Results tagged ‘ Scott Olsen ’

Injury updates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates passed along injury progress reports on a number of players:

  • RHP Jose Ascanio pitched one inning in an intrasquad game on Tuesday
  • LHP Joe Beimel pitched one inning in an intrasquad game on Tuesday
  • RHP Brad Lincoln pitched three innings in an intrasquad game on Tuesday
  • LHP Scott Olsen threw a bullpen session on Tuesday
  • C Chris Snyder caught five innings and had three at-bats in an intrasquad game on Tuesday

Also, the Pirates announced on Tuesday night that the club had sign LHP Dan Meyer and RHP Tim Wood to Minor League deals. Both have been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Keep an eye on Meyer, as he could be a decent left-handed option if Garrett Olson does not work out for the club.

The Pirates have also released Craig Hansen, who made five appearances in 2009 before a nerve issue in his back/neck shut him down. Hansen has not appeared in a Major League game since. He was one of four players the club acquired in the Jason Bay deal in July 2008. Two of those four players — Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche — had already been let go.

I’ll be back on the beat on Thursday for the home opener.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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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Olsen out of mix for rotation spot; may begin year on DL

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Scott Olsen will not open the season in the Pirates’ rotation, as the left-hander is taking a step back from game action to rebuild arm strength lost when he was down earlier in camp. And with less than two weeks remaining before Opening Day, this means that Olsen could begin the year on the disabled list.

The Pirates and Olsen met on Monday to discuss Olsen’s situation and determined it was necessary to slow things down. General manager Neal Huntington emphasized that Olsen is not injured. He simply is not where he or the club expected him to be this late in camp. The time missed due to a hamstring strain cost Olsen arm strength.

“The ball is just not coming out of his hand the way it was pre-hamstring injury,” Huntington said.

Olsen was expected to be in the mix for a bullpen spot if he lost out on his attempts to dent the rotation. But even that possibility is now in doubt given that Olsen has made just two appearances and is now shut down from Grapefruit League action.

With Olsen officially out of the mix, Charlie Morton is all but assured to be the team’s fifth starter when the season opens.

The Pirates haven’t made anything official regarding Morton’s status, but Huntington had this to say when asked if Morton has pitched his way into the team’s rotation: “Charlie has certainly made a case to have that be the situation. Given what he did yesterday, given what he’s done really all spring, he’s thrown the ball well. He’s attacked the bottom half of the strike zone. He’s let the ball fly. He’s been aggressive. His pace has been good. And the results have been there. It has been very encouraging to see Charlie this spring. Hopefully, he carries it forward.”

Olsen’s situation also affects the potential makeup of the bullpen. Assuming he starts the year on the disabled list, the Pirates have one less left-handed option than they expected. Joe Beimel, Garrett Olson and Brian Burres are all still lefties in the mix for a bullpen opening.

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Bucs claim Garrett Olson; Hart moved to 60-day DL

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates have another left-handed pitcher joining camp, as the team claimed Garrett Olson off waivers from the Mariners on Friday.

Olson has pitched in the Majors in parts of the last four seasons. He went 0-3 with a 4.54 ERA in 35 relief appearances last season. He has also started 44 Major League games and has a career 6.20 ERA in 99 total appearances.

General manager Neal Huntington is expected to comment on the acquisition soon, but it’s expected that Olson will jump into the mix to compete for a spot in the Pirates’ bullpen. The club is looking for left-handed relievers, and both Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen have struggled since coming back from early spring injuries.

In order to add Olson to the 40-man roster, the Pirates placed Kevin Hart on the 60-day disabled list. Hart continues to recover from right shoulder surgery.

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Orioles 13, Pirates 3

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Brian Burres deserves mention here, and serious consideration for one of the Pirates’ 25 roster spots. I understand that Spring Training results aren’t everything, but Burres has pitched quite well this spring. He shouldn’t be under the radar anymore.

