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.
Looking at our Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league games….� the Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues begin in a few days.
Aguilas de Zulia� 5,� Tigres de Aragua� 4 — Los Tigres had a 4-1 lead after 4 innings, but Los Aguilas got 2 runs back in the 6th and another in the 7th to tie the game.� Then with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, a single and a stolen base put the winning run on second base.� After an intentional walk, DH Tony Alvarez lined a single to right, scoring the runner from second base.� Hector Gimenez, behind the plate tonight, had the first of two walks to lead off the 3-run 2nd inning, then scored on 1B Ramon Castro’s 3-run homer.� DH Raul Chavez doubled in the 6th, but was left on base.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 7,� Cardinales de Lara� 6� — Magallanes also broke a tie with a run in the bottom of the last inning.�� In this case it was the 10th, and Argenis Diaz scored the winning run in his first appearance for Magallanes.� Diaz entered the game as a defensive replacement at shortstop in the top of the 7th, and of course the first batter of the inning grounded right to him (easy out).� He lined out to right field in the 7th inning.� With the score still tied at 6-6, Jean Machi pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, and Los Navegantes went down in order in the bottom of the frame.� Machi returned the favor, with three straight ground outs in the top of the 10th.� Then in the bottom of the 10th, with one out, Diaz singled into center field.� Another single pushed Diaz to second base, and LF Johermyn Chavez singled into left field, and the speedy Diaz raced around from second base to score the winning run.� Machi earned the win, his first of the winter season.� DH Mike Ryan went 0-for-4 at the plate (unusual for him, with his .357 average), and walked and scored in Magallanes’ 5-run 6th inning.
Caribes de Anzoategui� 6,� Leones de Caracas� 0� — Los Leones managed 8 hits, but could not get any runs across the plate.� C Carlos Maldonado had two of those hits, a single and a double.� Los Caribes scored 3 runs on 2 homers in the 1st inning, then two more runs in the 3rd inning.� Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Uviedo came on in relief for Caracas in the bottom of the 7th, when he got two outs to end the inning.� Then he gave up the final Caribes’ run in the bottom of the 8th, on two singles and a double.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Naranjeros de Hermosillo� 12,� Yaquis de Obregon� 8� — Former Pirate CF Jeff Salazar went 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in Obregon’s losing effort.� Another former Pirate, C Humberto Cota, singled and homered — a 3-run homer in the 5-run 6th inning.
Venados de Mazatlan� 7,� Aguilas de Mexicali� 6� — Mazatlan took the lead with 4 runs in the 3rd inning, then kept ahead of Mexicali with another run in the 5th and two more in the 7th.� RF Rogelios Noris went 0-for-4 for Los Venados.
Team USA wrapped up the Pan American tournament with a rain-out this afternoon.� That means that the USA and Venezuela were declared tied for third place in the tournament.� Cuba and the Dominican Republic were scheduled to play tonight (Wednesday).� (UPDATE:� The Dominican Republic took the gold medal with a 5-2 win over Cuba.)� The third place finish qualifies the US for the 2011 Pan American Games, which will be played in Guadalajara, Mexico, and also for the 2011 Baseball World Cup.
Four members of Team USA were named to the All-Tournament Team:� 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas, and LHP Mike Montgomery, all from the Royals’ organization, and CF Mike Trout (Angels).
Hosmer led Team USA with a .389 average (14-for-36).� Trout led in homers with 3, and Moustakas led in RBI with 8.� Pirates’ Chase d’Arnaud and Todd Frazier (Reds) each had 2 stolen bases, the most for the team.� Former Pirate Todd Redmond (Braves) pitched the most innings — 12.2, and Justin De Fratus (Phillies) and Tim Collins (Royals) both appeared in 5 tournament games, leading the bullpen.� Redmond, Nick Hill (Mariners), and Montgomery each had 2 wins, and De Fratus and Anthony Carter (White Sox) each had 2 saves.� Chris Archer (Cubs) led with 15 strikeouts.
