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12 March 2009

News, Notes, and Buried Treasures

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates current Spring Training record is 8-4-1 (tie came against Toronto after each team ran out of pitchers in 11 innings on 3/11).
  • Andy LaRoche leads all of Major League Baseball with a spring training batting average of .550.
  • The Pirates are tied for 7th with 3 other teams with 13 home runs so far this spring. They're 17th in team batting average at .263 and 9th in team RBI's with 72.
  • 11 different Buccos have homered this spring. OF Craig Monroe is the only player to homer more than once. Monroe has 3 knocks putting him in a 9 way tie for second in MLB for spring training home runs. The MLB leader is Ryan Howard with 4.
  • The Bucs pitching is 5th in MLB with a team ERA of 4.04. They're 1st in opponents batting average holding opposing hitters to a .234 average and 10th in strikeouts with a total of 84.
  • Brandon Moss, the Bucs right fielder, recently injured his right thumb while going “all out” to catch a fly ball hit by Michael Cuddyer of the Minnesota Twins, which resulted in a triple. Moss stayed in the game, but came out an inning later when he felt discomfort. Team officials flew Brandon back to Pittsburgh for an X-ray and MRI at Allegheny General Hospital. Results of both test came back negative and is deemed nothing more than a sprain and deep bruising. The good news is that Brandon is expected to be in the lineup on for opening day on April 6th in St. Louis. Pirates GM Neil Huntington had this to say about Brandon's status, "He's still going to miss some time, realistically, but this is all really about how he feels, how quickly the swelling goes down, how he tolerates the pain. It could be that we're pushing it by saying opening day, and it could be that he's comfortably ready in that time. The good news is that there's no ligament damage, just the bruise and the mild sprain."
  • On Monday March 9th, the Buccos made their first roster moves of the spring, optioning reliever Romulo Sanchez and assigning three others to minor league camp: infielder Pedro Lopez, catcher Miguel Perez and pitcher Daniel Haigwood. Sanchez spent some time with the big club last year making 10 appearances with an ERA of 4.05 but was not expected to break camp with the Pirates. He will start at AAA playing for the Indianapolis Indians.
  • A couple Pirates pitchers have turned heads in Bradenton this spring, some might not even recognize them. Both Matt Capps and Tom Gorzelanny shed pounds in the off season in hopes of becoming healthier and more durable during the season. After missing nearly 7 weeks last summer to shoulder bursitis, Capps lost 15 pounds and came into spring training looking healthier than ever. To here him talk, he may have gained a few MPH on his fast ball as well, "There are no radar guns here or anything because it's just spring training, but I'm telling you: I'm throwing harder. I can just feel it, the way it's coming out of my hand. It's just exploding. Nothing at all like last year." Gorzellany has lost 20 pounds and hopes that his struggles of last year have been lost as well, "I'm not going to dwell on what happened last year. It happened and it's over. I'm just happy. I'm enjoying the fact that I feel good. My body feels great, and I'm ready to go.”
  • Who says you can't have fun at work? Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette offered a neat look into the Bucs shenanigans during spring training. Dejan passed along a game the Pirates players were partaking in prior to their spring training game against the Boston Red Sox on March 9th. The game was Pop Up Derby. Several pop ups would be hit in the air and teams were being judged by infield instructor Perry Hill and outfielder Eric Hinske on style. What makes the game extremely odd is that the public address crew at the ball yard was playing game show theme music loudly in the background and Hinske was on the mic giving play by play of the action and apparently being highly critical of his teammates, “"Minus-1 point for using a high-pitched voice!" Good stuff!
  • The Pirates pitchers are learning to pitch inside, just like Rick Vaughn of the of the 1989 classic 'Major League.' Pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has went old school in his approach to get his pitching staff to pitch inside....he is using a dummy, and as you could guess, that dummy is taking a beating! Sean Burnett has this to say about his teammate Tyler Yates and the “dummy”, "Yates is just killing the thing," And Yates reply,"Thing's in my way." This dummy drill is nothing new to pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. He has used the same strategy with future Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. "I used a dummy with Randy and Pedro, I can use it with these guys."
  • Upcoming games on TV - Monday March 16, 7:05pm Vs Tampa Bay on FSN Pittsburgh and MLBTV, Saturday March 21, 1:05pm Vs Cincinati on FSN Pittsburgh and MLBTV.


  1. Where did you get that Pirate logo? I like it!

  2. Found it on google. I've got it saved, I will be using it again.

  3. Add 3 more to Monroe's HR list as well as 2 more for the rest of the team this preseason! I like what this team is capable of, just depends on what they actually will do.

  4. Just maybe we can have hope past the all-star break this year!!

    ---chick magnet handle Wampa1