Results tagged ‘ Ronny Cedeno ’

Game 38: Dodgers (18-20) @ Pirates (18-19)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Manager Clint Hurdle made a point when he benched Ronny Cedeno for one game last month after Cedeno didn’t run out a ball. Hurdle made a POINT on Thursday when he left Andrew McCutchen out of the lineup for the same reason. Sitting a guy who has been in the doghouse before and isn’t one of the integral pieces in the lineup can be pretty easy to do. But to make an effective point, Hurdle needed to be consistent — and he’s being just that by letting the team know that he’ll call out anyone for a lack of effort.

“We are focused on winning, but we are focused on building something greater and better as we go forward,” Hurdle said. “I think there are certain things that are non-negotiable along those lines.”

McCutchen did not run to first in the eighth inning after striking out. He will, Hurdle said, be available off the bench on Thursday.

Other news and notes:

  • Second baseman Neil Walker is back in the lineup… for now. Walker was going to go through batting practice and see how he felt closer to game time. Those flu-like symptoms that kept him out on Wednesday (Walker was sent home before the game began) aren’t completely gone — but he is improving.
  • If Walker can’t play — or whenever he gets future days off — it sounds like Cedeno would be the first choice to play second. Cedeno and Brandon Wood have been getting work there for the past week, but the Pirates felt more comfortable using Cedeno at the position and he did nothing last night that has changed anyone’s mind.
  • Steve Pearce has actually been getting work at second over the past two days as well. This is a case of, well, just in case. Pearce isn’t going to be making starts at second, and he remains behind Walker, Cedeno and Wood on the depth chart at the position. But if the Pirates get into a bind, they like having Pearce as an emergency option.
  • Right-hander Kevin Hart threw 25 pitches in a simulated live batting practice session. It was an encouraging sign for a guy who hadn’t thrown to hitters since having shoulder surgery in May 2010.
  • For those not in the local market, tonight’s Dodgers-Pirates game is the MLB.TV free game of the day. Log on to MLB.com and watch the game online.

Lineups:

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

DODGERS: T. Gwynn Jr (LF), A. Miles (2B), A. Ethier (RF), M. Kemp (CF), J. Uribe (3B), J. Loney (1B), D. Navarro (C), J. Carroll (SS), J. Garland (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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

Astros 10, Pirates 6

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Manager Clint Hurdle and hitting coach Gregg Ritchie had Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Ronny Cedeno all on the field after the game today taking extra swings. Hurdle didn’t want to make that big of a deal about the extra batting practice (which three players, including Alvarez, participated in on Monday). But that doesn’t mean that the extra work shouldn’t be pointed out.

“It’s something I’ve always done,” said Hurdle, a former hitting coach. “I would have preferred to have done it a few times earlier, but we waited because of the workload these guys have been carrying. It’s just more practice is all it is.”

You can read more on pirates.com tonight specifically about what Alvarez is targeting in these extra sessions.

***

It wasn’t a great day for lefty Brian Burres, who had previously not been scored upon this spring. On Wednesday, Burres was knocked around for 10 hits and six earned runs in five innings. The good news was that Burres was able to get his pitch count up. The bad news is that a lot of those pitches were up and over the plate. Command was the biggest issue.

“Even when I was throwing strikes, it wasn’t where I wanted them all the time,” Burres said. “Little bit wild with the strike zone today. I wasn’t keeping the ball over the plate enough and when I was, it was up and they did a pretty good job taking advantage of it.”

Burres and Jeff Karstens, as Hurdle pointed out again on Wednesday, are being built up as starters as part of a Plan B. In other words, either would be ready to step in if the Pirates need another starter the first time through the rotation. This could be the case if James McDonald is not ready to begin the year in the rotation.

Otherwise, Burres still has a shot at a bullpen role. The Pirates lack left-handed options, though I have a hard time seeing Karstens and Burres (both of whom fill very similar roles) both in the bullpen.

Burres said he’s trying not to think about such roster decisions, though that’s obviously easier said than done.

“You try every time to go out there and just take it outing by outing,” Burres said. “The other stuff is going to take care of itself after you’re done pitching so you want to make it as simple as possible with how you pitch and go out there and throw as many strikes as you can and not think about what will happen afterward.”

***

Speaking of McDonald, he is scheduled to return to game action on Saturday. Hurdle said the return will likely be in a Minor League game. By pitching McDonald in a Minor League game, the Pirates would be able to place McDonald on the 15-day disabled list to start the season but could do so with a retroactive date that would allow him to miss just one start.

