Pirates aren't out of the woods with Veal yet

The Pittsburgh Pirates placed 2009 Rule 5 draft pick Donald Veal on the 15-day DL today with a strained left index finger. To fill Veal’s spot, they purchased the contract of relief pitcher Chris Bootcheck, adding Bootcheck to the 40-man roster, which had an open spot. First, a bit on Bootcheck… Bootcheck was a first round pick in the 2000 MLB draft, taken with the 20th overall pick by the Angels. In his career, Bootcheck...

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Pirates Notebook: How important are left handed relievers?

With the recent trades of Sean Burnett, John Grabow, and Tom Gorzelanny leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates short on left handers, a lot of focus has been on the value of left handed pitching out of the bullpen. The Pirates currently are short on left handed pitching out of the bullpen, not just in the majors, but in the minors as well. Donald Veal is the only lefty reliever on the major league roster, although the only reason he’s...

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Pirates Notebook: T.G.I.F.

You’ll notice that there’s a new poll up on the right side of the site, asking where you would rank Brian Friday in your top 30 prospects list. I usually check to see where my visitors are coming from, and in that process I see when a forum has linked to one of my posts. Yesterday I posted my Mid-Season Top 30 Prospects, which was linked from several Pirates forums. I decided to check the posts out to see some of the...

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Z's Fireworks, Johnson's Tater Push Cubs Past Bucs

I love Carlos Zambrano. I enjoy watching people who are passionate about their work. Unfortunately, that passion went a bit overboard in the 7th. With Nyjer Morgan on courtesy of a single and a two base error, Z uncorked a pitch in the dirt. Morgan broke for home. Close play and…. Safe. Off went Carlos Zambrano. He was ejected after making contact with home plate umpire Mark Carlson. His fit continued in a ball tossing, glove...

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Pirates Notebook: Seriously, extend Jack Wilson

I like Jack Wilson. I like his defense. I like his hustle. I like seeing him turn double plays (my favorite play in baseball). So you may think that when I say the Pirates should extend Wilson, as I did a few weeks ago, I’m not being objective. Well here is some objectivity. While Jack Wilson was out, Brian Bixler saw 26 plate appearances. In those plate appearances, Bixler struck ot 18 times. 18 times! His strikeout rate (.692)...

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