Chase d’Arnaud appeared in 8 of Team USA’s games, and hit .321 (9-for-28).� Two of his hits were doubles and one was a triple, and he had 4 RBI.� Erik Kratz appeared in 5 games and hit .278 (5-for-18), including 2 doubles and 4 RBI.� Former Pirate Brad Eldred appeared in all 10 games as the DH.� He hit .250 (10-for-40) and tied with Reds’ Todd Frazier to lead the team in strikeouts with 9.
Todd Redmond earned a 1.42 ERA in his 12.2 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 10 hits and 2 walks, with 10 strikeouts.� None of the hits he gave up were for extra bases.
Team USA� 4,� Cuba� 1
Cubs’ farmhand Chris Archer pitched an amazing 6 innings for Team USA as they continued their winning ways in the last pool game of the Pan American tournament with a win over Cuba.� Team USA will enter the semi-final round of the tournament with a perfect 9-0 record, while Cuba drops to 7-2.
Archer’s 10 strikeouts kept the Cuban batters stymied for 6 innings.� They managed only 2 hits — a double in the 2nd inning, and a single to lead off the top of the 4th.� Archer did not walk any batters, facing just 2 over the minimum.
Team USA had only one hit over the first two innings — a single by DH Brad Eldred (Rockies) to lead off the 2nd inning.�� Eldred reached second base, but was left stranded.� The USA got onto the scoreboard in the 3rd inning.� With one out, SS Brian Barden (Marlins) beat out a grounder to short for an infield single.� CF Mike Trout (Angels) singled up the middle, pushing Barden to second base.� After a pop out, 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals) doubled down the left field line.� Barden scored easily from second base, and Trout raced around from first to score also, giving the USA a 2-0 lead.
The USA threatened again in the 4th, when 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) led off with a single, but was thrown out at second when he tried to stretch it.� If Hosmer had held at first, he might have been able to score on LF Todd Frazier’s (Reds) double.� Frazier was subsequently tagged out at third base when RF Jamie Hoffmann (Dodgers) grounded right to the third baseman.
An error by the Cubans led to two unearned runs for Team USA in the 6th.� Moustakas opened the inning with a walk, and Eldred singled, moving Moustakas to second base.� The Cubans brought in a new pitcher, but that didn’t help.� Hosmer reached base on an error by the Cuban first baseman, as Moustakas scored on the error.� Eldred rounded third and headed for the plate, but by that time, the Cubans had the ball back under control, and Eldred was out at the plate.� Hosmer ended up on third base, and moments later, he scored on a wild pitch.� Frazier kept the inning going with a single.� C Erik Kratz reached base on a fielder’s choice, though Frazier was out at second base.� Kratz was also forced out at second base on the next play, ending the inning.
Nick Hill (Mariners) relieved Archer to begin the 7th inning.� He gave up a pair of 2-out singles, but got a strikeout to end the 7th inning.� He also struck out the first two batters he faced in the 8th, but then gave up a run on a single and a triple.�� Anthony Carter (White Sox) took over for Hill, and got a fly out to end the 8th.� Carter worked around a double in the 9th inning to keep the Cubans from scoring again.
Pirates’ farmhand Chase d’Arnaud did not get into this game.� Kratz went 0-for-3 at the plate, and Eldred was 2-for-4.
Team USA now continues on to the semi-finals as the #1 seed.� They will play the Dominican Republic on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.� Cuba and Venezuela are the other two teams to reach the semi-final round.� Cuba has a 5-1 record in round two, the Dominicans have a 4-2 record, while Venezuela is fourth with a 3-3 record.
