A little more trivia…..
For each of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2006:
1. Which position player had the highest batting average (min. 200 at bats)?
2. Which batter had the most triples?
3. Which player had the most stolen bases?
Answers later today…..
A super-utility man, returning to the Indians:
born:� 11/24/1976���� in Goshen, New York
Ht: 6′ 1″����� Wt:�� 200 lb.
B: Right���� T: Right
Mike Edwards is another of the Pirates’ Pennsylvanians.� Although he was born in Goshen, New York (just a short distance northeast of New York City ) Edwards graduated from high school in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.� He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 draft, and he played in Cleveland’s minor league system from 1995 through 2001, moving up as far as Buffalo (AAA).� He played mostly third base, though also saw a bit of action at first base.� At the end of 2001, he was granted free agency by the Cleveland Indians, and shortly afterwards signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds.� He played most of the 2002 season in Chattanooga (AA), where he hit ..307 AVG, and 15 games in�Louisville (AAA), where he hit .404 AVG.� Edwards played both�first base and outfield that season.� He was named to both the mid-season and post-season�Southern�League All-Star teams. �At the end of that season, he signed as a free agent with the Oakland A’s.� He played for Sacramento (AAA) for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, hitting .298 and .287 AVG respectively in those seasons, with a combined total of 27 HRs and 176 RBI.� He played all over the field during those seasons — outfield, first base, and third base. �He saw 4 games of major league time, getting one hit and�2 walks in 6 plate appearances.� The 2005 season found Edwards a free agent again.� He signed�with�the Los Angeles Dodgers, and�he played 32 games in two stints�with Las Vegas (AAA), hitting .280 AVG and 21 RBI.� He�also had two stints with�the Dodgers,�for a total of�88 games for manager Jim Tracy.� He hit .247 AVG, with 15 RBI.�
Jim Tracy became the new Pirates’ manager for the 2006 season, and shortly after, Edwards signed with the Pirates as a free agent.� He split the season between the Pirates and the Indy Indians, making several trips up and back during the season.� During his time with the Indians, Edwards started 6 games at first base, 22 games at third base, 35 games in left field, 2 games each in right and center fields, and 13 games as the DH.� Only Yurendell de Caster, who can also play second base, was more versatile than Edwards.� In 92 games with the Indians, Edwards hit .258 AVG, with 3 HR and 29 RBI.� He struggled at times, and seemed to have lost something from his timing at the plate after�periods with the Pirates — where he spent a lot of time on the bench�and in pinch-hitting roles.� In 14 games, he had 3 hits in 16 AB’s.
�Edwards again signed as a free agent with the Pirates for 2007.� He was a non-roster invitee to thePirates’ spring training camp.� In 13 Grapefruit League games, he has had 4 hits in 17 AB’s, with 2 RBI.� This week he was reassigned to minor league camp, and he will likely be playing with the Indians again this year.�
SPRING TRAINING GAMES:
Yesterday the Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers 3 to 1 in Grapefruit League play.� Sean Burnett pitched 4.1 innings, giving up 2 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4, to get the win.� Shane Youman pitched one inning, with one hit, one walk, and one strikeout.� Neither Burnett nor Youman gave up any runs, so both continue to have no ERA.��Burnett and Youman are working hard to give the Pirates’ staff some tough decisions to make in the next 10 days.�
In today’s game, the Pirates lost 7 to 3 to the Boston Red Sox.� Tom Gorzelanny struggled with his control, and gave up 4 runs in 4.2 innings.� Andrew McCutcheon made one of the Pirates’ 4 hits, for an RBI.
The Indy Indians lost 4 to 2 to the Rochester Red Wings yesterday in their spring training game.� Indians’ starter Wardell Starling took the loss.� The Indians put up 11 hits, but left 11 baserunners stranded.� RF Adam Boeve went 2 for 3 with one RBI; 3B Chris Truby went 2 for 5 with one RBI; CF Rajai Davis went 2 for 5 with 2 stolen bases.� The Indians did not have a game today.� Their next game will be on Thursday against the Pawtucket Red Sox in Bradenton.
A look at a pitcher who was in Indianapolis for part of last year…
born: 7/17/1982�� in Dallas, Texas
Ht: 6′ 3″����� Wt:� 190 lb
B: Right����� T: Right
Brian Rogers was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2003, out of Georgia Southern University.� He began his professional career that same year, with Oneonta (Low A ) and as in college, he was a starting pitcher.� He finished the season with a 3 – 2 record, 3.34 ERA, and 66 strikeouts in 56.2 innings.��He spent the entire 2004 season with West Michigan (A ) also as a starting pitcher, where he pitched 142.1 innings, earning 120 strikeouts though his record was 6 – 8, with a 4.55 ERA.� In 2005, he pitched in Lakeland (A+ ), where he switched to relief.� He finished with 4 wins and one loss and 2 saves.� In 65.2 innings, he struck out 65 batters, and opposing batters were able to hit only .212 against him.
