Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Season Preview: Bullpen

The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen was strong for the club during the 2011 season posting a ‘pen 3.76 ERA over 526.0 innings. Only one reliever did not return for the 2012 season, right-hander Jose Veras, who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for infielder Casey McGehee. Like Veras, right-hander Juan Cruz signed a minor league contract and will make the club as a non-roster player this season. Locks in the ‘pen: Juan Cruz,...

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Pirates Notebook: Alvarez Seeking Consistency

BRADENTON, Fla. — Third baseman Pedro Alvarez is looking for consistency this spring. During the 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at McKechnie Field on Saturday, Alvarez went 0-for-3 — all three were strikeouts. Over his past two games he has gone hitless. But just last week, Alvarez connected for two opposite field home runs. “Today he got into some receptive swings early,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said....

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Pirates Notebook: No Reason Meek’s Velocity Won’t Return

BRADENTON, Fla. –Right-hander Evan Meek is working on getting back to the All-Star pitcher that he was in 2010. After posting a 2.14 ERA over 70 appearances in 2010, Meek battled right shoulder tendonitis for most of last season, appearing in just 24 games with Pittsburgh. For some pitchers, it can take a while to regain their velocity in spring training, needing to build up their arm strength and innings. Meek, who last season...

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Grilli Ready to Compete in the ‘Pen

BRADENTON — Whenever Pirates reliever Jason Grilli was given the ball last season with Pittsburgh, he thrived. Grilli pitched from the 5th inning on during the 2011 season, but it was in the back end of the ‘pen that Grilli enjoyed the most. “I hope that’s my role,” Grilli said of pitching towards the back of the bucco bullpen. “I’ve always taken the ball whenever it’s been given to me, whatever inning that is....

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Analyzing the Non-Tender Deadline

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a somewhat busy day today. They swapped arbitration eligible players with the Milwaukee Brewers, reached a pre-arbitration deal with Jason Grilli, non-tendered Pedro Ciriaco and Jason Jaramillo, and tendered offers to the rest of the players who were without contracts in 2012. In the biggest move of the day, the Pirates traded Jose Veras to the Milwaukee Brewers for Casey McGehee.  I projected Veras as a...

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