The Trib-Review is reporting that the Pirates have cut 11 players. Rajai Davis was sent to AAA. He was batting less than .150. Altoona will be receiving pitchers Dave Davidson, Romulo Sanchez and Josh Shortslef and position players Nyjer Morgan and Javier Guzman. Several non-roster invitees were also reassigned. They include Allan Simpson and Franquelis Osoria (both pitchers), Carlos Maldonado (backstop), Eddy Garabito (infielder) and...
A new face to the Pirates’ system:
born: 2/15/80�� Butler, Pennsylvania
Ht: 6′ 4″���� Wt: 190 lb��������� B: Left��� T:� Right
Kelly is a Pittsburgh area native who attended Mount Lebanon High School and Point Park College (in downtown Pittsburgh).� He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2001, and progressed steadily up through their system.� He was a Florida State League All-Star in 2003, with a .317 AVG and 38 RBI for Lakeland (A+).� His 2004 season was cut short due to a shoulder injury after playing only 28 games for Erie (AA).� He was�again named to the All-Star team in 2005, this time�for the Eastern League, hitting .340 with 54 RBI for Erie.� He finished the 2005 season with Toledo (AAA), hitting .250 in 43 games.� In Erie,�Kelly played more third base than shortstop, though in Toledo he played shortstop in 34 of those 43 games.� �
Kelly started the 2006 season with Toledo, though he struggled at the plate and in the field, hitting .228 with 19 RBI, and making 12 errors.� He ran reasonable well, stealing 18 bases.� On July 4,�Kelly was reassigned to Erie, where things went better for him.� He hit for a .275 AVG and 24 RBI to finish out the season with Erie.�
Kelly�became a minor league free agent in the off season and jumped at the chance to sign with his hometown�Pirates.� It is also a family affair — his brother-in-law (wife’s brother) is Neil Walker, the Pirates’ catcher/third�base prospect.� Kelly has done well in spring training.� He has played second base, third base, and shortstop, and has done well at all positions.� He is hitting .296, with 3 RBI.� He is expected to hit well for average but not for much power, and has the speed to steal more than a few bases.� His fielding needs to continue to improve, but he has the advantage of being able to play all the infield positions if necessary.� He is expected to begin the 2007 in Indianapolis.�
�OTHER SPRING TRAINING NOTES:
Brian Bixler continues to hit well, going 1 for 2 yesterday, for a .450 AVG.� It would be interesting to have Bixler and Kelly together in Indy.
Brad Eldred is surprising many people at how well he is doing with his transformation into an outfielder.� He has not yet had to chase down any wild fly balls, but he is making the routine ones look fairly routine.� And, he has continued to hit, going 3 for 4 with two doubles on Saturday, though 0 for 2 yesterday, for a .478 AVG.� He might force�the Pirates’ management to have to make a difficult decision:� Keep him on the Pirates’ bench to keep his bat?� Send him to Indy to learn more about playing the outfield and continue to work on�plate discipline?
Sean Burnett pitched 3 innings on Friday, giving up one hit, two walks,�and one unearned run.� He has�not given up an earned run in any of his Grapefruit League appearances.�
The Pirates announced more roster reassignments today.� According to the�mlb webcast, these are the players who were sent to the Minor League camp:� Dave Davidson RHP,�Romulo Sanchez LHP, Josh Shortslef LHP, Allan Simpson RHP,�Franquelis Osario RHP, Carlos Maldonado C, Javier Guzman INF, Eddy Garabito INF,�Vic Buttler OF, Nyjer Morgan OF, Rajai Davis OF.�� The Indians’ begin playing spring training games later this week.
Pirates.com recap here; nothing available at the P-G yet. Cincinnati 9, Pirates 8. Tom Gorzelanny, Marty McLeary, Josh Shortslef and John Grabow threw for the Bucs, and all struggled. No walks for Tom this time out, but he did allow six hits in three innings. To his credit, he also struck out four. Jason Bay finally made an appearance in left field, so it’s safe to assume that his knee’s okay. He went 1 for 3 at the plate...
