Taschner and Jean Machi. The Yankees are starting Chad Gaudin.

Most of the Pirates’ projected starting position players will make the one-hour trip north and Russell said that a number of them will see their first bit of game action. “Get ‘em goin’,” he said.

The game will be broadcast on 104.7 FM back in Pittsburgh. It will also be televised on MLB Network and on MLB.TV.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Bucs lay out pitching plans

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have announced their pitching plans for the first week of exhbition games, which begins with a contest against the Manatees of the State College of Florida (formerly known as Manatee Community College) on Tuesday. That is, if it doesn’t rain. Anyways, here’s a look at Tuesday’s pitching plan as well as some of the pitchers lined up through Saturday. In parenthesis, you’ll find how many innings/pitches someone is limited to:

  • Tuesday vs SCF (7 innings): Bryan Morris (1), Donnie Veal (1), Ronald Uviedo (1), Justin Thomas (1), Ramon Aguero (1), Jeff Sues (1), Anthony Claggett (1)
  • Wednesday @ NYY: Paul Maholm (1), Ross Ohlendorf (1); (Brian Bass, D.J. Carrasco, Chris Jakubauskas, Steven Jackson, Jack Taschner and Jean Machi will be available as possible relievers)
  • Thursday @ ATL: Charlie Morton (2/45), Brian Burres (2/45), Brad Lincoln (1)
  • Friday @ BAL: Zach Duke (2/45), Daniel McCutchen (2/45), Virgil Vasquez (1)
  • Saturday vs. PHI: Kevin Hart (2/45), D.J. Carrasco (2/40)

A few notes regarding all this pitching stuff…

  • Manager John Russell downplayed the significance of the order of pitchers. In other words, he said, don’t assume that since Maholm and Ohlendorf are pitching in the first Grapefruit League game that one of them will be the Opening Day starter.
  • Carrasco and Burres are evidently going to be the long-relief candidates, which is why they’ll get some longer work than other relievers early.
  • Don’t read anything into the fact that Maholm and Ohlendorf are only pitching one inning apiece on Wednesday. Russell said it’s being treated just as if they’re getting another side session. They’ll move to a two-inning outing in their second appearance.
  • The Yankees are scheduled to start Chad Gaudin on Wednesday. The Phillies are scheduled to start Joe Blanton on Saturday. Still no word from the Braves or Phillies about who will take the mound on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
  • No, Billy Crystal is not coming to bat against Maholm on Wednesday.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Winter ball update

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Figured it was worth another look at how the organization’s players are faring down in winter ball. Here are some updated stats on the more notable names:

  • Brian Bixler (Mexico): 35 G, .300 BA, 5 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 13 BB, 42 SO
  • Ronny Cedeno (Venezuela): 33 G, .292 BA, 3 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 16 RBI
  • Argenis Diaz (Venezuela): 43 G, .195 BA, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 9 BB, 23 SO
  • Gorkys Hernandez (Venezuela): 33 G, .245 BA, 4 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI
  • Erik Kratz (Dominican Republic): 16 G, .065 BA, 1 2B, 4 RBI
  • Starling Marte (Dominican Republic): 10 G, .333 BA, 2 SB 
  • Neil Walker (Venezuela): 34 G, .267 BA, 9 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI
  • Ramon Aguero (Dominican Republic): 14 G, 0-1, 14 IP, 5 ER, 7 BB, 15 K, 2 SV 
  • Wilfredo Ledezma (Venezuela): 9 G, 2-3, 40 IP, 22 ER, 16 BB, 31 K
  • Jean Machi (Venezuela): 28 G, 2-0, 33 IP, 5 ER, 5 BB, 24 K, 15 SV
  • R.J. Rodriguez (Puerto Rico): 11 G, 1-0, 12 IP, 6 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 SV
  • Ronald Uviedo (Venezuela): 19 G, 2-0, 21.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 BB, 23 K

There are no injuries to anyone playing in winter ball to report either, which is encouraging.

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Winter ball update

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

You’ll find a story wrapping up the Arizona Fall League here, but in addition to that, I wanted to pass along numbers from other winter ball leagues. Here is a list of notable organizational players currently playing winter ball and how they are faring:

  • Brian Bixler (Mexico): 35 games, .300 BA, 22 R, 5 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 42 SO
  • Ronny Cedeno (Venezuela): 18 games, .216 BA, 6 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  • Luis Cruz (Mexico): 24 games, .302 BA, 9 R, 8 2B, 8 RBI
  • Argenis Diaz (Venezuela): 34 games, .206 BA, 13 R, 3 2B, 5 RBI
  • Gorkys Hernandez (Venezuela): 19 games, .233 BA, 7 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 17 SO
  • Erik Kratz (Dominican Republic): 7 games, .125 BA, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Starling Marte (DR): 9 games, .333 BA, 2 R, 2 SB
  • Rogelios Noris (Mexico): 16 games, .366 BA, 4 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Neil Walker (Venezuela): 34 games, .267 BA, 23 R, 9 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI
  • Ramon Aguero (DR): 10 games, 10 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 11 K
  • Derek Hankins (Venezuela): 5 games, 20 2/3 IP, 25 H, 21 ER, 10 BB, 12 K
  • Jean Machi (Venezuela): 21 games, 11 saves, 25 2/3 IP, 19 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 18 K
  • Ronald Uviedo (Venezuela): 9 games, 10 1/3 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 10 K 

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Bucs make flurry of roster moves on Friday

By Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

First off, my apologies for the tardiness in this. Jury duty got in the way. Anyways, you can find a full recap of all the roster moves that the Pirates made on Friday right here. The full story includes comments and explanations from GM Neal Huntington, too.

In review, the Pirates added seven players to the 40-man roster on Friday:

  • Jose Ascanio and Evan Meek were taken off the 60-day disabled list and added
  • Right-hander Chris Jakubauskas was claimed off waivers from Seattle
  • Brad Lincoln, Bryan Morris, Gorkys Hernandez and Ramon Aguero were prospects so that they could be protected from Rule 5 Draft.

In order to have enough room for all these additions, the following players were removed from the 40-man roster:

  • Jeff Karstens, Robinzon Diaz and Justin Thomas were all designated for assignment.

A few things to note regarding all of this…

  • Diaz cannot be put on waivers and outrighted to Triple-A (because of his service time), so if the Pirates can’t trade him in the next 10 days, they will release him. Huntington said he doesn’t expect Diaz to be interested in possibly resigning with the club if that’s what happens.
  • Huntington said that the club will explore the trade market for both Karstens and Thomas in the next 10 days. But, if no trade partners are found, the Pirates hope both pitchers will clear waivers and remain with the organization. The team will have the ability to outright both pitchers if no one grabs them off waivers.
  • Why add Jakubauskas and remove Karstens? Huntington said the players would essentially serve the same role on the club and have the same ability. The difference is that Jakubauskas has options remaining and Karstens doesn’t. For that reason, the Pirates found Jakubauskas more appealing of an option.
  • Erik Kratz moves up to third on the catching depth chart. However, Huntington said that he will continue explore the Minor League and Major League free agent catchers this offseason for other options.
  • Huntington said the organization has not determined yet whether it will make a selection in the Rule 5 Draft. If the Pirates decide to do so, they’ll have to open up a roster spot somehow.

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