Also on Monday:
Canada 14,� Puerto Rico� 6 — The Canadians had a hit-fest at the expense of Puerto Rico, posting 14 hits and two 5-run innings.� Former Pirate farmhand RF Jamie Romak went 2-for-3 with 5 RBI — he doubled and hit a 3-run homer in the 8th.� Three other Canadians also homered:� CF Adam Stern (Brewers), C Chris Robinson (Cubs), and 1B Scott Thorman (Royals).� Robinson had 5 hits and 3 RBI in the game. � Former Pirate 3B Ramon Vasquez had 2 hits for Puerto Rico, and former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had one hit.� Pirate farmhand Tom Boleska pitched 1.1 inning and gave up only one hit.
Team Canada is done for this tournament, but they have qualified to play in next year’s Pan Am tournament and also in the World Baseball Cup.
Also on Tuesday:� the opening of the Arizona Fall League and two of the Caribbean Winter Leagues — the Mexican Pacific and the Venezuelan Leagues.
Team USA� 5,� Nicaragua� 0
Starter Todd Redmond pitched 7 shutout innings this afternoon to lead Team USA to victory over�Nicaragua in their first game of the second round of the Pan American Tournament.� Due to persistent rain in Puerto Rico, the location of the game was moved from Ponce to Carolina, then the time of the game was moved up to 4 pm.� The team barely had time to get dressed and stretch, and it was time to play.
Redmond started the game by getting into a jam in the top of the 1st.� He gave up a single to the lead-off hitter, then got two outs, then loaded the bases with a walk and a hit batter. But Redmond got out of the jam with a strikeout, and he sailed after that.� He gave up a single with two outs in the 2nd inning, but a base running blunder (don’t round first base and then try to locate the ball)� let 1b Eric Hosmer tag the runner out to end the inning.� Two Nicaraguan coaches were ejected after arguing the play.� Redmond gave up two more singles — one in the 4th, leaving the runner stranded, and one in the 7th, who he erased with a double play.� He struck out a total of 6 batters in his 7 innings.�
Team USA got the bats going in the bottom of the�1st.� With one out, 2B Cord Phelps (Cleveland Indians) doubled, then 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals) walked.� When the Nicaraguan pitcher made a pick-off throw to first but forgot to make sure his first baseman was there to catch the ball, Phelps raced around to score on the error.� Moustakas ended up on third base, and a sacrifice fly by DH Brad Eldred brought him across the plate, to give Team USA a 2-0 lead.�
The bats were quiet in the 2nd inning, and SS Chase d’Arnaud walked and stole second base in the 3rd, but was left stranded.� Team USA added a run in the 4th inning.� Hosmer singled, then advanced to second base on a fly out by LF Todd Frazier (Reds).� C Erik Kratz’s RBI single plated Hosmer, and the Americans were up 3-0.�
The next 9 USA batters went down in order, until the bottom of the 8th.� D’Arnaud led off that inning with another walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.� A fly out by CF Mike Trout (Angels) pushed d’Arnaud to third base, then he scored on an RBI single by Phelps.� Eldred reached base on an error, then an RBI single by Hosmer brought Phelps in with the USA’s 5th run.�
Tim Collins (Royals) pitched the 8th inning, working around a lead-off single.� Justin De Fratus (Phillies) took the 9th.� He gave up a 2-out single, then ended the game with a strikeout.�
�The win guarantees that Team USA will finish at least in the top 7 of this tournament, which gives them an automatic spot in the 2011 Pan Am tournament.
Dominican Republic� 5,�� Canada� 2
The Canadians also got a change in venue (from Ponce to San Juan) and an earlier start time due to the rain.� The Dominicans got started in the bottom of the 1st inning with a run on a bunt single, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.� They picked up two more runs in the 3rd, courtesy of a triple, a single, and a double.� Canada got one run back in the top of the 4th,�on a single by Pete Orr, followed by a single that bounced off the first base umpire and a throwing error by the first baseman, allowing Orr to score.� Former Pirate farmhand Jamie Romak added another run for Canada with a solo home run in the 8th.� But the Dominican team scored one run in the 4th and another in the 8th, to easily take the win.�
Canada is now in a tight spot — they must win their game against Panama on Saturday in order to advance to the semi-finals.