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31 March 2009

In Game Update - Karstens Sinks

A follow up to my earlier post regarding the battle for the #5 rotation spot of the Pirates pitching staff. Jeff Karstens took the mound earlier today against the Minnesota Twins in his final outing of the spring, hoping to claim the #5 spot, but things did not go well. Karstens pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits, 2 walks, and 1 home run. Not a good showing at all, and nothing about it suggests he has earned or deserves a starting pitching job. Karstens ERA for the spring is 6.17.

Virgil Vasquez the other pitcher battling for the #5 spot, will receive one more start later this week. His spring training ERA is 7.62.

Neither option is too comforting.

The Pirates are currently losing to the Twins 12-7 in the top of the 9th.

TRADE RUMORS - I also want to pass along some strong trade rumor and/or free agent acquisition news. Gary Sheffield who is 1 home run shy of the 500 career home run mark was released by the Detroit Tigers today. Tim Dierkes of MLBTraderumors.com has mentioned twice in his daily chat that the Pirates could be possible suitors for Sheffield. He also thinks the Indians would be a good spot. The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly have already contacted Sheffield's agent. Two other names to keep your ears perked for are minor league SS Robert Andino of the Florida Marlins. Andino is out of minor league options and is stuck behind All Star SS Hanley Ramirez. During the winter meetings, the Pirates showed interest in Andino. Another name floating is Jeff Baker, an infielder with the Rockies. The Rockies currently have no where in their lineup to play the young utility man and reportedly are seeking a prospect that is MLB ready within 2 years. The Pirates, Yankees, Astros, and Phillies are reported as interested. The Astros may now be out of the mix, as they have acquired Jeff Keppinger of the Reds earlier today.

Expect a move or two over the next 3-4 days.

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