2011 Spring Training Battles: Bench

Every year the battles in Spring Training are pretty much limited to the same three areas: the 5th starter role, the bullpen, and the bench.  It only makes sense that this would be the case.  These are the least important spots on the team.  You don’t want to decide the important spots based on a limited amount of playing time against various levels of competition in Spring Training games.  But for the lesser roles, it’s...

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Oakland Signs Andy LaRoche

Andy LaRoche has found a new home, signing a minor league deal today with the Oakland Athletics.  LaRoche will receive an invite to Spring Training.  The addition for Oakland isn’t a surprise.  A year ago we heard rumors that Oakland tried to trade for LaRoche, only for the Pirates to ask for pitcher Gio Gonzalez and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. LaRoche showed some promise in 2009.  His hitting wasn’t really anything to write...

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The 2011 Indianapolis Infield

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates added Josh Fields on a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.  The deal is a smart move to make, as Fields will most likely compete with Andy Marte for a backup corner infield role.  Regardless of which player wins, the role isn’t that important, and I’d much rather see someone like Marte or Fields get the job, with the remote chance that they could finally put things...

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Pirates Winter League Recap: 11/28-12/4

The stats pages for the winter leagues have been updated.  Click on the league name to see all of the stats.  Here are the key performers from the past week: Venezuelan Winter League -Ronny Cedeno: 5-for-13, 1 2B, 2 SB -Anthony Claggett: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K -Fernando Nieve was added to the tracker.  So far this season he has a 3.20 ERA in 19 innings, with a 14:3 K/BB ratio. Dominican Winter League -Michael Dubee: 4 IP, 3 H, 0...

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Pirates Sign Andy Marte and Two Others

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed three players to minor league free agent deals today.  Those players are third baseman Andy Marte, right handed pitcher Fernando Nieve, and catcher Dusty Brown. Marte, who turned 27 in October, is a very similar story to Andy LaRoche.  He was one of the top prospects in the game at one time, ranking 11th in the majors in 2004, 9th in 2005, and 14th in 2006.  So far, Marte has combined for a .218/.277/.358...

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