Tag Archives: Justin Thomas
The Pirates had a busy Spring Training day today:
LHP (starter) Garrett Olson was claimed off waivers from Seattle. Olson is a 27-year-old California native who was the Orioles’ 1st round pick in the 2005 draft. He made his major league debut in July 2007, and split both the 2007 and 2008 season between Balitmore and AAA Norfolk. His combined stats for Baltimore: 10-13 record in 31 starts, 165 innings, 6.87 ERA, 111 K, 90 BB. And combined stats for Norfolk: 10-9 record in 29 starts, 164.1 innings, 3.12 ERA, 159 K, 55 BB. One big problem, though, is that he surrendered 35 homer runs over those two years. At the beginning of 2009, Olson was traded to the Cubs, and 10 days later was traded to the Mariners (with Ronny Cedeno) to the Mariners. He split both the 2009 and 2010 seasons between Seattle and AAA Tacoma. In 2009, he started 9 games for Tacoma, earning a 2-3 record and a 4.94 ERA, but in Seattle, he was also used in relief. He made 11 starts and 20 relief appearances for a total of 80.1 innings – and gave up 19 home runs. Olson made 6 starts and 6 relief appearances for Tacoma in 2010, then made 35 relief appearances in Seattle. His record in Seattle was 0-3 with 1 save, and a 4.54 ERA. In 37.2 innings, he allowed 6 homers, 15 BB, with 21 K. Throughout all these seasons, Olson allowed about as many or more hits as innings pitched: 79 hits in 80.1 innings in Seattle in 2009, and 42 hits in 37.2 innings in 2010. His overall major league total is 10.53 hits/9 innings. The Pirates plan to have Olson compete for a spot as a lefty out of the bullpen. Scott Olsen (oh, we’re going to have fun confusing those two) and Joe Beimel are also in consideration but have lost time time this spring due to injury. Brian Burres and Justin Thomas are also in the mix. In order to make a spot for Olson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates placed Kevin Hart on the 60-day DL. Olson is out of options, which is why the Mariners had to put him on waivers. If he does not make the Pirates’ active roster out of camp, then he will have to go on waivers again. The hits and the homers are concerning, and the Pirates will have to see how Olson does in some spring appearances in the next two weeks.
Phillies 3, Pirates 2
The Phillies rallied in the bottom of the 9th for a come-from-behind win over the Pirates in Clearwater, FL this afternoon. With Chris Leroux on the mound, the first two batters of the frame both singles. Former Pirate/Indian Erik Kratz bounced a pinch-hit grounder to third, but instead of going for the double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell went for the tag of the runner going from second to third. The runner avoided the tag but was called out anyway because he went out of the basepath. That left runners on first and second with one out. The next batter slapped a grounder to second, and though 2B Josh Harrison made a great stab to keep the ball from going into right field, he was only able to make the out at first. With two runners in scoring position, Leroux gave up a single up the middle, and both runners (including Kratz) scored, for the walk-off win.
Blue Jays 5, Pirates 0
The Pirates were held to just 4 hits in this afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. 3B Pedro Alvarez had two of the hits — a two-out single up the middle in the 1st inning, and a single on a pop up in the 6th. The single in the 1st moved CF Andrew McCutchen, who had walked, to third base, and the single in the 6th followed a line drive double by 2B Pedro Ciriaco and moved Ciriaco to third base. Both times, however, the innings ended without the Pirates being able to get the run in. The only other hit in the game was by 2B Brian Friday, who led off the top of the 9th by beating out a grounder to third. After a strikeout, 1B Andy Marte walked, putting two runners on base. But pinch-hitter Gift Ngoepe struck out and C Jason Jaramillo grounded out to end the game.
