Pirates Notebook: Kyle McPherson Slated to Begin in Triple-A

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. –Right-hander Kyle McPherson had a huge 2011 season in the minor leagues with a list of accomplishments to prove it. The 24 year old right hander was named the Pirates Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year as well as being named the Double-A Altoona Curve Pitcher of the Year. McPherson went a combined 12-6 with a 2.96 ERA with 142 strikeouts in 28 starts between High-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona in 2011. The...

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Pirates Flash Possible Opening Day Lineup Vs. Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The lineup that Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle sent out against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park could look similar to what you might see come Opening Day at PNC Park on April 5. Alex Presley, Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen filled out the top speedy three of the order. Follow that with second baseman Neil Walker batting cleanup, Garrett Jones playing first base, Rod Barajas behind home plate,...

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A 31st Round Draft Pick Turning in to a Prospect

I first saw 2010 31st round pick Jason Townsend in State College at the end of the 2010 season. The right-hander was making one of his final appearances in a year where he would combine for a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings. My recap of Townsend’s performance that night was brief. “Jason Townsend pitched the ninth inning and was wild, throwing 31 pitches in total, and walking the bases loaded.  Townsend got out of the inning...

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Burnett Returns to Florida to Begin Next Step

BRADENTON, Fla. — Right-hander A.J. Burnett returned to Florida on Saturday to the Pirates spring training clubhouse at McKechnie Field. There he was greeted by his teammates just eight days after undergoing right eye surgery in Pittsburgh. “We’re happy to have him back,”  Bucs Manager Clint Hurdle said. “Everything is moving as well as we could hope for it to. The guys were very respective when he showed up in...

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Michael McKenry Entering the Season as the Backup Catcher

BRADENTON, Fla. — When catcher Michael McKenry headed south for spring training this year, he was in a much different situation than the year prior. McKenry attended camp with the Colorado Rockies to start the spring of 2011 before he was traded to the Red Sox at the end of March. This year, however, McKenry looks to be the lock as the Pirates backup catcher and said this spring training feels different. “I think as the...

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Hurdle: It’s on Everybody to be a Better Base Runner

BRADENTON, Fla. — During the Pirates 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins at McKechnie Field on Saturday, speedy outfielder Nate McLouth was caught attempting to swipe two bases. So far this spring McLouth is 0-for-3 in stolen base attempts, but Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle wants his players to continue to be aggressive on the bases. “One time he was safe,” Hurdle said. “That’s two butchered calls on Nate McLouth in...

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