Players who do not appear in an “A” game after March 22 can be backdated to the 22nd for DL purposes. That means that a player would eligible to come off the DL on April 6.

Burres or Karstens could step in for that one start and then McDonald could jump back into the rotation.

I bring this up as a possibility simply because McDonald has yet to pitch more than 2 2/3 innings in any of his three starts. He has time for just two outings (Saturday and then another late next week) before he’d be up in the rotation, and I just wonder if that’s enough time to get his pitch count up to where it needs to be.

***

Catcher Chris Snyder had 10 at-bats in a Minor League game on Wednesday, Hurdle reported, and will return behind the plate for the Pirates’ game against the Orioles on Thursday.

***

With another two hits and a walk, Lyle Overbay just keeps on producing this spring. He’s now batting .425 (17-for-40) and has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.

Spring Training results often mean little, but the Pirates are hopeful that these recent results are a product of Overbay’s changed approach at the plate. If so, the success could carry over into the season.

“We started talking about him being more aggressive in the count early,” Hurdle said. “He’s had a good eye. Last season, we talked about the reason for some of the numbers. I think last season was more of an aberration.

“This man is determined this spring. He has made a conscious effort of getting out of the blocks clean. The confidence should have been built up. I think he’s found an approach that is going to work. It’s good to see.”

***

On the main site tonight, you can find notes about Alvarez’s extra work, Matt Diaz’s determination to get off to a better start, John Bowker’s push for a bench spot and Snyder’s expected return.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 36: Twins @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

News about roster cuts (Garrett Atkins released; Justin Thomas and Fernando Nieve reassigned to Minor League camp) and about Scott Olsen’s setback can be found in previous blog entries from this morning. Here are the rest of your morning leftovers…

  • James McDonald will throw another bullpen session on Wednesday. After that, I would imagine he’d be ready to resume pitching in games. The Pirates have not said how McDonald’s absence will affect his ability to be ready for the start of the regular season.
  • Brad Lincoln’s right arm is still swollen, but he said his range of motion and strength is coming back. Lincoln, who was hit in that arm on Friday, said he hopes to resume throwing (on flat ground) on Wednesday. This means he is definitely missing at least one turn through the rotation.
  • Lefty Joe Beimel had a cortisone shot in his left arm on Sunday. He is not throwing today and will be reevaluated tomorrow. Beimel said he is feeling much better and seems to think he won’t be sidelined long.
  • Garrett Jones is still dealing with some neck/shoulder soreness, though he doesn’t expect the issue to linger. He said he felt a little pop when running on Thursday and that his neck kept getting tighter. He did take six at-bats in a Minor League game on Sunday, so he’s on his way back. Jones is not in the lineup on Monday.
  • Catcher Chris Snyder will get 3-4 at-bats in a Minor League game on Monday. He’ll also put his gear on and catch a bullpen session. Assuming all goes well, Snyder, who was out with back soreness, will then catch in a Minor League game on Tuesday.
  • Shortstop Ronny Cedeno will join Snyder to get at-bats in a Minor League game on Monday. With so many players left in camp, it’s normal for position players to take turn playing in Minor League games simply so they can get their work in.
  • The Pirates announced that they will be having a 3 p.m. workout at Wrigley Field on March 31, the day before the club opens the season. The workout is not open to the public.
  • Steve Pearce is playing left field on Monday. Just another chance for Pearce to showcase his versatility. That corner utility spot is down to Pearce, Andy Marte and Josh Fields. I get the impression that Fields is on the outside looking in.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), N. Walker (2B), S. Pearce (LF), L. Overbay (1B), M. Diaz (RF), P. Alvarez (3B), J. Rodriguez (SS), J. Jaramillo (C), P. Maholm (LHP)

Pitchers: P. Maholm (six innings), Garrett Olson, Jose Veras, Sean Gallagher

TWINS: D. Span (CF), M. Tolbert (SS), J. Mauer (C), D. Young (DH), J. Bailey (1B), L. Hughes (2B), B. Dinkelman (LF), C. Lambin (3B), J. Repko (RF)

Pitchers: B. Duensing, M. Capps, C. Gutierrez, J. Hoey, C. James, G. Perkins

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Orioles 11, Pirates 8

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Ryan Doumit has been scratched from the Pirates’ travel roster for Friday after feeling soreness in his right oblique during batting practice on Thursday. He will receive treatment on Friday, and more should be known about his status after that. The Pirates have listed his status as day-to-day, but oblique injuries often linger. If Doumit misses substantial time, that would hurt the Pirates’ ability to trade him and alter the makeup of the bench.

