Pirates Prospects » World Baseball Classic http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:24:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 WBC Notes: Rodriguez Throws Six Shutout Innings http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-wandy-throws-six-shutout-innings.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-wandy-throws-six-shutout-innings.html#comments Sat, 16 Mar 2013 22:21:29 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=48179 Wandy Rodriguez made his final appearance in the World Baseball Classic, the final game for any Pittsburgh Pirates player, and he made it count. He shut down Team Puerto Rico for six innings today, en route to a 2-0 win for Team Dominican. Rodriguez got up to 74 pitches, throwing 49 of them for strikes, in a game that decided seeding for the WBC Finals. Wandy Rodriguez 2

Rodriguez allowed just four base runners all game, two walks and two hits. He also struck out four batters. His day started with a six pitch walk to Angel Pagan, who was quickly erased on a double play. The second inning started much the same way, though it took Rodriguez only four pitches to walk the clean-up hitter, Mike Aviles. He again quickly got out of trouble with a double play. Through two innings, he had faced the minimum.

In the third inning, the leadoff hitter again got aboard, this time via single from former Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Carlos Rivera. Irving Falu came in as a pinch-runner for Rivera and stole second, then went to third on the throw.  Rodriguez then recorded the next three outs on strike out, force out at home plate and a fly out to right field.

In the fourth, Rodriguez gave up a lead-off double to Luis Figueroa. He then struck out Carlos Beltran, got Aviles on a fly ball and struck out Alex Rios to end the inning. Rodriguez retired the final six batters in order, needing 20 pitches to get through the final two innings.

In was a strong start by the Pirates lefty, who got through without a run despite putting the lead-off batter on in each of the first four innings. Despite that fact, and also the fact he is still in Spring Training, he retired the last nine batters he faced and worked into the sixth for the first time.

What’s Left

There are no more Pirates players left playing in the tournament. The rest of the WBC Schedule is as follows:

Sunday 9 PM EST Puerto Rico vs Japan

Monday 9 PM Netherlands vs Dominican Republic

Tuesday 8 PM Championship game

All games will be played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The Championship game will feature the winners of Sunday’s and Monday’s games.

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Neal Huntington Reacts to Jameson Taillon’s WBC Start http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/neal-huntington-reacts-to-jameson-taillons-wbc-start.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/neal-huntington-reacts-to-jameson-taillons-wbc-start.html#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 21:01:49 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47818 Jameson Taillon pitched four innings in the WBC, giving up one earned run and striking out three.

Jameson Taillon pitched four innings in the WBC, giving up one earned run and striking out three.

On Sunday, top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon made a start for Team Canada against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander went four innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits, with a walk and three strikeouts. One of those strikeouts came against Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun. A recap of Taillon’s start can be found here.

I talked with Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington today to get his reaction to the outing.

“Obviously a great experience for the young man,” Huntington said. “He showed poise, he showed composure, he showed quality stuff. He showed up pretty well. He showed the hard velocity. Showed the power breaking balls. Mixed in a few changeups, but more than anything else he showed composure. Left the ball up some, but made some very, very good pitches. Especially that at-bat to [Ryan] Braun was a lot of fun to watch. And the 3-1 breaking balls. Foul off on a 3-2 fastball, and then to go get the 3-2 breaking ball for a taken strikeout on a hitter like that. Some good things to take away, some things to learn as well. But overall a great outing for Jameson.”

As for that Braun at-bat, that’s probably something the Pirates want to see more of in the future.

“Hopefully for years to come,” Huntington said with a laugh. “We’ll take that type of matchup, and that type of outcome everyday.”

Last year Taillon had an up and down year. He finished up strong in his final starts in Bradenton, then had three strong outings in Altoona. It would be good to see Taillon carry his strong finish over to the 2013 season, and this outing was encouraging from that standpoint. Huntington spoke about the troubles last year, based on what he saw throughout the year

“We want guys to have adversity before they get to the big leagues, and the first time a guy experiences adversity at the major league level, it’s a lot harder to power through, a lot harder to learn from, and a lot harder to bounce back from,” Huntington said. “For Jameson he had that six, seven start stretch last year. I actually saw one of them where he gave up a six spot, but five of those shouldn’t have been scored. Whether we didn’t make a play behind him, and then later on after we had given him five outs and then he made a mistake and it turned into a multi-run outing.”

The right-hander will most likely start the 2013 season with Altoona. He’s got the stuff to speed through to the majors, although that’s not as easy as it sounds.

“We’ve got some work left to do,” Huntington said. “We’ve got to refine the mechanics and make him more consistent. Refine the consistency and the command, and the consistency of the stuff. But he certainly shows you all of those things that make you optimistic for the future.”

Last week I wrote about Taillon, looking at his consistency, his stuff, and how the 2013 season could be the year he’s unleashed.