Working against Burres is the fact that he would fit into a role much like the one Jeff Karstens is expected to hold — spot starter, long relief guy, etc. But since Karstens is on the roster and due to make $1.1 million this year, it’s hard to see the Pirates not bringing Karstens north.

If Charlie Morton gets the fifth spot in the Pirates’ rotation and the other four starters are healthy, there isn’t a place for Burres to start. There is at least one spot left in the bullpen, so maybe that is a place where Burres can fit.

To this point, the thinking seems to have been that Scott Olsen would land as the second lefty in the ‘pen if he didn’t crack the rotation. But Olsen hasn’t done all that well in his first two appearances, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that Burres could have an edge over Olsen. The fact that the Pirates owe Olsen very little in guaranteed salary would mean that the club wouldn’t be on the hook for that much money if Olsen doesn’t stick.

This is certainly something to keep an eye on as the last two weeks play out. Of course, Burres could also be asked to accept an assignment in Triple-A, where he would start and wait until the Pirates need a fill-in starter.

***

Speaking of Burres, he pitched four shutout innings in the Pirates’ intrasquad game on Thursday. He allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five.

“It went well,” Burres said. “I felt good and got the pitch count up. I worked with the fastball pretty good.”

In addition to those results, Burres has pitched nine scoreless innings in Grapefruit League action.

“There are a couple things that I still want to continue to do,” Burres said. “But as far as where I am now, I think I’ve done a pretty decent job this spring trying to do the things that I’ve wanted to do.”

***

Karstens hasn’t had as good of results as Burres has, but the right-hander is nonetheless pleased with his progression to this point. Pitching mostly against players from the Pirates’ Latin American teams, Karstens didn’t allow a hit and struck out six in three innings in the intrasquad game.

“With some of the young guys it’s a little bit easier because their approach is a little bit different,” Karstens said afterward. “When you’re over here [in big league camp], you know the guys have an idea of what they’re trying to do. But I tried to come in with some fastballs after the first inning. I made some mistakes with it – got away with them – and I made some good pitches. It’s a positive note. I was able to get ahead. Just nice to get back out there and throw more than two innings.”

Karstens has made four Grapefruit League appearances, three of which have been two-inning outings. In those seven innings, Karstens has allowed nine hits, two earned runs and walked three.

***

There was good and bad to Ross Ohlendorf’s start on Thursday — though Ohlendorf would attest that there was more good. The pitching line is ugly — six earned runs on eight hits in three innings. But it wasn’t, Ohlendorf said, as bad as it might have seemed.

“I was actually really happy with how I threw the ball today,” he said. “The results, obviously, weren’t very good in that last inning, but a lot of the early hits weren’t hit that well. I felt like I kept the ball down when I wanted to much better than the game before. I threw the ball much better than I did before even though the results weren’t really indicative of that.”

Ohlendorf did make a mistake on a slider to Jake Fox, and that resulted in a two-run homer. The only other ball hit pretty hard in that six-run third inning could easily have been caught by Jose Tabata in the outfield.

“The challenge at this level is putting innings away,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “I thought there were times when he was throwing the ball really well – getting the ball inside when he wanted to. He spun the ball OK on occasion. But the one inning got away from us. There was some positive in it, but the inability to put away the inning that’s where we have to get better.”

Still, it’s not pretty when you consider that Ohlendorf has allowed 10 earned runs in his last two games (five innings). And probably the biggest concern is that Ohlendorf has yet to go more than three innings in any of his starts.

Yes, he is throwing the pitches needed to build up his arm. But there is something to be said for pitchers using those pitches efficiently to get through four or five innings by this point in the spring.

Right now, only Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia have made a five-inning spring start.

“We’ve got work to do,” Hurdle said. “We’re not throwing enough strikes. We don’t have good enough command right now. I have no idea what our pitch count was today, but we threw way too many pitches today. We’d like to see our starters lengthen things out. There is work to be done. That’s what Spring Training is for. That’s why you have the amount of games that you have, and that’s why these starters have to keep building up their pitch counts.”