***

For all that went wrong on the mound for the Pirates on Thursday, Paul Maholm was immune. It was a strong four-inning outing for the left-hander, who I have to believe is the favorite to be the team’s Opening Day starter.

Other than giving up a solo homer to Vladimir Guerrero on a slider that was supposed to be in the dirt and wasn’t, Maholm had a pretty easy night. He was efficient to the point where he had to go throw extra pitches in the bullpen after he exited to get his pitch count up.

“I was aggressive, able to get some groundballs,” Maholm said. “The last two [I] have been [throwing] the kitchen sink and trying to get outs. Just kind of getting into the rhythm of mixing sequences and reading hitters’ swings.”

Maholm allowed just three other hits — all singles — in the outing. He had a lot of success, too, going inside to hitters — and remember, that is something that Maholm is really focusing on this spring. Especially encouraging is that when Maholm is missing on those inside pitches, he’s not missing over the plate. That was an issue for the lefty last year.

“Paul was excellent,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Paul threw very, very well tonight. Command, the cutter, changeup, sinker, he looked good today. Very crisp.”

***

The Pirates’ aggressive baserunning was on display early in Thursday’s game, and it played a large role in the 4-1 lead the team briefly enjoyed.

Jose Tabata’s gutsy decision (I think it’s still for debate whether it was necessarily a wise one) to try to move from first to third on a groundball to the third baseman paid off in the first. He caught Baltimore off guard, and came all the way around to score when Brandon Snyder’s throw went past the bag at third.

In the second, Ronny Cedeno pushed it to go from first to third on a single, and that led to an errant throw that allowed Gorkys Hernandez move up to second. Both were in position to then score on Jason Jaramillo’s single.

The Pirates are surely going to run into some outs being so aggressive. But Thursday’s early innings also showed the chaos that agressiveness can create.

“We looked good there for a spurt,” Hurdle said. “We ran the bases well. We put the barrel on the ball. We had better at-bats. That’s the kind of game we have to play. Speed, surprise and variety. Use the skills that we have.”

***

For those of you who might have been watching the game on TV, you saw an interesting occurrence in the bottom of the seventh. Baltimore’s Matt Angle went to steal second and Jaramillo made an attempt to throw him out. Only problem was, no one was covering second. Jaramillo’s throw went straight to the center fielder, allowing one run to score and Angle to move to third.

So what exactly went wrong?

“That’s [Neil] Walker’s ball,” Hurdle explained afterward. “JJ started the play in a bad way. He’s got to peek, stop the runner at third base. The runner is coming like a freight train. There was no look to third, then the throw to second, sloppy.”

***

Gotta love Spring Training baseball. The O’s and Bucs combined for 19 runs, 27 hits and six errors on Thursday. Not the prettiest of March games, and figures that it would be one of the four TV games.

On the positive side, the Pirates did only strike out seven times in the game. This, after the club fanned 16 times on Wednesday. And give the offense credit for battling to make the game close with a four-run eighth. Most of those who hit in that frame are fighting to make an impression, which meant they had no interest in simply going through the motions and getting to a late dinner.

***

On the main site tonight, you’ll find a mid-Spring Training report, of sorts. It’s a look at what we’ve learned so far and what questions remain. There are also notes about Joel Hanrahan’s rough night, Doumit’s injury, Cedeno’s work to cut down on his strikeouts and a thorough injury report.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Rays 4, Pirates 2

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Tampa Bay now has two spring wins and both have come at the expense of Pittsburgh. Of course, the Pirates also have their own two wins over the Rays. The best-of-seven spring series continues in Port Charlotte on Friday.

***

One thing that could turn out to be different this year is how long the club waits to announce its final bench spots. That’s because so much hinges on what the team decides to do with Ryan Doumit. And I’m not just talking about whether or not the Pirates deal him elsewhere.

The Pirates still have not decided whether they want to carry two or three catchers into the season. If the club takes three, Jason Jaramillo or Dusty Brown will head north. If not, it doesn’t matter what either one of them do — they will be headed to Triple-A Indianapolis together. How Brown and Jaramillo are handling the unknown was the focus of my main story on pirates.com today, and you can get to that here.