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WBC Notes: Rodriguez Starts, USA Wins http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-rodriguez-starts-usa-wins.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-rodriguez-starts-usa-wins.html#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 03:59:01 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47808 Wandy Rodriguez got his first start of the World Baseball Classic and pitched well through 3.1 innings, before being taken out due to his pitch count. Rodriguez battled in the first innings, having seven pitch AB’s against both Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran. He threw a total of 21 pitches, allowing just an infield single to the Royals Irving Falu. Wandy Rodriguez

In the second inning, Rodriguez allowed a single to Mike Aviles to lead off the inning. He then struck out two batters in a row, before getting a deep fly out to right field to end the inning. He needed 16 pitches to get out of the second.

In the third inning, the Pirates left-hander threw 16 pitches to the three batters he faced. With one out, he walked Angel Pagan on seven pitches, but got Falu to hit into an inning-ending double play.

With 53 pitches already, Rodriguez was able to face two batters in the fourth inning before being pulled. Like all other pitchers in the first round of the WBC, he was limited to 65 pitches. Rodriguez gave up a single to Alex Rios, then got a ground out from Beltran that advanced Rios to second base. He was replaced on the mound by Lorenzo Barcelo, who served up a first pitch homer to Aviles, closing the line on Rodriguez. In 3.1 innings, he allowed one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out two batters. Rodriguez threw 61 pitches total, 37 for strikes.

Team Dominican ended up winning the game 4-2, giving them the top seed in their pool. In the other pool, Team Canada and Team USA squared off in a “win or go home” game and Team USA pulled out a come-from-behind 9-4 win. Jameson Taillon made the start for Canada and allowed two runs(one earned) over four innings. His recap can be read here. The game was even more important for Team USA, who would’ve had to go through the qualifying tournament for the 2017 WBC if they lost. Instead of finishing fourth in the pool, the win gave them to top spot over Italy, whom they beat Saturday.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

With Canada eliminated, that leaves just two Pirates players still in the tournament, Jason Grilli and Wandy Rodriguez. Italy and the Dominican Republic will face off Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park. Team USA will take out Puerto Rico that night. The next day will feature the loser of each of those games, facing off against each other, with the loser of that game going home. The winning teams from Tuesday, will then play each other Thursday. If he stayed on his normal schedule, Rodriguez would pitch Friday, which would be a win or go home game. There is no guarantee that the Dominicans will still be alive in the tournament that day. If they lose twice before hand, they will be eliminated. If they win both games, they won’t play until Saturday.

In the other bracket, Cuba and the Netherlands will play a game Monday(6 AM EST/ 7 PM local time) and that game is a win or go home game as well. The winner will advance to the finals, but first they have to face Japan to see who will get the better seed. Netherlands beat Cuba 6-2 on Friday, so to get to the finals they have to pull a second upset over one of the favorites in the tournament.

 

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WBC Notes: Taillon Looks Good Against Team USA http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-taillon-looks-good-against-team-usa.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-taillon-looks-good-against-team-usa.html#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2013 21:21:08 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47771 Jameson Taillon got the start for Team Canada against Team USA in a crucial game. He was on a 65 pitch limit due to WBC restrictions on each pitcher. The winner of this game advances to the second round, the loser goes home. Taillon started the first inning with a ground out from Jimmy Rollins. He was throwing 95 MPH early, throwing mostly fastballs as the shadows in front of home plate gave the pitchers a huge advantage. Taillon got a quick fly out from Brandon Phillips for the second out before allowing a first-pitch single to Ryan Braun, who then stole second with Joe Mauer up. Taillon got a hard grounder to 2B from Mauer to end the inning, using 13 pitches to get through one.  Jameson Taillon 3

In the second inning, Taillon gave up a lead-off double to David Wright. He had a little bad luck on the next batter, getting a high infield pop up that was dropped by third baseman Taylor Green. The runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Adam Jones. Eric Hosmer grounded out to third base for the second out, which was David Wright at home plate. Taillon got out of the inning with no runs allowed after another ground out from Shane Victorino. He needed just 11 pitches in the second, the last one hit 96 MPH on the radar gun.

Looking good on his pitch count after two, Taillon came out for the third with a 2-0 lead. Facing Jimmy Rollins again, on three pitches, he recorded his first strikeout. Taillon then retired Brandon Phillips on a one-pitch ground out. He got through the inning facing the minimum, striking out Ryan Braun looking on a nasty 3-2 curveball. He used 11 pitches again and looked real good battling back from a 3-0 count to Braun.

In the fourth inning, Taillon allowed a hard single to right field by Joe Mauer to lead off the inning. David Wright then drew a walk on six pitches. The US got on the board on the next play as Ben Zobist laid down a sac bunt that was thrown away by Taylor Green. It put runners on the corners with no outs and Adam Jones up, who then tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Eric Hosmer lined out to left field for the second out. Taillon struck out Shane Victorino to end the inning, using 17 pitches total, 52 for the game. Zobrist, Jones and Hosmer each saw one pitch in their AB.