A pitcher who�had a short taste of the Pirates’ at the end of last season….
born: 10/11/1979� in New Iberia, Louisiana
ht: 6′ 4″���� wt: 220 lb
B: Left���� T: Left
Shane Youman (pronounced YOU-min) was first selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1997 draft, but elected not to sign.� Instead, he went to college at Louisiana State University, and played with the LSU Tigers in the 2000 College World Series.� In 2001 he was drafted again, this time by the Pirates.� In his first three years in the Pirates’ minor league system, in Williamsport, Hickory, and Lynchburg, Youman was almost exclusively a relief pitcher, making only one start, but earning 19 saves, with 12 of those coming at Hickory in 2003.� In 2005 with Altoona, he was also primarily a reliever, earning a 4.46 ERA in 39 relief appearances.� He also started 5 games towards the end of the season, winning 4 of the games (no losses) with a 2.54 ERA.� He finished the year with 101.0 innings pitched, 3.92 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 48 walks, and 77� strikeouts.
Youman started the 2006 season again in the Altoona bullpen.� After 7 outings, he had pitched 22.2 innings, with a 1.59 ERA, 3 walks, and 10 strikeouts.� He was called up to Indianapolis on May 11th, to make a spot appearance in relief.� He pitched two innings and gave up 4 runs.� He returned to Altoona and made his first start with�the Curve on May 16th.� He made a total of 11 starts for the rest of his time with Altoona, and won his last 7 decisions, for a record of 7 wins and 2 losses.� He was named to the Eastern League’s Southern Division All-Star team, and was the starting pitcher for the Southern Division.� He pitched the first inning of the All-Star game, retiring the side in order, including two strikeouts.���Youman returned to Indianapolis on July 31st, where he made 7 more appearances, all starts.� He finished with 4 wins and no losses, and a 4.46 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 42.1 innings, with 10 walks and 19 strikeouts.
�Youman was promoted to the Pirates at the end of Indianapolis’s season, and made his MLB debut on Sept 10th.� He pitched five shutout innings, scattering three hits (one was a double) and three walks.� In the bottom of the 6th, though, he started off the inning by giving up a four-pitch walk followed by two singles and a sacrifice fly, and he was removed.� A subsequent single meant that Youman was charged with three earned runs and the loss.� He made two more starts and two relief appearances for the Pirates, finishing with no wins and 2 losses, for a 2.91 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 21.2 innings, with 10 walks and 5 strikeouts.� He also hit a bit: 3 hits in 7 AB’s, for a .429 AVG, with one RBI.� Youman also pitched for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, but only appeared in two games, both starts and both for losses, giving up 8 earned runs in only 3 innings.�
In spring training so far, Youman has appeared�in two Grapefruit League games for�the Pirates.� He has pitched 5 innings and given up 4 hits but no earned�runs, with two strikeouts.� He is still very much in contention for a spot on the Pirates’ Opening Day roster.� It could be either as a starter or a reliever –and Youman doesn’t care, as long as he’s there.� If not, then he’ll be back at Indianapolis, but probably not for long.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Youman yesterday:� http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07069/768354-63.stm�.���Apparently Youman can cook too!
Bucs lost to the Evil Empire today, 5-3, at McKechnie Field. Pirates.com has a recap here. Dejan’s on vacation from the P-G for a couple of weeks, so their coverage is lagging behind a bit. Paul Maholm got the start and went three innings. Not brilliant work, but acceptable for his first true competition of the spring (although he did pitch in a shortened “B” game against Cincinnati last week). Ian Snell, Josh...
Entering Spring Training, I thought these issues were important. Let’s get a status report after ten official games (and one slaughtering of the Manatee Lancers). 1. Can Adam LaRoche hit left-handed pitching? Like it or not, a manager bound for Cooperstown thought it best to sit Adam down against southpaws for the majority of 2006. The Pirates acquired Lefty McThump to be their everyday first baseman; if he struggles, though, it...