***

Both Joe Beimel and Olsen pitched again on Thursday, and the results weren’t too pretty.

Beimel was charged with three earned runs on three hits and a walk in an inning of relief. This was his second spring appearance.

As for Olsen, he was unable to finish two innings, as he had to be taken out after pitching 1 1/3. Olsen gave up three runs on three hits and three walks. He struck out one.

“We’ll keep feeding them the ball, too,” Hurdle said. “They started out behind. Neither one of them are complaining about any injuries or any arm fatigue or anything like that, so just keep feeding them the ball.”

I’m still skeptical that Olsen is truly in that fifth starter mix, and Hurdle didn’t exactly affirm that Olsen was when I asked the question afterward.

In response to a question about whether Olsen was still a candidate for the rotation, Hurdle answered: “I don’t know. He could be. I can’t say no. I’ll leave the speculation out there for people who want to speculate. I’ll keep giving him the ball and see where it takes him.”

That’s not exactly a yes.

***

Catcher Ryan Doumit (mild oblique strain) is scheduled to play in Friday’s game against the Phillies. Doumit went 3-for-4 with a double and home run in a Minor League game on Thursday. 

Though Doumit hasn’t played since March 8, he will have plenty of time to get ready for Opening Day assuming there are no further setbacks.

***

Outfielder Miles Durham said he was OK after a nasty collision with the right field wall in the ninth inning. He was down for a while, but walked off the field without any help. And he seemed just fine about 20 minutes later when he was leaving the ballpark.

“A big man hit the wall really, really hard,” Hurdle said.

***

On the main site tonight, you can read more about the changes Steve Pearce is making to his swing and how those changes might help him in his case for a bench spot. There will also be items on Burres/Karstens, Pedro Ciriaco’s day in centerfield and Olsen’s focus on staying healthy.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 31: Blue Jays @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

There is an MLB Security meeting (another one of those annual Spring Training meetings) going on currently in the clubhouse. So since players are unavailable, I figured I’d get the blog rolling a little earlier than usual today.

In case you didn’t visit pirates.com on Tuesday because it was an off day, let me draw your attention to this playground build that was led by Pirates outfielder Matt Diaz. Diaz runs a foundation with his wife Leslee, and their latest project was to purchase and build a playground for the Boys and Girls Club of Winter Haven.

He invited teammates to make the 90-minute drive to Winter Haven to help build, though Diaz said he didn’t expect anyone to show up given that Tuesday was the team’s first off day of the spring. And yet four teammates — Charlie Morton, Jeff Karstens, Justin Thomas, Brian Burres – came to help, as did Triple-A manager Dean Treanor and hitting coach Gregg Ritchie. I showed up, too, to document the event, and I think I was most impacted by the willingness of these Pirates players/coaches to go out of their way to give something back to kids during their precious free time.

Even if you don’t want to read the story about the community work day, I recommend you check out the video.

As for your other morning news…

  • Manager Clint Hurdle will not be managing the Major League team on Wednesday. Instead, Woody Huyke, who has spent the last 42 years with the organization, will be taking over managerial duties for the day. Hurdle is observing Minor League camp today.
  • The team is supposed to issue injury updates on, at minimum, catchers Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit today. I’m hoping the team also has something to say about James McDonald, though as I’ve mentioned previously, the Pirates’ new policy is to say very, very little about injuries.
  • Scott Olsen, who made his spring debut on Monday, will take the mound on Thursday for appearance No. 2. Depending on his efficiency, Olsen will pitch one or two innings.
  • Also pitching on Thursday will be: Ross Ohlendorf, Joe Beimel, Daniel McCutchen and Sean Gallagher.
  • In case you missed it on Tuesday, former Pirates pitcher Ian Snell announced he is retiring after the Cardinals informed him he was headed to Minor League camp. Details here. I will add that Snell earned over $8 million in a career that spanned five seasons and included a 38-53 record.
  • While the Pirates do have a home game against the Orioles on Thursday, the club will be sending a handful of pitchers over to Pirate City to pitch in an intrasquad game. Burres (four innings) and Karstens (three/four innings) will both use this as an opportunity to get stretched out. Tyler Yates and Evan Meek are slated to throw two innings, as well
  • Another reminder for those who want to get in on the NCAA Basketball blog challenge. Go to ESPN.com’s tournament page and search for Bucs Bits Bloggers. Join that group and fill out your bracket if you want to get in on the friendly competition.