Rogers continued to climb up the Tigers’ minor league system, starting the 2006 season with Erie (AA ).� He appeared in 37 games for the Sea Wolves, pitching 64 innings, with a 2.39 ERA and 69 strikeouts.� On July 31st, he was traded to the Pirates for Sean Casey, and he was assigned to Altoona.� He pitched in only two games with the Curve.� In 2 innings in each game, he gave up no runs and recorded 5 strikeouts.� Rogers was advanced to the Indy Indians on August 12th.� He pitched a total of 8.1 innings in 7 appearances with the Indians, for one win, one loss, and one save.� He gave up only 2 hits, including a home run for his only earned run, and struck out 8 batters.� That earned him a promotion to the Pirates on August 28th, and he made his MLB debut on Sept 1st, when he pitched one scoreless inning.� Rogers made 10 relief appearances for the Pirates over the month of September, with mixed results.� He finished the season with a 8.31 ERA, 8 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts in 8.2 innings.
�As a member of the 40-man roster, Rogers reported to the Pirates’ major league spring training camp.� He pitched 3.1 innings in 4 Grapefruit League games, earning one save and giving up 5 hits and two earned runs, with 6 strikeouts.� Yesterday he was assigned to the Indianapolis Indians in the minor league camp, where he will join the bullpen crew.�� A strong showing will earn him a return trip to Pittsburgh this season.�
The Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Indy Indians in yesterday’s spring training game, by a score of 4 to 2.� Pawtucket scored three runs in the first inning, sparked by a 2-run double by DJ Eric Crozier, and scored again in the 7th inning.� The Indians scored on two solo home runs, one by C Carlos Maldonado in the 7th, and one by 1B Carlos Ruiz in the 9th.� Starting pitcher John Van Benschoten pitched 3 innings and took the loss, giving up 6 hits, 3 earned runs, walking 2 and striking out six.� The Tribe meets the Rochester Red Wings tomorrow, in an afternoon game in Ft. Myers.�
In the Pirates’ Grapefruit League game, Don Kelly went 2 for 3, with a triple, one RBI, and a stolen base.� Brian Bixler also had a stolen base and scored a run.
ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS:
The Pirates signed RHP Alay Soler, from Cuba.� Soler was released a few days ago by the New�York Mets.� He will be joining the Pirates’ minor league camp, and might be starting the season in Altoona.�
IF Brian Bixler and C/3B Neil Walker were reassigned to minor league camp today.
A promising prospect on his way up:
born: 7/2/1980��� in San Francisco, California
Ht: 6′ 0″���� Wt: 170 lb��������� B: Left��� T: Left
Nyjer Morgan started�playing baseball around the age of 5, like most little boys in California.� But at age 7 his imagination was captured by the 1988 Olympic hockey competition.� He dreamed of flying on the ice — and learned to skate and play hockey.� He was soon among the best around, and at age 16 he moved to Canada where he was invited to play junior hockey.� He advanced as far as the major junior level, playing mostly in western Canada.� After his daughter was born, though, it became clear that hockey was not going to be a viable way for him to support a family.� He returned to the US, to attend Walla Walla College, and to return to baseball.�
After two seasons with the Walla Walla College team, Morgan was selected by the Pirates in the 2002 draft.� He started his professional baseball career in 2003 in Williamsport, where he hit .343 AVG/.439 OBP, and stole 26 bases.� He was named to the New York – Penn League All-Star Team.� The 2004 season found Morgan in Hickory, where he found more of a challenge.� He hit .255 AVG but struck out more often, while still stealing 55 bases.� Morgan injured his shoulder, requiring surgery, which delayed the start of his 2005 season in Lynchburg.� He was able to play in only 60 games in 2005, though hit .286 AVG and stole 24 bases, and cut back on the strikeouts.�
Morgan began the 2006 season again with Lynchburg, where he hit .303 AVG/.390 OBP�and 22 RBI with 38 stolen bases in 61 games.� He was promoted to Altoona�on June 29th, and played with the Curve until August 27th, when his season ended with a hamstring injury.� In Altoona, he hit .306 AVG/.359 OBP, with 21 strikeouts, including 19 multi-hit games.� He improved his strikeout rate over the season, and did a better job of hitting the ball on the ground, so that he could use his speed to get hits.� He finished second in the Carolina League in stolen bases, and tied for the Curve team lead for stolen bases — despite spending only�part of the season with each team.� He was named to the mid-season Carolina League All-Star team and started the game in center�field.� He played well all over the outfield, starting 37 games in left field, 15 games in center field, and 2 games in right field.� Morgan played winter ball for the Honolulu Sharks of theHawaiian Winter Baseball League.� In 32 games with the Sharks, he hit .294 AVG, and led the league with 25 runs scored, 5 triples, and 20 stolen bases.�
�In November 2006, Morgan was added to the Pirates’ 40-man roster to protect him in the�upcoming Rule 5 Draft.� He reported to the Pirates’ big league camp for�spring training, and appeared in three of the�Pirates’ Grapefruit League games, getting one hit and two RBI in 6 at bats.� On March 12th, he was assigned to the Altoona Curve’s roster.� In three minor league spring training games with the Indy Indians’ squad, Morgan has been outstanding at the plate, with eight hits in ten at bats.� He is slated to start 2007 in Altoona, but expect to see him in Indianapolis later in the season.�
The Indy Indians and the Norfolk Tides played to a tie, each team putting up 8 hits and 2 runs.� The Tides also made 3 errors.� Indians’ CF Nyjer Morgan continued his magic by going 2 for 2 with a stolen base.� 1B Daniel Rios also hit two singles.� The Indians’ runs were scored in the 4th and 8th innings.� In the 4th, 3B Chris Truby scored on an error.� In the 8th, 1B Carlos Ruiz scored on a double steal (one of manager Trent Jewett’s favorite tricks).� The Indians play the Pawtucket Red Sox in Fort Myers on Monday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the New York Yankees 8 to 1.� DH Michael Ryan, 3B Neil Walker, and SS Brian Bixler each got hits.� Shane Youman pitched 1.1 innings, entering the game in relief of Zach Duke.� He gave up one hit and struck out one, and gave up no runs, to preserve his non-existent ERA.
