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...

Read More

Pirates Sign Kawika Emsley-Pai

I’ve been meaning to post this minor news for the last few days, but kept putting it on the back burner. The Pirates signed minor league catcher Kawika Emsley-Pai to a minor league deal on Thursday. Emsley-Pai was drafted in the tenth round of the 2010 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but was released in December. He hit for a .167/.265/.200 line in 90 at-bats in short season A-ball. As Colin Dunlap points out, the Arizona...

Read More

Spring Training Battles: Backup Catcher

After the breakout season Ryan Doumit had last year, and after Doumit’s extension this off-season, the starting catcher position is locked up for the next three to five years. That still leaves a battle for the backup position, mostly between two players the Pirates have brought in from other organizations in the last year. While the Pirates currently have four catchers remaining in camp, Jason Jaramillo and Robinzon Diaz are...

Read More