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.
Cheering for the Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action…
I’ll be going on the road for a few days… catch up with everyone at the beginning of next week.
Cardenales de Lara 6, Tigres de Aragua 2 — Los Tigres were held to 5 hits. They scored their 2 runs in the 7th inning on a walk, a triple, and a single. Aragua also had two singles in the 3rd inning but didn’t score, and 3 walks in the 6th, but a double play and a pop out ended that inning without a run scoring. Los Tigres’ only other hit in the game was a double by 1B Hector Gimenez to lead off the 9th inning. Raul Chavez pinch hit in the 9th, but popped out to end the game. Lastings Milledge started the game in left field, and popped out to end the 2nd inning (with no runners on base). He was removed from the game as the bottom half of the inning began, but no explanation was given. CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-3 for Los Tigres. Former Indy Indian C Alex Delgado had an RBI single in the 4th for Lara, and doubled and scored on a 2-run homer in the 6th.
Bravos de Margarita 2, Navegantes del Magallanes 1 — Pitching ruled for the first 6 innings of this game. Margarita scored a run in the 7th on two singles and added another run in the 8th on a walk and two more singles. Los Navegantes scored just one run, which came in the bottom of the 9th, on a walk and a double. Justin Thomas took the mound in relief for Los Bravos to begin the bottom of the 5th. He worked around a lead-off single for a scoreless 5th, then loaded the bases on two singles, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk to begin the 6th inning. Edgar Martinez relieved Thomas and got a strikeout and pop out to end the inning with the bases still loaded. Ronald Belisario earned his 7th save for Margarita, even though he was responsible for Los Navegantes’ run in the 9th.
Leones del Caracas 5, Caribes del Anzoategui 4 — Four runs in the top of the 9th were not enough for Los Caribes to catch up to Los Leones. Adenson Chourio came into the game to pinch-run in the 9th, with the bases loaded and one run already walked in. A double lined into center field scored the runners from second and third, but Chourio was out at the plate on the throw in from center field. C Carlos Maldonado was the one who tagged out Chourio. Maldonado’s lead-off homer in the 8th gave Caracas what turned out to be the winning run. He also singled in the 2nd and walked in the 6th.
Cheering for the Pirates’ farmhands and friends in Saturday’s winter league games…
Cardenales de Lara 2, Tigres de Aragua 1 — Brian Bass suffered the loss for Los Tigres, though he did not pitch poorly. Bass threw 7.2 innings and scattered 5 hits and 3 walks. He gave up a run on a single and a double in the 3rd inning, and another on a hit batter and a double in the 6th. A walk and a double play on a bouncer back to the mound started the 8th inning, then Bass was relieved. Los Tigres scored their only run in the 5th inning. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for SS Ronny Cedeno, whose sacrifice fly plated the run. Cedeno singled in the 1st inning. LF Lastings Milledge singled in the 4th inning, but he was picked off. DH Hector Gimenez doubled in the 8th, but was left on base. CF Jorge Cortes was the only Tigres batter with 2 hits, both singles. Romulo Sanchez pitched to two batters in the 6th for Lara — he walked Milledge, then got a ground out.
Navegantes del Magallanes 6, Leones del Caracas 3 — Sean Gallagher earned his third win for Magallanes, going 5 innings in this start. Gallagher faced only one batter over the minimum over the first three innings, allowing just a walk in the top of the 1st. He allowed a lead-off homer to DH Jesus Guzman in the 4th, then a single and a double in that inning. Guzman got to Gallagher again in the 5th, with a 2-run homer. Jean Machi earned his 5th save of the season with a scoreless top of the 9th for Magallanes, allowing only a single to
Tigres del Licey 5, Toros del Este 2 — C Jason Jaramillo drove in one of Los Toros’ runs with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning, but Los Toros would not score after that. SS Pedro Ciriaco singled in the 9th innning, but was left on base. Los Tigres scored one run in the 3rd, and tied the game with a solo homer in the 5th. Licey took the lead in the 6th. Pinch-hitter Jake Fox began the rally with a single, and he came in on an RBI single. C Robinzon Diaz gave the team a pair of insurance runs with a 2-RBI single.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in Thursday’s winter league action….
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina 5, Senadores de San Juan 4 — Los Gigantes plated a run in the bottom of the 11th inning for the walk-off win. Carolina posted 15 hits, and 3 of those were by LF/RF Luis Matos. Benji Gonzalez came into the game to pinch-hit in the 8th inning, when he put down a sacrifice bunt in the rally that tied the game and eventually sent it into extra innings. Gonzalez remained in the game to play second base. He struck out in his only other plate appearance.
Bravos de Margarita 2, Tigres de Aragua 1 — A solo home run by Margarita’s DH Frank Diaz in the bottom of the 9th gave the win to Los Bravos. Los Tigres scored their only run in the 6th inning, when C Raul Chavez singled and came around to score on an RBI double. Margarita tied the score in the 7th with an RBI single. Chavez had a pair of singles in the game. LF Lastings Milledge and CF Jorge Cortes each had a single in the game. 1B Hector Gimenez was 0-for-4. Ronny Cedeno came in to pinch-run for Chavez after his single in the 8th, but did not score. Miguel Perez took over behind the plate for the rest of the game. Margarita’s Andy LaRoche did not get into the game.
Winter league action with the Pirates’ players and friends on Wednesday…
Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 1) — SS Ronny Cedeno’s 3-run homer in the 4th inning put the game away for Los Tigres.� Aragua scored one run in each of the first three innings.� A single, a sacrifice bunt by Cedeno, and an RBI single by DH Hector Gimenez plated the run in the 1st inning.� A walk, a single by CF Jorge Cortes, and an RBI ground out brought in the run in the 2nd.� Gimenez also drove in the run in the 3rd with another RBI single.� LF/RF Lastings Milledge was hitless in this game, as was Margarita’s 3B Andy LaRoche. Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits.
Tigres de Aragua� 2,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 2)� – RF Lastings Milledge blasted a solo homer over the left field wall in the top of the 1st, and that was all the scoring Los Tigres needed.� Milledge added another RBI in the 7th inning with a single to give Aragua some insurance, and he also walked in the 3rd inning.� Los Tigres needed only 5 hits in the game, with 1B Hector Gimenez getting one of those.� CF Jorge Cortes walked in three trips to the plate, but SS Cedeno and C Raul Chavez were both hitless.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning for Margarita, but did not score.
Aguilas de Zulia� 5,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 1� — DH Mike Ryan scored Magallanes’ only run, which came in the 6th inning, when he singled, then scored on an RBI double.� Ryan also singled in the 1st inning.� Zulia scored one run in both the 1st and 2nd innings, then 2 more in the 6th, and one in the 7th.� Corey Hamman took the mound in relief in the 7th, with two outs and a runner on 2nd base.� He gave up an RBI single to the only batter he faced, though the run was charged to the previous pitcher.