The Pirates moved six pitchers and one catcher to minor league camp today. �Jeff Karstens, who had been a starter for the Pirates in 2009 but was removed from the 40-man roster after the season, could be either a starter or a long reliever in Indianapolis to begin 2010. �Relievers Brian Bass, Anthony Claggett, Vinnie Chulk, Steven Jackson, and Jeremy Powell were all sent to Indianapolis. �Powell pitched for the Indians in 2009, and signed a minor league contract for 2010. �Bass and Chulk also were signed as free agents over the winter. �Also sent to Indy was another free agent, catcher Luke Carlin, who will likely play a back-up role for the Indians.
That leaves the Pirates with relievers DJ Carrasco and Jack Taschner. Neither of them are on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, so two roster moves will have to be made to accommodate them. �There are a few more players and positions who remain in question. �Infielder Ramon Vasquez seems to have lost out to a group of other infielders (Aki Iwamura, Delwyn Young, Bobby Crosby, and Ronny Cedeno) and the Pirates are trying to trade him before they have to just release him. �A decision has to be made between the two prospective back-up catchers Erik Kratz and Jason Jaramillo. The Pirates have to determine whether or not they will keep Rule 5 outfielder John Raynor. �Steve Pearce might also be optioned back to the Indians, since he has an option left and is being squeezed out by Jeff Clement at first and a host of outfielders. �Then, the Pirates just picked up reliever Hayden Penn yesterday and have promised to give him a good look before making a decision.
In today’s Grapefruit League action: � �Twins 4, �Pirates 1 �(box)
Apparently the Pirates used up all of their extra bat-power in yesterday’s 15-hit attack. �Today at Fort Myers, they managed only 4 hits and one run in the loss to the Twins. �A host of minor leaguers got a chance to have some fun with the big leaguers today, but they were no match for Twins’ starter Francisco Liriano, who allowed just 3 hits and 3 walks in 6 scoreless innings. �In fact, the Pirates didn’t have a hit until the 5th inning, when LF Robbie Grossman singled. �SS Bobby Crosby and C Jason Jaramillo also singled. �The Pirates’ only run came in the 9th inning, when 2B Shelby Ford tripled, then scored on C Erik Kratz’s RBI ground out.