Prospect Notebook: Alvarez and Jones Homer at Pirate City
Today was another camp day at Pirate City. Unlike yesterday, the Pirates only had one intersquad game going, this one lasting three and a half innings. Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson were scheduled to throw in the game, with Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones over from major league camp to get at-bats.
Alvarez and Jones hit every half inning for the first two and a half frames, getting five plate appearances each. Alvarez went 2-for-5 with a single, a home run, and two strikeouts. Jones went 2-for-5 with a single, a home run, and one strikeout.
Both hitters got off to rough starts in the first inning. Kyle McPherson was on the mound, and struck out both batters looking at curveballs. In this type of situation it’s hard to tell whether that’s a good thing for McPherson, or a bad thing for Alvarez and Jones.
With Justin Wilson on the mound in the bottom of the first, Jones singled on a line drive through the hole on the right side of the infield. Alvarez came up next and got off to a 2-0 count, but ended up striking out swinging on a 2-2 fastball.
The duo did some damage against McPherson in the second inning. Alvarez led off the inning with a hard hit single up the middle. Jones followed that up by crushing a home run in to the trees beyond the right field fence on field one at Pirate City.
Alvarez added a home run of his own in the bottom of the second inning. On an 0-2 count, the third baseman hit a shot to center field, going over the wall near the 410 sign. The video of the swing can be seen below. Jones followed that with a ground out to second.
In the final at-bats, both players recorded outs. Alvarez led off the inning against Wilson. He was actually hit by a pitch, but stayed in the box to continue the at-bat. The next pitch was a deep fly ball to right field, caught just shy of the wall. That swing can also be seen in the video below. Garrett Jones hit a soft line drive to the second baseman to close out his day.
Alvarez looked rough at first, with two strikeouts in his first two at-bats. His final three at-bats looked good, with three well hit balls, and a deep home run. There was no doubt about the home run that Jones hit, and he made some good contact in his other at-bats.
**Justin Wilson was throwing 92-96 MPH today. He dealt with some control issues throughout the start. After striking out three batters in the first inning, and issuing only a single, Wilson started to go downhill. He gave up a walk in the second to Matt Curry, then issued two walks and a deep double to the only three batters he faced in the third inning, before reaching his pitch count.
**Kyle McPherson was throwing 92-95 MPH. He looked great in the first, fooling Alvarez and Jones with his curve for strikeouts. Those were his only two strikeouts of the day. The only damage came with the single-home run combo in the second inning against Alvarez and Jones. He settled down after that, retiring the side in order in the third inning.
**Evan Chambers had a hard hit double down the third base line against McPherson.
**After drawing a walk against Wilson, Matt Curry stole second base. Brian Friday also drew a walk against Wilson and stole second off the left-hander.
**Anthony Norman hit a deep double to center field off Wilson, bringing in two runs and ending Wilson’s outing.
**Tim Wood came on to pitch a half inning. He retired the side in order, striking out two batters. Wood was 91-93 MPH with his fastball, and flashed an 85-87 MPH slider. He got a strikeout on the slider against one batter, then used an 87 MPH slider to set up a strikeout on a 92 MPH fastball to end the inning.
**Right handed pitcher Phil Irwin suffered a forearm injury during the Arizona Fall League, ending his AFL season. He aggravated the injury before Spring Training started, and has been restricted throughout Spring Training. Irwin is back to his throwing program and doing long toss, but at this point he’s set back enough that he will miss the first few weeks of the 2012 season in Altoona.
**Andy Vasquez hurt his back, and will be on restricted duty for two weeks.
**Eliecer Cardenas and Jimmy Hernandez are both nursing elbow injuries. Both pitchers were healthy entering Spring Training.
**Samuel Gonzalez is still recovering from a shoulder injury. He has been hitting in games, and has been hitting well the last week, although the catcher has been limited to designated hitter duties in games.
**Matt Skirving is recovering from a hamstring injury.
**Ryan Hafner is recovering from a hamstring injury.
**Jeff Inman is still recovering from a sprained ankle.
**Wei-Chung Wang is still recovering from off-season Tommy John surgery.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Pedro Alvarez homering off of Justin Wilson on an 0-2 count, then later hitting a deep fly ball off Kyle McPherson.