Three Homers Help McCutchen; Hart Also Works

Indianapolis Indians 7, �Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 5

Three home runs gave starter Daniel McCutchen plenty of run support, as the Indians won this afternoon’s AAA level minor league game in Clearwater, Florida. �McCutchen pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed just 3 hits and a walk. �He also struck out two batters. �It took him 61 pitches to get his business done. �Chris Jakubauskas pitched 2 more scoreless innings, with 2 hits and another 2 strikeouts. �The Iron Pigs runs all came in the final two innings of the game.

RF Jose Tabata got the fun started with a solo home run in the top of the 1st inning. �LF Jon Van Every added 2 more runs with his homer in the 4th. �SS Brian Friday homered in the 5th inning, another solo blast. �The Tribe added 3 more runs in the next two innings, piling up 10 hits.

Because of yesterday’s rainouts and the fact that the Pirates did not have a major league level Grapefruit League game scheduled for today, starter Kevin Hart pitched in an A level game in Bradenton. �Hart pitched 3.1 innings, and gave up 2 runs. �Three of the four hits he allowed were infield singles and the other was a line drive into center field. �He struck out two batters in the first inning and walked two in the second inning. �He made a total of 74 pitches, and was working on throwing off speed pitches to left-handed batters.

Octavio Dotel, who has been sidelined with a strained left oblique muscle, pitched one inning (18 pitches) in another game this afternoon. �He struck out three batters and was pleased with his performance.

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Alvarez and Tabata To Minor League Camp

The Pirates announced eight more reassignments to minor league camp this morning.
Outfielder Jose Tabata (photo) and 3B Pedro Alvarez were both optioned to AAA Indianapolis.
Both Alvarez and Tabata are on the 40-man roster, and barring a miracle in Bradenton, both were slated to begin the 2010 season in Indianapolis, and likely move to Pittsburgh far enough into the season so that their major league service time would not count 2010 as a full season. �Why not let them get more time with the major league club in spring training? �Because today is the deadline to option players who have not already been in the majors. �If they stay in big league camp and then get injured in the next 3 weeks, then this year counts toward their service time. �The Pirates very much want to have these two, a big part of their future, to stay under their contractual control for as long as possible. �Pirates’ management would have liked to have them stay, but it isn’t worth the risk.
Infielder Doug Bernier and OF Jon Van Every, both free agent signings, were also reassigned to minor league camp. �They are likely to open the season with Indianpolis too.
Four pitchers were also sent to the minor league camp: �Jimmy Barthmaier, Neal Cotts, Craig Hansen, and Tyler Yates. All four are injured and are working on rehab. �They were not expected to be available before Opening Day anyway, so this is more of a formality.

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