James McDonald made the start and was responsible for 4 of the Jays’ runs. He gave up a double, two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly for 2 runs in the top of the 1st. He retired the side in order in the 2nd, but got into trouble again in the 3rd. A double and a throwing error by SS Corey Wimberly gave the Jays a run in the 3rd. With two outs and a runner on second base, McDonald had reached his pitch limit (about 50 pitches), and he was relieved by Justin Thomas. Thomas gave up an RBI single and a walk, then ended the inning with a strikeout. Chris Resop surrendered the remaining Toronto run in the 5th. Back-to-back doubles by former Pirate Jose Bautista (who went 3-for-3) and Travis Snyder brought in that run. Resop struck out the next two batters, and ended the inning with a ground out. Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, and Jeff Locke each pitched one scoreless inning for the Pirates. McCutchen gave up two hits and Locke gave up one. Wilson walked one batter and struck out the other three he faced.
Also in the game: SS Chase d’Arnaud, LF Gorkys Hernandez, CF Alex Presley, RF Andrew Lambo, 3B Garrett Atkins.
Twins 4, Pirates 2
The Pirates fell to a 3-3 record in Grapefruit League play this afternoon at McKechnie field. Both teams posted 9 hits, but the Twins did a better job of pushing runs across. Ross Ohlendorf made the start and was charged with the loss, but the only run he gave up was unearned, and 4 of the 5 outs he recorded were strikeouts. The run came in the top of the 1st, on a walk, a passed ball, and an RBI double. Ohlendorf got the first two outs in the top of the 2nd, then gave up a single, and by then he had reached his pitch limit. Mike Dubee, up from minor league camp, finished the inning for Ohlendorf, blowing three pitches past Jason Repko for a strikeout. Tony Watson pitched the 3rd inning, and gave up a run on a walk and an RBI double.
The Pirates got one run back in the bottom of the 5th. RF Andrew Lambo started the rally with a ground rule double down the left field line, and then he scored on LF Jose Tabata’s single up the middle. Mike Crotta pitched 2 scoreless innings, working around a hit in each (4th and 5th). Joel Hanrahan took over for the 6th. The first batter he faced, 2B Luke Hughes, drove a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. After the homer, Hanrahan got two outs, then loaded the bases with a walk and two singles. Hanrahan was relieved by another minor league pitcher, Tom Boleska, who needed just one pitch to end the inning with a fly out, leaving all three runners stranded.
Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 8th for the Pirates. Justin Thomas gave up another unearned run in the top of the 8th. With one out, a fly ball to center field should have been either an out or a harmless single, but CF Gorkys Hernandez had trouble with the windy conditions. He dropped the ball, then when he tried to pick it up off the ground, he dropped it twice more. That allowed the runner to reach third base (3-base error). An RBI single brought him in from third base. Chris Leroux finished things up by retiring the side in the top of the 9th. The Pirates rallied again in the bottom of the 9th. With one out, DH Steve Pearce lifted a double into center field. C Dusty Brown lined a single into right field, plating Pearce from second base. Pedro Ciriaco pinch-ran for Brown, and he reached second base on RF Starling Marte’s ground out, but another ground out by LF Alex Presley ended the game. Marte had singled in the 7th inning, but was out at second on a force play.
Also getting into the game: SS Corey Wimberly, SS Chase d’Arnaud, 3B Garrett Atkins, 2B Brian Friday, and 1B Josh Fields.
Rays 9, Pirates 5
The Pirates opened the official Grapefruit League season with a loss to the Rays. The Pirates were held to just 6 hits. All but two were singles and all but one were by the established major leaguers. 1B Garrett Atkins smacked a ground rule double for an RBI in the top of the 9th, and C Dusty Brown singled moments later. LF Jose Tabata, 2B Neil Walker, 1B Lyle Overbay, and C Chris Snyder had the other hits. LF Alex Presley walked twice in two trips to the plate; the second walk came in the top of the 9th, with two outs and a runner on second base, and the Pirates management watching carefully to see how he’d handle the situation.