Taillon’s final line was four innings, one earned run, four hits, one walk and he struck out three batters. He threw 34 of those 52 pitches for strikes and had an effective curveball working all game. He was sitting 93-95 MPH early, hitting 96 and in the fourth inning, he was sitting 92-94 MPH.

Results from this game, along with notes on Wandy Rodriguez’s start for the Dominican Republic, will be posted tonight.

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WBC Notes: Leroux Gets The Start For Canada http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-leroux-gets-the-start-for-canada.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-leroux-gets-the-start-for-canada.html#comments Sun, 10 Mar 2013 05:32:11 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47672 Chris Leroux got the start in game two for Canada today. In the bottom of the first inning, with Canada already up 4-0, he threw 27 pitches, sitting 92-93 MPH with his fastball, hitting 94 once. He struck out one, but gave up two singles and a run that scored due to an error on an infielder grounder. Leroux settled down in the second inning, retiring the side in order by picking up two strikeouts and a groundball to second base. He needed 13 pitches to get through the second, 11 were strikes and again he hit 94 MPH on the radar gun. Chris Leroux 2

In the third inning, with 25 pitches left before he reached the WBC first round pitch limit, Leroux retired the lead-off hitter on six pitches, getting a soft fly to center field. It took Leroux six pitches to get the second out, inducing an infield pop up from Ramiro Pena. He then struck out former Pirates infielder Luis Cruz on five pitches, but Cruz reached first on a wild pitch. That brought up Adrian Gonzalez, who drew a walk. Facing his last batter, with just three pitches left, Leroux got Jorge Cantu to groundout to end the third inning. In the inning, 15 of his 24 pitches were off-speed pitches. He finished with one unearned run on two hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

Canada ended up winning 10-3, keeping their hopes alive to advance to the next round. Leroux had stated prior to the game that he was making just one start, even if Canada advanced to the second round.

Jason Grilli picked up a big save for Team Italy, during their upset win over Mexico on Thursday night. Italy scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-5 lead, bringing in Grilli to close it out. It wasn’t easy for him, he needed 34 pitches and got the final out in dramatic fashion. With the bases loaded and a 3-2 count, Grilli got a groundball from Jorge Cantu to finish it. With the win by Canada today, Italy advanced to the second round of the WBC.

Wandy Rodriguez was originally scheduled to go for the Dominican Republic today against Spain, but his start was pushed back to Sunday, so he could face the tougher Puerto Rico team. The Dominicans won today, pushing their record to 2-0, which advances them to the second round along with Puerto Rico. Tomorrow’s game will be determine which team has the better seeding in round two.

Jameson Taillon will be starting for Team Canada at 4 PM Sunday against Team USA in a very important game. The game is a must win for both teams, thanks to the USA win over Italy tonight. The winner of this game will advance to the second round along with Italy.

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Taillon Looks Good Early In WBC Tune-Up Game http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/taillon-looks-good-early-in-wbc-tune-up-game.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/taillon-looks-good-early-in-wbc-tune-up-game.html#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 03:17:54 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47559 Jameson Taillon and Team Canada took on the Milwaukee Brewers today in a tune-up game for the World Baseball Classic. Taillon started the game, and looked good early, but couldn’t make it through three full innings. He final line was 2.2 IP, allowing two runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out two hitters.

Through two innings, facing a lineup that included Rickie Weeks, Carlos Gomez and Norichika Aoki, Taillon didn’t allow a hit. He also recorded two outs in the third inning before giving up four straight hits which finished his day. Canada ended up winning the game 7-4.

After the game, Taillon told reporters that “It obviously wasn’t my best outing. I would’ve liked to get better results, but as far as getting out there, getting to my pitch count, almost getting through three, that is big.”

Taillon will start on Sunday afternoon against Team USA. He will be on a 65 pitch count limit, which will increase to 80 if Canada advances to the second round.

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WBC Notes: Another Player Out For Pirates http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-another-player-out-for-pirates.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-another-player-out-for-pirates.html#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 14:19:34 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47480 The Pittsburgh Pirates had their third player drop out of the World Baseball Classic since the provisional rosters were announced. First Ivan De Jesus Jr dropped out so he could concentrate on making the Opening Day roster, then Russell Martin bowed out, saying he wasn’t ready to catch nine innings this early in Spring. Martin came up with right shoulder soreness shortly afterwards, leaving the Pirates down a catcher in Spring. They lost another catcher on Saturday, after Ali Solis suffered back spasms during the Pirates games versus the Detroit Tigers. Solis was supposed to leave for Team Mexico this week and get time as their starting catcher. He played a full season of Winter ball, so he was in good enough shape to catch full-time in the tournament until this injury.

