Spring Training Game 9: Bucs/Rays Recap

No coverage for this one, so we’ll go by the recaps:  Dejan here and Pirates.com (including a box score) here. Shane Youman has, as Dejan put it, quietly been making a bid for meaningful innings in 2007.  Three scoreless today.  The Pirates’ pitchers you should care about (Youman, Torres, Chavez, Rogers) shut out Tampa Bay.  John Wasdin and Allan Simpson each allowed one run, but they’re bound for Triple A no matter...

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Stat Rat Trivia

More trivia questions, this time not just for the Indians.� No cheating!
For each of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2006:
1. Which player had the most home runs?
2. Which player had the most RBI?
3. Which pitcher gave up the most home runs?
Answers later today, or maybe tomorrow.
Go Tribe!

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Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable #21

Question #1: Which move would mean more to the Pirates: Mark Cuban’s replacing the current ownership group (and upping the payroll to $80-100 million for the long term) or Doug Melvin’s replacing Dave Littlefield (and operating on the same $50-60m payroll consistently)? Tony from Pittsburgh Lumber Co.: It’s gotta be Cuban. I don’t care if you’re the best GM in the history of baseball, having the payroll...

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Gerut Gone; Eldred in the Outfield

The Post-Gazette has reported that the Bucs have cut Jody Gerut. That’s no surprise at all. Of more importance is that Dave Littlefield confirmed that Brad Eldred will start seeing time in the outfield, probably not in actual Spring Training games right away. To quote a former colleague of mine: I sense danger. I mentioned in a previous post that I figured that Eldred would be as comfortable in the outfield as Greg Luzinski. I...

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Rajai Davis, speed demon

Another outfielder who could be with the Indianapolis Indians for 2007, and a fan favorite from last season….
RAJAI DAVIS
outfielder
born: 10/19/1980� in Norwich, Connecticut
ht: 5′ 11″���� wt: 197 lb������� B: Right�� T: Right
Rajai Davis (pronounced Rah -jay) was drafted by the Pirates in 2001.� He has moved up through the Pirates’ minor league system, collecting All-Star honors along the way for his hitting and baserunning: Gulf Coast League in 2002, South Atlantic League in 2003, Carolina League in 2004, and�Eastern League in 2005.� In 2005 for Altoona, Davis had another solid year, hitting for a .281 AVG�while stealing 45 bases to tie for the league lead.� His season ended early, when�his hand was fractured by being hit by a pitched ball.
Davis spent most of 2006 in Indianapolis, where he led off the batting order in 78 of the 92 games he started (he batted second in the order in the rest).� He batted for a .283 AVG, while stealing 45 bases, second highest in the International League.� He also led the league in fielding percentages for an outfielder, with .991.� In July, Davis hit for a .441 AVG, despite being on the DL for a week with a broken finger.� On August 14th, he was called up to the Pirates, where he appeared in 20 games, mostly as a pinch hitter,� getting 2 hits in 14 AB’s.� In the at bat in the photo above, he put down a successful sacrifice bunt.� Davis played winter ball for les Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, appearing in 15 games, for a .227 AVG in 66 AB’s, with 6 stolen bases.�
Thus far in spring training as a member of the Pirates’ 40-man roster, Davis has not had much chance to show off his speed.� He got two hits and one stolen base in the Pirates’ first Grapefruit League game, but has had no hits since then.�� He is expected to return to Indianapolis this year, where his speed will be a welcome addition to the team.
OTHER NOTES:
Brad Eldred�hit another home run in yesterday’s game — straight to centerfield, and with the wind blowing in — but “only” hit a single today.
Michael Ryan hit a double and a single, with three RBI in today’s game.�
Go� Tribe!

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The Team that Changed Baseball by Bruce Markusen

One of the seven deadly sins is envy. And I have it for Bruce Markusen who gets to live in Cooperstown and write about baseball for a living. Okay, I wouldn’t want to live in Upstate New York during the winter as I don’t enjoy that much snow. Markusen has previously written a biography of Roberto Clemente that I thought was well done and I rank as the second best Clemente biography behind the recent effort by David...

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