Lineups:

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

Pitchers: P. Maholm, J. Hanrahan, C. Resop, J. Veras, M. Crotta

BLUE JAYS: C. Patterson (CF), M. McCoy (SS), E. Encarnacion (3B), E. Thames (LF), J. Molina (C), D. Cooper (1B), J.P. Arencibia (DH), J. Tolisano (RF), J. Diaz (2B)

Pitchers: K. Drabek, C. Villanueva, C. Janssen. S. Henn, Ro. Lewis

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 29: Pirates @ Orioles

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The news this morning came in the form of 10 roster moves. You can find a detailed list of those moves here in case you missed it earlier.

As for a few other notes…

  • Catcher Ryan Doumit left the clubhouse not too long ago carrying his bat and on his way to take some dry swings. That’s a good sign for the right oblique that Doumit strained last week. The Pirates have said they will provide their next update on Doumit on Wednesday.
  • Scott Olsen and Joe Beimel are scheduled to throw one inning apiece in Monday’s game against Baltimore.
  • Forgot to mention yesterday that with Sunday’s win over Boston, the Pirates now already have more Grapefruit League victories than they did all last spring. Pittsburgh is 8-10 going into today’s contest.
  • John Bowker is getting his first start of the spring at first today. The Pirates wanted to get the outfielder some work at first base in case he were to be needed there at any point during the year.
  • Tuesday will be the first of two off days for the club, and no mandatory workouts are scheduled.
  • The following pitchers will throw on Wednesday: Paul Maholm, Jeff Karstens, Joel Hanrahan

Lineups:

PIRATES: P. Ciriaco (2B), J. Bowker (1B), A. McCutchen (CF), P. Alvarez (3B), M. Diaz (LF), S. Pearce (RF), J. Rodriguez (SS), J. Jaramillo (C), K. Correia (RHP)

Pitchers: K. Correia (five innings), E. Meek, S. Olsen, J. Beimel, M. Crotta

ORIOLES: R. Winn (LF), F. Pie (CF), N. Markakis (RF), V. Guerrero (DH), L. Scott (1B), M. Reynolds (3B), M. Wieters (C), R. Andino (2B), C. Izturis (SS)

Pitchers: J. Arrieta, J. Accardo, J. Berken

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates 9, Red Sox 4

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

As the largest crowd in McKechnie Field history shuffles out of here, let’s get to some postgame leftovers…

***

Manager Clint Hurdle continues to experiment with a variety of lineups this spring. Hardly any two ever seem to be alike. He said he’ll continue to shuffle players around to see how guys fit in different spots until there are about 8-10 days left in Spring Training. At that point, Hurdle plans to use a batting order that will resemble the one he begins the season with.

Right now, the biggest question seems to be: Where will Andrew McCutchen bat? I continue to get the sense that Hurdle really likes McCutchen in the No. 3 spot, so don’t be surprised if he ends up there and Jose Tabata bats lead off to begin the year. Tabata hit from that top spot again on Sunday and drew his second walk of the spring.

“I’ve really liked his approach leading off,” Hurdle said of Tabata. “He’s shown some discipline. He’s had some walks. He can hit the ball the other way. He’s got speed when he gets on. He looks like that’s something that he’s able to do.”

***

It sounds as if the Pirates have already determined who the Opening Day starter will be, but that doesn’t mean Hurdle is ready to make an announcement. It didn’t sound like Hurdle plans to make anything official until about 10 days left in camp.