Another Pirates player could be making his way to Bradenton soon from the WBC. Stefan Welch and Team Australia are on the verge of being eliminated from the tournament. They lost their opening game 4-1 to Chinese Taipei, then dropped their second game to Korea this morning by a 6-0 score. Welch went 1-for-3, with a double and a walk. His homer in game one has been the only run scored by Team Australia so far. They play the Netherlands tonight at 11:30 PM EST in a must-win game for a shot at moving forward. Chinese Taipei has already won two games, so they will likely advance to the next round, while both Korea and Netherlands now have a win each. The only way Australia can make it further now, is if they win big tonight and hope Korea loses big to Chinese Taipei in the last game. There is a tie-breaker systems based on runs scored/allowed in case of a tie.

Chris Leroux told MLB.com’s Tom Singer that he will join Team Canada late and make just one start, even if they advance past the first round of play. Leroux will stay with the Pirates until Wednesday so he gets another chance to throw for the team before leaving. He will then make his start against Team Mexico on Saturday night, then rejoin the Pirates.

Three other Pirates will remain with their WBC squads. Jameson Taillon will start on Sunday for Team Canada against Team USA. Wandy Rodriguez will start for the Dominican team and closer Jason Grilli will pitch for Team Italy.

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WBC Notes: Welch Homers In Opener http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-welch-homers-in-opener.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/wbc-notes-welch-homers-in-opener.html#comments Sat, 02 Mar 2013 16:48:02 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47383 The World Baseball Classic began last night and Pittsburgh Pirates minor league third baseman Stefan Welch provided Australia’s only run with a seventh inning solo homer. Australia was shut down for the first six innings by free agent Chein-Ming Wang. Welch finished the day 1-for-3, as Australia dropped their opener 4-1 to Chinese Taipei.

Welch homered in the WBC opener

Welch homered in the WBC opener

Since the initial rosters were announced, both Ivan De Jesus Jr and Russell Martin have dropped out of the tournament, leaving the Pirates with six players still in the Classic. De Jesus withdrew because he wanted to concentrate on trying to make the Pirates Opening Day roster, while Martin initially pulled out due to the fact he wanted to play shortstop, citing that he wasn’t ready to catch all nine innings of the game this early in Spring. He has since had a sore right shoulder that has kept him out of the lineup until today, when he will DH, so he would’ve likely missed the WBC anyway.

Chris Leroux will start for Team Canada. The rotation hasn’t been decided yet, but along with fellow starters Shawn Hill and Scott Mathieson, he will start one of the three first round games. Jameson Taillon will pitch out of the pen in the first round.

Pitchers in the WBC first round have a 65 pitch limit, down from 70 last time. The pitch count increases each round, up to 80 in round two and 95 in the final round.

Upcoming Schedule

Team Australia (Welch) next play Korea at 6:30 PM local time on Monday night, which is 5:30 AM Eastern Standard Time. They then take on Netherlands 18 hours later at 11:30 PM EST Monday.

Team Mexico (Ali Solis) plays their first game against Team Italy(Jason Grilli) on Thursday at 3:00 PM EST.

Team Canada (Taillon, Leroux) opens up their schedule Friday at 2:30 PM EST against Team Italy.

Team Dominican (Wandy Rodriguez) takes on Venezuela Thursday night at 6:30 PM EST.

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WBC Final Rosters Out: De Jesus Withdraws http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/wbc-final-rosters-out-de-jesus-withdraws.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02/wbc-final-rosters-out-de-jesus-withdraws.html#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 01:57:21 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=47089 According to Rob Biertempfel on Twitter, the final rosters have been released for the 2013 World Baseball Classic and the only change among Pittsburgh Pirates players is Ivan De Jesus Jr withdrawing from Team Puerto Rico. Biertempfel says that De Jesus withdrew to stay in camp to compete for a major league job.

The final rosters include Jameson Taillon, Russell Martin  and Chris Leroux for Team Canada. Wandy Rodriguez is scheduled to start for the Dominican team. Pirates closer Jason Grilli will play for Team Italy. Third baseman Stefan Welch will play for Australia, and catcher Ali Solis will player for Team Mexico.

Pool D of the first round of the WBC features three teams with Pirates players. Italy and Mexico face off on March 7th. Team Canada starts their schedule the next day against Italy, while that game will be followed by the first game from Team USA.

Team Australia is in Pool B and they begin play on March 2nd.

The Dominican Republic is in Pool C and their games start on March 7th.

There is word that Jameson Taillon will possibly start against Team USA on March 10th. He is schedule to throw his first game this Spring Training tomorrow, going up against another top prospect, Gerrit Cole. The noon game is an intrasquad contest at McKechnie Field and both top prospects are scheduled to pitch two innings. Taillon will then leave a few days later to join Team Canada.

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