***

Ross Ohlendorf left balls up in the second of his three innings on Monday and that was to blame for the one shaky inning he endured. After needing only five pitches (all fastballs) to retire the side in the first, Ohlendorf allowed three straight hits and a walk to begin the second.

He got some help getting out of the jam when Manny Ramirez’s foot hit one of the singles. Catcher Chris Snyder also threw out B.J. Upton as Upton tried to swipe third. As a result, Ohlendorf limited the damage to just one run.

Ohlendorf bounced back to pitch a clean third and said afterward that he felt like the start was another step in the right direction.

“I probably felt a little stronger in the first one just because I had a little more adrenaline,” Ohlendorf said. “But I still felt good about today.”

Ohlendorf mixed in a lot more changeups and a few sliders in the outing. Now it’s a matter of sharpening the command of all his pitches.

***

The Rays were off and running against the Pirates. But in their four attempts to steal bases, they were only successful twice. Snyder threw out two of three runners taking off against him.

The Pirates’ struggles throwing out runners last year has been incessantly noted. But it was a serious issue, and it is one that is being addressed this year. Ohlendorf, in particular, knows he needs to do a better job varying his rhythm and getting the ball to the plate quicker to keep runners more honest.

Could improvements already have been made?

“If I had been slower, he wouldn’t have had a chance,” Ohlendorf said, referring to Snyder’s ability to throw out Upton. “He made as good of a throw as he could have made and it was still pretty close. And Upton is a fast runner. I was quicker [today] than I would have been last year on most of my pitches, especially with a guy on second.”

The pitchers are working on slidesteps and ways to break up the timing of the runner — whether that be holding the ball longer, being quicker to the plate, etc. Be sure that the work is going to continue. But also give credit to Snyder for a pair of great throws.

“They’ve worked hard at it. It’s paying off,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “And both his throws were very, very accurate. He does a good job back there for us.”

***

A few tidbits:

  • Ronny Cedeno returned to the lineup on Monday and got his first hit of the spring. He had been 0-for-11. Cedeno told me he has been dealing with some timing issues, but maybe he was right when he followed that up by saying he felt he would be breaking through soon.
  • The Pirates have scored two runs in their last 21 innings. That’s not reason for huge concern right now given that pitchers are typically ahead of hitters early in spring. However, most of the starting position players are playing in Tuesday’s game against the Twins, so that would be a group that you would want to see some offense from.
  • None of the three bullpen candidates who pitched on Monday — Jose Veras, Tyler Yates, Daniel Moskos – fared exceptionally well. Veras and Yates each allowed two walks. Moskos walked one but also allowed three hits.

***

On the main site later, you will find notes about Evan Meek’s spring debut, Pedro Ciriaco’s favorable early impressive and minor injuries to Josh Rodriguez (right quad tightness) and John Bowker (left wrist soreness).

On a side note, I have the day off on Tuesday, so you’ll have to rely on my capable colleague Evan Drellich for your daily news. I will be spending most of the day not at the beach, but working on a lengthy feature story that is set to run on Wednesday. It’s a story that I hope will bring some perspective about how important winning and losing a baseball game really is. I hope you will read and enjoy.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 22: Rays @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

One of the unique aspects of Spring Training is the fact that the day start so early. For the rest of the year, players, coaches and the media are trained to be nocturnal. Down here, it is early to bed, early to rise.

The clubhouse opens to the media at 7:30 am and by then, most players are already in. Some have already worked out. Early work commences at that hour and runs until the regularly scheduled 9 am workout.

For those who don’t have early work, they pass the time in varying ways. Today, second baseman Neil Walker sat down with a stack of fan mail. He signed baseball cards that had been sent to him and read every letter that was written.

Catcher Dusty Brown has a morning routine that involves crossword puzzles. For the last four years, Brown has done a crossword every morning. He says he finishes them every time, too. It was something Brown said he saw Tim Wakefield do every day during Red Sox Spring Training.

The practical joke of the morning was played on James McDonald, who had a rubber snake placed in his pants by a teammate who will remain unnamed. Unfortunately, I was conducting an interview on the other side of the room when McDonald headed to his locker so I missed his reaction. 

