It’s The Bradenton Marauders!

The new Pirates’ A+ affiliate located in Bradenton will be the Marauders. The team name and logo were announced today. Check out the logo on their home page here. The logo is a pirate with an eye patch like the parent team, but with a hat instead of a red bandanna and a fuller beard. The team colors will be black and gold with a little red, like those of Pittsburgh. Not a bad choice — similar enough to the Pirates, but different enough to have their own identity too. The Marauders will be playing in the Florida State League. Remember that the Pirates and the Reds swapped A+ affiliates, with the Reds taking over the Lynchburg Hillcats. The Pirates acquired the team in Sarasota, and then moved them to Bradenton.

If you’re already dreaming about the upcoming season (which begins in just 15 weeks, in case you haven’t been counting), milb.com urges you to consider a road trip right here in Indiana. You can visit Victory Field to see our Indianapolis Indians, then continue on to the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (Padres) and the South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks), both in the Midwest League.

Some signing updates: Former Pirate/Indy Indian RHP TJ Beam has signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks for 2010. LHP Juan Perez has signed with the Dodgers. 1B Chris Richard has resigned with the Rays. Former Indy Indian (2004) C Chris Coste has signed a minor league contract with the Mets, and we may see him again when the Buffalo Bison are in town.

The Pirates have resigned C Milver Reyes to a minor league contract. Reyes was with the Altoona Curve for the 2009 season, though he also spent a lot of time on the disabled list. Despite only getting into 14 games, he hit .282. He had only 11 hits in the season (11-for-39) but 5 of the hits –nearly half– were doubles. Reyes will probably be back in Altoona in 2010.

I found this interesting: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees have had a lot of problems with drainage on their field — or rather, the lack of drainage. The least bit of rain had them trying to play in a swamp. So, they have had a total make-over of their playing surface this fall, beginning just after the last game was played. You can see some photos of the process at the International League’s page.

Read More

Broadway Moves To The Front Office

The Pirates have signed 1B/OF Larry Broadway — but not to a player’s contract. Instead, Broadway will begin a new phase of his baseball career, in the area of scouting. He will be the Pirates’ area supervisor for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Las Vegas. Broadway, who will turn 29 in a few days, was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft. He moved up through the Expos organization, and continued at the AAA level when it became the Washington Nationals’ organization. Broadway had hit well against the Indianapolis Indians when he was playing for the AAA Columbus Clippers in 2007 and 2008. He signed a minor league contract with the Pirates in 2009 and spent the season with the Indy Indians. Unfortunately, Broadway was hampered by injuries, which hurt his numbers and put him on the disabled list for a significant amount of time. His best month at the plate was June, when he hit .300 with 3 homers and 10 RBI. He also had 3 homers and 8 RBI in July, when he hit .273. He struggled again in August, but ended the season with a strong finish, hitting .278 over his last 10 games including a 3-hit game with a homer and 3 RBI on Sept 5th. Broadway also did some pitching in emergency situations for the Indians and the Clippers — in 4 games in 2009 and 5 games in 2008. Broadway spent a lot of time watching and observing and coaching at first base while he couldn’t play this past season… getting him ready for the next step. Best of luck to him.

Not much winter league action on Monday evening…

Cardenales de Lara 8, Tiburones de La Guaira 5

Four runs in the 5th inning gave Lara the edge, and three former Pirates’ pitchers got into this game. Lara’s Romulo Sanchez earned the win with 2.1 innings of work. He entered the game in the 6th inning, with one run in, the bases loaded, and one out, and ended the inning with a strikeout and a ground out. Sanchez pitched a scoreless 7th inning, but loaded the bases with two singles and a walk in the 8th, and was responsible for the run that scored on a ground out. Another walk loaded the bases again, and Sanchez was relieved. Former Indy Indian Giovanni Carrara pitched 1.2 innings for Lara. He finished the 4th inning, and gave up a run in the 5th on a single, a fielding error, and a passed ball. Ronald Belisario pitched one scoreless inning for La Guaira, and allowed just one hit.

Read More