In the meantime, he seems to be having fun keeping the secret: “We might already have it lined up and you just don’t know it.”

I still have my money on Paul Maholm.

***

Over the last few weeks of Spring Training, the Pirates are going to continue to shuffle position players around to get them work at any position they might be called upon to play in emergency duty during the season. That’s why Tabata was out in center on Sunday and Pedro Ciriaco spent the final four innings playing third.

Also, look for Garrett Jones to get a little work at first base (insurance in case anything were to happen to Lyle Overbay) and for Josh Rodriguez to get some innings at third.

***

Brad Lincoln had a relatively easy first two innings on Sunday before struggling a bit in the third. The Red Sox scored twice against Lincoln, who also threw away the ball on an attempted pick-off, in that final frame he pitched. To Lincoln’s credit, he did bounce back and finish off the inning without letting it get any more out of control.

As much as Lincoln is set on proving he deserves that fifth spot in the rotation, I just get the feeling he’s headed back to Triple-A. And that’s not a feeling caused by anything Lincoln is or is not doing.

Assuming James McDonald doesn’t have a lingering injury, the Pirates still have just one rotation opening. Charlie Morton and Brian Burres have stood out this spring and are both serious contenders for that spot. And the Pirates aren’t counting out Scott Olsen just yet.

Lincoln could simply be hurt by having an option year left, meaning the Pirates can shuttle him back and forth from Triple-A to the Majors without the risk of losing him. The Pirates don’t enjoy that same flexibility with Morton.

One of the big things the Pirates said that they wanted to see from Lincoln this spring was continued development of and confidence to throw the changeup. How is the pitch coming along to this point?

“I like the fact that he is throwing it more,” Hurdle said. “He’s going to have to have a third pitch. He’s going to have to throw it in some offensive counts. I thought he got in some good rhythm today at times, and I thought there were a few times when he rushed. Happy the way he pinched off the one inning. He’s working in the right direction.”

***

The team is off to the new-and-improved Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Monday. I’ve heard the facelift done to the ballpark is terrific, so I’m excited to see it for myself. On the main site tonight, you’ll find notes about Olsen and Joe Beimel (who are making their respective spring debuts on Monday), another about Joel Hanrahan’s elusive slider and a third about Daniel McCutchen’s efforts to try and fit in.

Also, I’ve been asked already if I plan to run another Bucs Bits Bloggers Bracket Buster (say-that-five-times-fast) Challenge. And, indeed, I do. The college basketball selection show is tonight, so either tonight or tomorrow, I will create a friendly (but, of course, competitive) bracket tournament for any interested blog readers. Check back on the blog tomorrow for details on how to join.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Day 28: Red Sox @ Pirates

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

I’m going to keep this really brief since we’re a little more than an hour away from game time already.

Morning news:

  • Scott Olsen and Joe Beimel are slated to make their spring debuts on Monday. Each lefty will pitch one inning. More on pirates.com later about whether or not Olsen has the time to build up enough arm strength to begin the season as a starter
  • Righty Kevin Hart threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday and had no issues. His progress is slow, but he is recovering.
  • Catcher Chris Snyder will receive more treatment today to help with his lower back soreness. He remains out of the lineup.
  • The following pitchers will throw on Monday: Kevin Correia (five innings), Evan Meek, Olsen, Beimel, Michael Crotta

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (CF), N. Walker (2B), P. Alvarez (3B), G. Jones (RF), L. Overbay (1B), J. Bowker (LF), R. Cedeno (SS), D. Brown (C), B. Lincoln (RHP)

Pitchers: B. Lincoln, J. Hanrahan, J. Karstens, C. Resop, C. Leroux

RED SOX: M. Cameron (RF), J. Lowrie (SS), JD Drew (DH), J. Varitek (C), R. Kalish (CF), D. McDonald (LF), L. Anderson (1B), N. Spears (2B), D. Sutton (3B)

Pitchers: J. Beckett, S. Atchison, A. Miller, D. Bard

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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