Anyways, your morning news…

  • Ronny Cedeno is back in the lineup after missing three games with a bruised right middle finger. He didn’t have any issues gripping a bat on Sunday, so he’ll give it a go.
  • Right-hander Evan Meek will make his first spring appearance in this game, too. He’s slated to come in and pitch the fourth.
  • Scott Olsen will throw his first session of live batting practice on Tuesday. He is scheduled to pitch two innings. The Pirates haven’t announced whether Olsen will need one or two sessions of live BP before he is ready to pitch in a game.
  • I wrote yesterday about the Pirates not using Steve Pearce at third base in a game yet. Well, Pearce’s first test at the hot corner is coming soon. He is scheduled to start at third in the Pirates’ “B” game against the Twins in Fort Myers on Tuesday. The Pirates will play this “B” game three hours before the normally scheduled 1:05 pm game.
  • In that “B” game, the Pirates will use the following pitchers: Brad Lincoln, Bryan Morris, Kyle McPherson, Justin Wilson, Ramon Aguero.
  • The following pitchers will then throw in the regular game: Brian Burres, Sean Gallagher, Fernando Nieve, Chris Leroux, Jeff Locke and Daniel McCutchen.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), R. Cedeno (SS), N. Walker (2B), M. Diaz (RF), G. Atkins (3B), L. Overbay (1B), C. Snyder (C), G. Hernandez (CF), R. Ohlendorf (RHP)

Pitchers: R. Ohlendorf, E. Meek, J. Veras, T. Yates, M. Crotta, D. Moskos

RAYS: J. Jaso (C), J. Damon (LF), E. Longoria (3B), M. Ramirez (DH), M. Joyce (RF), B.J. Upton (CF), D. Johnson (1B), J. Inglett (2B), T. Beckham (SS)

Pitchers: D. Price, M. Ekstrom, R. Delaney, M. Bush, A. Cobb

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 21: Blue Jays @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Bradenton finally got a nice rainstorm, an occurrence that I am thrilled with given the allergy issues that have plagued me down here. Personnel are pulling the tarp off the McKechnie Field infield right now so the Pirates can take batting practice as scheduled. There remains a chance for some rain early this afternoon, but we should be OK for a Sunday afternoon of baseball.

If you are back in Pittsburgh, don’t forget that today’s game is the first spring game to be televised on FSN Pittsburgh. There will be another three TV games later this month as well.

As for your morning notes…

  • Shortstop Ronny Cedeno was walking around the clubhouse with a bat this morning, obviously eager to take some swings. Sidelined the last two days with a bruised right middle finger, Cedeno is going to take some cuts in batting practice to see how the finger responds. He could be back in the lineup as early as Monday.
  • Right-hander Evan Meek is scheduled to make his first spring appearance on Monday. He’ll have plenty of time to get ready for the season.
  • Jose Ascanio (right elbow tightness) was out throwing long toss early this morning. He’s still working his way back to where he can pitch off the mound. Despite the Pirates’ insistence that Ascanio can still be ready to go by the start of the season, I just don’t see it. We’re less than four weeks out from Opening Day and he isn’t exactly near getting into Grapefruit League action.
  • Pirates players had an alumni meeting before workouts on Sunday. Players are also set to sign autographs and mingle with fans during today’s PirateFest. The event will take place from 10 am – 12:30 pm outside McKechnie Field.
  • For the first time this spring, the Pirates will have their pitcher hit in the game. The team has been using a designated hitter up until this point. The Blue Jays will have a DH since their pitchers don’t need the same practice hitting.
  • If my memory is sharp, today will be the first start for Steve Pearce in right field. He did enter Saturday’s game to play the final two innings in the outfield, though. Pearce has yet to start at third base, though he continues to get work over there in the mornings.
  • The following pitchers will throw on Monday: Ross Ohlendorf (3 innings), Meek, Jose Veras, Tyler Yates, Michael Crotta, Daniel Moskos

Lineups:

PIRATES: C. Wimberly (SS), P. Ciriaco (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), P. Alvarez (3B), M. Diaz (LF), S. Pearce (RF), J. Fields (1B), D. Brown (C), J. McDonald (RHP)

Pitchers: J. McDonald, J. Hanrahan, A. Thompson, D. McCutchen, C. Resop, J. Thomas, J. Locke

BLUE JAYS: C. Patterson (CF), Y. Escobar (SS), J. Bautista (3B), T. Snider (DH), E. Encarnacion (1B), E. Thames (LF), R. Davis (RF), J.P. Arencibia (C), M. McCoy (2B)

Pitchers: R. Romero

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 20: Pirates @ Phillies; first round of cuts

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates had their first cuts on Saturday morning, though none of the moves were all that surprising. Tony Sanchez, Eric Fryer, Donnie Veal and Cesar Valdez have all been reassigned to Minor League camp. None were expected to start the season in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates have not designated where each of the four will begin the season, though Sanchez is expected to be Double-A Altoona’s starting catcher.

