Prospect Notebook: Strickland Very Efficient, Kingham Hits 95 Again

Hunter Strickland made a start today at Pirate City, continuing his recovery from an arm injury which caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. Strickland went five innings, and threw 55 pitches, with 43 for strikes. He was very efficient, which was the cause for the low pitch count. In his five innings, Strickland gave up two runs on five hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. He was pounding the strike zone, throwing 43 of his 55...

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Hague Hits Team-Leading Fifth Homer in Bucs Tie to Rays

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays ended in a 3-3 tie at McKechnie Field in Bradenton on Friday afternoon. Left-hander Tony Watson got the “start” for the Pirates against the Rays on Friday at McKechnie Field. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle elected to go with all bullpen arms to get their regular work in while the starters are starting to pitch deeper into games. It marked Watson’s eighth...

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Pirates Notebook: With Morton on DL, Roster Decisions Loom

BRADENTON, Fla. — After placing right-hander Charlie Morton on the disabled list to start the 2012 season, Huntington said the decision to carry an extra bench player, rather than an arm, is still in discussion. Instead of carrying 12 pitchers, the Pirates could decide to use 11 arms (four starters and seven relievers) and 14 position players to help the club during their tough month of April. “That is an option,” Huntington...

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Prospect Notebook: Cole Goes Five Innings, Hafner’s Spring Debut

Right handed pitcher Gerrit Cole pitched five innings today at Pirate City, going up against the Philadelphia Phillies’ A-ball team. Cole gave up just one run on five hits, with the run coming in the first inning. The top prospect didn’t issue a walk and struck out three. Cole threw 65 pitches, with 45 going for strikes. His fastball speed ranged from 91-98, with his two-seam fastball being responsible for the lower half...

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Reviewing the Progress of the 2009 Prep Pitchers

My process for evaluating players out of high school is simple. I don’t really start grading players heavily until what would have been their junior year of college. There are exceptions to this rule, such as the obvious highly touted Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell type players. But for the most part, I don’t like penalizing a player because he turned pro out of high school and struggled his first two years, rather than...

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McDonald Struggles with Command in Loss to Twins

BRADENTON, Fla. — Right-hander James McDonald’s last trip to the mound on Saturday against the Houston Astros was impressive. McDonald tossed 5.1 of hitless ball, and overall allowed just one run on two hits over 7.0 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three while throwing 75 pitches. McDonald fared much differently in his fifth start during Grapefruit League action of the spring on Thursday afternoon at...

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