The Pirates sent five players to the minor league camp today:� pitchers Jesse Chavez and Brian Rogers, outfielder Chris Aguila, infielder Nick Green, and utility man Mike Edwards.� Edwards,�Chavez,�and Rogers played for the Indians for part of the 2006 season.
A look at another relief pitcher….
born: 9/12/1981 in Santiago, Dominican Republic
Ht: 5′ 11″ Wt: 200 lb
B: Right T: Right
Franquelis [pronounced "Frank -ellis"] Osoria was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an undrafted free agent in 1999. He moved steadily up through the Dodgers’ minor league system, mostly pitching in relief. In 2004, he started the season with Jacksonville (AA), where he appeared in 51 games (to lead the club), all in relief. He earned 8 wins, 5 losses, and 5 saves, with a 3.64 ERA, 18 walks, and 73 strikeouts in 81 innings. He was moved up to Las Vegas (AAA) for four games at the end of May, where he pitched 8.1 innings, giving up 13 hits, 6 earned runs, one walk, and 3 strikeouts. Osoria began the 2005 season back in Las Vegas, doing well in relief. He was promoted to the Dodgers,who were managed by current Pirates’ manager Jim Tracy, and made his MLB debut on June 7, 2005, pitching one inning in relief, and retiring three batters in order. He appeared in 11 games with the Dodgers before being returned to Las Vegas, then came back up to the Dodgers on August 23rd and remained with the major league team until the end of the season. He pitched 84.2 innings over the entire season, to earn 6 wins, 6 losses, and 9 saves, for a 3.10 ERA, with 91 hits, 21 walks, and 50 strikeouts.
Osoria started the 2006 season with the Dodgers. This time, though, he struggled. In 12 relief appearances and 17.2 innings, he gave up 27 hits and 14 earned runs, for a 7.13 ERA, with 9 walks and 13 strikeouts. He was returned to Las Vegas in May, and remained with the AAA team for the rest of the year. He pitched in 44 games, earning 2 wins, 2 losses, and 2 saves. In 51.2 innings, he gave up 81 hits and 25 earned runs, for a 4.35 ERA, with 21 walks and 28 strikeouts. Following this rather disappointing season, Osoria played for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League. He appeared in only 3 games, pitching 4.1 innings, giving up 3 hits and no runs, with 3 strikeouts.
The Pirates claimed Osoria off waivers from the Dodgers in the off-season. He has been a non-roster invitee to the major league spring training camp. He made three Grapefruit League appearances, pitching 3 innings, and giving up 4 hits, 3 earned runs, and one strikeout. He was been reassigned to the minor league camp, and will likely be coming to Indianapolis to begin the 2007 season. He is a sinkerball pitcher, who has shown good control in the past. He started his professional career with a typical over-the-top arm motion, but over several years gradually dropped his arm down so that he now has a sidearm motion.
The Indy Indians lost their second spring training game, 7 to 6 to the Norfolk Tides. The Indians collected 11 hits, including two by CF Nyjer Morgan, and a three-run home run by DH Chris Truby. The Indians and Tides went into the bottom of the 9th inning with the score tied. Then Indians’ RHP Matt Peterson gave up three hits followed by a sacrifice fly to the Tides’ Matt Pulley to take the loss. The Indians will play the Tides again this afternoon in Bradenton.
In yesterday’s Pirates’ game, Micheal Ryan and Don Kelly got hits, Yurendell deCaster punched a double, and Brad Eldred hit a single and a double.