“He used his eyes very well. He used his ears very well while he was here,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Sanchez’s time in big league camp. “That was as important as anything for me. He’s got an infectious smile. There is nothing  you can’t like about the kid.”

Veal will continue to work through his rehab program, and I imagine he will stay in Bradenton to keep throwing in extended Spring Training. Valdez is likely headed to Triple-A Indianapolis.

As for your other morning news bits…

  • As promised Hurdle is shuffling around the lineup. He’s got Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata batting one-two on Saturday, just as the pair did for most of the second half of 2010. Pedro Alvarez is slotted into the third spot, while Neil Walker is batting fifth.
  • Ronny Cedeno remains out with a bruised right middle finger. He didn’t swing a bat yesterday, but Cedeno did field groundballs without any issue, he said.
  • The following Pirates pitchers are scheduled to throw in Sunday’s game: James McDonald, Joel Hanrahan, Chris Resop, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke, Justin Thomas
  • If you opt not to tune in to the pirates.com webcast of today’s game, go root on my Mizzou Tigers at noon. The Tigers have kU at home today in the big rivalry game, which is going to be televised on CBS. Mizzou hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations this season, but a victory over the Jayhawks can erase some of the sting of a less-than-stellar year.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), P. Alvarez (3B), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), G. Jones (DH), R. Doumit (C), J. Bowker (RF), C. d’Arnaud (SS)

Pitchers: P. Maholm, J. Karstens, T. Watson, S. Gallagher, C. Leroux, R. Owens

PHILLIES: J. Rollins (SS), S. Victorino (CF), R. Ibanez (LF), R. Howard (1B), P. Polanco (3B), B. Francisco (DH), D. Brown (RF), D. Young (2B), B. Schneider (C)

Pitchers: R. Halladay, J.C. Ramirez, B. Lidge, J. Contreras, R. Madson

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 19: Phillies @ Pirates; Cedeno scratched with sore finger

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

It’s a Keystone State matchup today at McKechnie Field, where the temperatures are a bit brisk this morning. I know, it’s all relative…

Anyways, your morning news…

  • Shortstop Ronny Cedeno was scratched from today’s lineup because of a sore right middle finger. He said he bruised the finger while fielding a sixth-inning grounder from Toronto’s Rajai Davis. The balls knocked his finger while he was trying to grip it and his finger was still a bit sore on Friday morning. Cedeno said he’ll try to take some groundballs on the side Friday, though he’ll stay out of Friday’s game. This appears to be very minor, so expect Cedeno back soon.
  • Left-hander Joe Beimel went through his throwing program on Thursday and Friday and did not feel any discomfort in his left forearm either time. That’s really good news for Beimel, who had to stop throwing when he tried on Tuesday. As long as he remains pain-free, Beimel will continue through his throwing program.
  • Evan Meek (right calf tightness) is scheduled to throw live batting practice over at Pirate City this morning. This could be his last checkpoint before he’s ready to appear in his first game.
  • The following pitchers are scheduled to throw on Saturday: Paul Maholm, Jeff Karstens, Mike Crotta, Sean Gallagher, Chris Leroux and Rudy Owens
  • Chase d’Arnaud, who is arguably the Pirates’ best infield prospect, is out taking grounders at third base this morning. Though d’Arnaud will continue to get most of his work at second and short, he plans to stay sharp at third base as well. Versatility is never a bad thing.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), P. Ciriaco (SS), N. Walker (2B), L. Overbay (1B), M. Diaz (DH), G. Jones (RF), A. Marte (3B), C. Snyder (C), G. Hernandez (CF)

Pitchers: K. Correia, B. Burres, F. Nieve, B. Morris, K. McPherson, D. Moskos

PHILLIES: J. Rollins (SS), P. Polanco (3B), R. Ibanez (LF), R. Howard (1B), D. Young (2B), B. Schneider (C), H. Garcia (DH), W. Valdez (RF), M. Martinez (CF)

Pitchers: J. Blanton, D. Baez, D. Meyer, A. Carpenter, A. Bastardo, M. Zagurski

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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