Not many winter league playoff games today, but a few player moves:
LHP Wil Ledezma had been DFA’ed right before Christmas, and yesterday he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.
Both INF Delwyn Young and RHP Brian Bass signed minor league contracts with the Phillies today.
Earlier in the week, RHP Joe Martinez, who had also been DFA’ed by the Pirates shortly before Christmas, was traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations.
Leones del Caracas 11, Bravos de Margarita 3 — Los Leones posted 14 hits, which was enough to make up for their 3 errors. Three singles and a Bravos’ fielding error gave Los Leones their first 3 runs in the 2nd inning. In the third, the first six Caracas batters reached base — a double, two singles, and three walks (including a walk by LF Mike Ryan) — then a sacrifice fly and another single gave Los Leones 5 runs. A 3-run homer in the 8th capped their scoring. Margarita scored one run in the 6th, with the help of one of those errors. An error by Ryan in left field, plus a walk and two singles (one by C JR House) brought in two more runs in the 9th. Ronald Uviedo earned the win for Caracas, going 6 innings and allowing only the unearned run in the 6th inning, on 3 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.
Caribes de Anzoategui 5, Tigres de Aragua 4 — New Blue Jay Wil Ledezma came into the game for Los Tigres in the 6th inning with one run in and runners on the corners. Ledezma gave up a single, which broke a 4-4 tie, and eventually gave the win to Los Caribes. Ledezma also retired the side in order in the 7th. Los Caribes started the game with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a single, a double, an error, and a sacrifice fly. Los Tigres scored one run in the 2nd, when 1B Hector Gimenez walked, then scored on an RBI double. Gimenez added a 2-run homer in the 4th, and another homer in the 5th gave Aragua their 4 runs. LF Lastings Milledge singled and stole second base in the 6th, and advanced to third base on another single, but he got no further. C Raul Chavez went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres.
Gone for a few days, and all kinds of changes going on….
The Pirates have removed starting pitcher Zach Duke, infielder Andy LaRoche, and outfielder Delwyn Young from their 40-man roster.
Duke (photo) was the starting pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians on Opening Day in 2005, the beginning of the Pirates’ affiliation with the Indians. Duke faced the rehabbing Curt Schilling, and he and the Indians beat Schilling pretty easily.
The open spots on the 40-man roster, plus two other already open spots, went to a group of minor league pitchers:
Mike Crotta, a righty who made 4 starts for Altoona before he was promoted to Indianapolis. He made 24 starts for the Indians and pitched 131.1 innings, with a 4.93 ERA.
Daniel Moskos, who split the season between the Indy Indians and the Altoona Curve. The lefty was outstanding for the Curve, with a 1.52 ERA and 21 saves, though he struggled for the Indians, where he earned a 10.38 ERA in 17.1 innings of relief.
Tony Watson, another lefty who spent the season with the Curve. He made a few starts (9) but mostly worked in relief, earning a 2.67 ERA in 111.1 innings.
Jeff Locke, split the season between Altoona and the Bradenton Marauders. After earning a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts for Bradenton, Locke was promoted to AA, where the southpaw made an additional 10 starts and earned a consistent 3.59 ERA.
Kyle McPherson, a right-hander who spent most of the season with A-level West Virginia. McPherson made 21 starts and 5 relief appearances for the Power, with a 3.59 ERA in 117.2 innings, though he had some hot and cold swings. McPherson also pitched 4 scoreless innings for Bradenton in September.
Las Vegas 51’s 3, �Indianapolis Indians 1
Starter Donnie Veal pitched 3 innings for the Indians, but was charged with the loss when he gave up a solo home run in the top of the 1st inning. �The southpaw allowed 2 hits besides the homer and walked one, while striking out 4 batters. �Las Vegas also scored a run in the 5th inning on an RBI double, and added a third run on a wild pitch in the 6th.
Indians’ batters managed to score only one run, which came in the 7th. �1B Brian Myrow led off with a single, then advanced to third base on 2B Shelby Ford’s single. �Pinch-hitter Andy Vasquez brought Myrow in with a sacrifice fly.
