Recent

0

Hague, Hughes Make First Opening Day Roster with Pirates

Matt Hague has made the opening day roster.

The Pirates had until 5:00 p.m. ET to set their rosters for Opening Day, and after a series of moves, Pittsburgh’s Opening Day 25-man roster shaped up.

  • Right-hander Chris Leroux was placed on the 60-Day disabled list due to a  strained right pectoral muscle. Leroux sustained the injury during the Pirates 5-2 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday in Philadelphia. He is required to rest for 4-6 weeks. With placing Leroux on DL, a spot opened on the roster to add righty veteran Juan Cruz.
  • Right-hander A.J. Burnett was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26 (eligible for reinstatement April 10), and Charlie Morton was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 29 (eligible for reinstatement April 13).
  • The Pirates decided to carry an extra bat instead of an arm this spring in place of Morton. Righty Jared Hughes made the final spot in the Bucco ‘pen, and all three — Matt Hague, Josh Harrison, Yamaico Navarro — made the club out of spring training for the Opening Day roster on the bench.

For Hague, 26, it not only marked his first Opening Day roster, but when he takes the field this weekend, he will also be making his Major League debut.

Standing at his first big league locker in the clubhouse at PNC Park on Wednesday, the 26-year-old was grinning as he surrounded by the media, trying to put into words what making the club means to him.

“I’m very excited. It’s kind of emotional, but at the same time, a little overwhelming,” Hague said. “Just trying to stay even keel and get to work today.”

“This town,” Hague said smiling, “I was here last September, and the fan support, they take their sports seriously. It’s awesome to be here. And a pleasure to be here.”

Hague finished with a .400/.400/.800 line with seven homers in 55 at-bats during Grapefruit League action this spring in his first ever big league camp.

“I’m basically just trying to go out there and focus on that at-bat,” Hague said. “Not really get caught up in all that other stuff. Just try to accomplish my goal during that at-bat. Just really try to keep doing what’s been working for me.”

The seven home runs that Hague hit this spring not only led the team, but it also lead all of baseball entering Tuesday’s game action. Nicknamed ‘the hit collector’, due to his ability to pick up hit after hit, all season long, Hague showed more power this spring then he has in years past. After hearing for years that he will never be an everyday first baseman in the Majors due to hitting just 12 homers in 2011, Hague so far has been proving everyone wrong.

“He wouldn’t be here if we listened to all the experts,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle. “This kid can hit. We’re going to find out if he can hit here…I don’t think any of us were smart enough to deny him the opportunity to go in and take the next step.”

“I think just not really paying much attention to it,” Hague said of the negative backlash of not having enough power. “Just kind of going out there and do what I know I can do. Keep working, try to get better and let the rest take care of itself.”

With having Hague, Harrison and Navarro on the bench, it looks much stronger than years past. And that’s one thing Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle is excited about.

“One of the challenges that I’m looking forward to is, I have three players on the bench that had the three best springs of anybody down there outside of McCutchen,” Hurdle said. “We can very well mix things up very dramatically out of the chute with a number of left-handed pitchers that we’re going to face.”

For Hughes, 26, it marked the first time he made an Opening Day roster with the Pirates after making 12 appearances with the club last season.

“It’s something you dream about, you envision all offseason, you work hard work. It’s definitely something,” said Hughes, who was all smiles in the clubhouse on Wednesday prior to the workouts.

Hughes allowed four runs on 13 hits over 10.0 innings this spring. He has walked three and struck out 10 over nine appearances during Grapefruit League action. Hughes is looking to carry over his success in Florida in Pittsburgh.

“I tried not to think too much into the future,” Hughes said. “I just really focused on the day that I was at that point in time. I was just to throw sinkers down and get ground balls, keep my team in the game. As I took it day by day, eventually it kind of built up into a good spring training.”

After starting the 2011 season in Double-A Altoona, where he made 11 starts and appeared in two games in relief, Hughes was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis in June where he was used exclusively in the bullpen. Hughes posted a 2.11 ERA over 42.2 innings with 45 strikeouts before getting a call to the big leagues on September 6. Overall, Hughes appeared in 12 games with the Pirates where he allowed five runs on nine hits over 11.0 innings. He walked four and struck out 10.

“As I keep getting more experience as a reliever, I keep understanding what I need to do to get ready for the game,” Hughes said. ” I’m able to go out there with a good approach as well.”

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Pirates Finalize 25-Man With a Series of Moves

Next Story »

Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Minor League Camp Schedule

Latest Analysis

  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    20 hours ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Peacock Nevarez

    Will One of These Pirates Minor League Pitchers Be the Next John Holdzkom?

    2 weeks ago

    By now you probably know that John Holdzkom rose from independent ball last year and made it to the majors. It was one of the best stories in ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More