Game 117 Recap: Greinke Mows Down Pirates

For the Pirates to have much of a chance to return to contention in 2011 they needed to start off strongly in this series with Milwaukee. Zach Greinke made sure that didn’t happen. Milwaukee caught some breaks to pile on a lead against Paul Maholm. In the second Casey McGehee singled and could have potentially been erased on a double play comebacker from Yuniesky Betancourt. But Maholm bobbled the batted ball off...

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A Few Notes For Sunday; Altoona Roster

Just a few notes from here and there:

Check out this story by Lee Judge of the Kansas City Star. He talks about Clint Hurdle, but it generally applies to almost any minor league system.  I’m trying to picture players sleeping in the luggage racks.

The Indy Indians (and presumably the rest of the Pirates’ minor league camp) have finished their official spring training games, with the last one yesterday against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in Bradenton.  No word on the results.  The Indians usually arrive in Indianapolis on Monday or Tuesday, and have a couple of final workouts before Opening Day on Thursday.

Some former Pirates and Pirates’ farmhands are moving around:
P Romulo Sanchez was released by the Yankees, and has signed to play with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.
P Ty Taubenheim was released by the Rangers.
The Diamondbacks have signed Inf Josh Wilson.
The Nationals have released OF Jonathan Van Every.
The White Sox released P Jeff Sues, but snapped up Inf Christian Colonel after the Pirates released him this week.   
Inf/Of Luis Cruz was removed from the Brewers’ 40-man roster and elected to become a free agent.
P Eric Hacker signed a minor league contract with the Twins.  
The Rays have released P Jonah Bayliss. 

UPDATE:  The Altoona Curve roster has been announced:  check it out here 
Note that Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, and Tony Watson are NOT on the Altoona roster, so they should be in Indianapolis.  Also, Chase d’Arnaud, Matt Hague, and Gorkys Hernandez should be in Indy.

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Contract Deadline: New Free Agents

When the deadline for offering contracts passed last night, four new free agents were created.  
The Pirates offered contracts to pitcher Jeff Karstens and SS Ronny Cedeno, both as expected.  But they elected not to tender contracts to pitchers Donnie Veal and Brian Burres, SS Argenis Diaz, and OF Lastings Milledge.
Veal is still recovering from elbow surgery, and is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Pirates.  Since he is going to have to spend some time in the minors when he returns anyway, this is not likely to affect his progress much.  The other three are all free agents now.

Other notes:  Former Pirate C Ronny Paulino was also non-tendered by the Marlins, and he also is now a free agent.  Pittsburgh native INF Josh Wilson, who played for the Indy Indians in 2008, was resigned by the Mariners. (NOT Jack Wilson, who is also on the Mariners’ roster.)  OF Eric Hinske was signed as a free agent by the Braves.  P Zach Duke signed a contract with the Diamondbacks, avoiding arbitration.  

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