Pirates 7, �Braves 6 � (10 innings) � �(box)
Rule 5 pick John Raynor made the difference for the Pirates on Thursday afternoon in Bradenton, when he walked and eventually came around to score the winning run on a wild pitch off Braves’ reliever Manny Acosta. �The Braves had the early lead in this game, as Pirates’ starter Charlie Morton gave up homers to two former Pirates: �CF�Nate McLouth blasted a solo homer in the top of the 1st, and 1B Eric Hinske smacked a 3-run homer after two singles in the 4th inning. �After Hinske’s home run, Morton gave up a double and a bunt single, making it 5 straight hits off him with no outs in the 4th. �After a line out, a sacrifice bunt by Braves’ starter Kenshin Kawakami brought the runner in from third, and the Braves had a 5-0 lead.
The Indianapolis Indians did not have a scheduled game today; they play again in Bradenton tomorrow, facing the Las Vegas 51’s.
Red Sox 6, �Pirates 4 � (box)
Home runs were the order of business in Bradenton today, as the Pirates lost to the Red Sox in Grapefruit League play. �Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm gave up three home runs in his 5 innings of work, as he was charged with the loss. �Maholm struck out 7 batters, and didn’t walk any. �Of the 5 hits he allowed, 3 were homers. �A single and a homer gave the Red Sox a 2 run start in the top of the 1st. �Solo home runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings, made it a 4-1 game. �In the 5th, a double and a sacrifice fly accounted for another run charged to Maholm. �The Red Sox’ other run came in the 6th, on two singles and a sacrifice fly off reliever DJ Carrasco. �Javier Lopez, Brendan Donnelly, and Octavio Dotel each pitched a scoreless inning for the Pirates, and Donnelly struck out two batters. �Dotel made his first Grapefruit League appearance, coming back from a strained left oblique muscle. �He was a little wild — only 10 of his 22 pitches were strikes, with one wild pitch, and he walked one batter and hit another.
The Pirates scored in the bottom of the 1st inning. �2B Aki Iwamura doubled, then stole third base. �LF Lastings Milledge walked, then RF Garrett Jones brought Iwamura in with a ground ball right to the Sox’ first baseman. �The Pirates didn’t score again until the bottom of the 9th. �3B Jeremy Farrell, up from minor league camp, had the best hit of the day: �a huge blast over the center field wall for a home run, smacked in front of his father, who is the Sox’ pitching coach, John Farrell. �Another minor leaguer, PH Kris Watts, worked a walk, and scored when PH/2B Delwyn Young also homered. �In the innings between the scoring, the Pirates struck out 16 times, with Red Sox starter Josh Beckett collecting 9 of those strikeouts in his 5 innings of work.
Also in the game: �SS Jordy Mercer, 1B Steve Pearce, RF Quincy Latimore, and C�Luke Carlin.
Indy Indians 1, �Las Vegas 51’s 1 �(tie)
The Indians and the 51’s (Blue Jays) played to a 1-1 tie this afternoon in Dunedan, Florida. �The Indians’ pitchers were the stars of the show, allowing the 51’s only 6 hits in the game. �Starter Brad Lincoln pitched 3 shutout innings, and gave up 2 hits, while striking out 5 batters. �Reliever Ronald Uviedo pitched a perfect inning of relief, with 2 strikeouts. �Las Vegas’s only run came in the 8th inning, on a single, a stolen base, a throwing error, and an RBI single.
The Tribe scored in the 4th inning. �DH Brandon Jones blasted a triple, then scored on SS Brian Friday’s sacrifice fly.
In big league camp:
Pirates 9, �Red Sox 7 �(box)
Neil Walker made his debut as an outfielder in this afternoon’s Grapefruit League game, as the Pirates clubbed 3 homers to beat the Red Sox. �Walker was a late-inning defensive replacement for RF Delwyn Young. Walker had a single in two plate appearances, and is 5-for-11 at the plate in spring training.