Charlie Morton pitched the first two innings for the Pirates. He had the lead-off batter reach base in both innings, on a walk and a single, but both times he got out of the innings courtesy of a double play. Brad Lincoln worked around 2 singles to keep the Rays from scoring in the 3rd, but gave up a solo home run to Evan Longoria in the 4th. Overall, an encouraging outing for Morton, and not too bad for Lincoln. Chris Resop also gave up a solo home run in the 5th, which tied the score at 2-2. After Daniel Moskos pitched a scoreless inning, Daniel McCutchen got into trouble in the 7th. A double and two walks loaded the bases, and another double cleared them, giving the Rays a 5-2 lead. Justin Thomas also struggled in his inning, the 8th, though the 4 runs that came in were all unearned, after a fielding error by 3B Josh Fields. Tom Boleska, up from minor league camp, finished the inning, giving up a single before getting the final out.
Other minor leaguers getting some playing time: 2B Josh Rodriguez, CF Gorkys Hernandez, SS Pedro Ciriaco.
A quick look at what some of the Pirates’ players and friends were up to in the Venezuelan League recently:
Anthony Claggett joined Los Bravos de Margarita, and has made two relief appearances. On the 17th, he pitched one inning, giving up only a 2-out double, then finishing the inning with a groundout. On the 21st, Claggett pitched 2 innings and allowed only a single to former Indy Indian Jorge Cortes, who he then erased in a double play.
Los Tigres de Aragua got two hits each from1B Hector Gimenez, SS Ronny Cedeno, and C Raul Chavez on the 17th. Unfortunately their only run in the game was Gimenez’s solo home run. Brian Bass made the start for Los Tigres on the 19th. He pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 runs — one run on a pair of singles and his own throwing error in the 1st inning, and 3 runs on a homer then two walks and 3 singles in the 3rd. The score was tied when Bass left the game. Lastings Milledge contributed a 2-run homer for Los Tigres in the 1st. Aragua won the game in the bottom of the 10th on a walk-off RBI single by Cortes.
Also on the 19th, Sean Gallagher suffered his third loss of the season for Los Navegantes. He pitched 4 innings against Los Aguilas del Zulia and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits. In the 3rd inning, he allowed a 2-run homer, then in the 4th, Gallagher gave up 2 more runs on a walk and 3 singles.
Justin Thomas earned the win (his first in Venezuela) for Los Bravos de Margarita on Saturday the 20th. He was first charged with a blown save when he gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th to Los Navegantes del Magallanes. But he was then credited with the win when Margarita hit a 3-run homer in the top of the 7th. Corey Hamman also was charged with a blown save for Magallanes in that same game, when he faced 3 Margarita batters in the 5th inning and gave up a homer, a single, and a double. Jean Machi pitched the top of the 9th for Magallanes and got three ground outs.
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.
Just a few Pirates’ players and friends saw winter league action on Friday…
Gigantes del Cibao 9, Toros del Este 4 – This game was a little home run derby. Los Toros scored their only runs in the top of the 3rd inning, on a pair of 2-run homers, each one following a double. SS Pedro Ciriaco tripled in the 4th inning, but did not score. Mike Dubee pitched the 7th inning for Los Gigantes, and he allowed Los Toros only a walk in the scoreless inning. Los Gigantes scored one run on a solo homer in the 2nd, then had three solo homers in the bottom of the 3rd. They also added a run in the 5th and 4 more in the 7th, but without needing the long ball.
Navegantes del Magallanes 6, Tiburones de La Guaira 3 – Three runs in the top of the 10th broke a 3-3 tie and gave Magallanes the win. LF Mike Ryan led off the inning with a single up the middle, and he was replaced by a pinch-runner. Another single and a double drove in two runs, and the third single of the inning brought in the third run. La Guaira could only manage one single in the bottom of the inning, and Los Navegantes had the win. Los Navegantes scored their first 2 run in the 6th, when they loaded the bases on a single, a throwing error, and an intentional walk to Ryan. A single and another error pushed 2 runs across the plate. A triple and an RBI single gave them one more run in the 7th. Argenis Diaz came in to pinch run for Los Magallanes in the bottom of the 9th, but did not score. He remained in the game at shortstop, and struck out in his only plate appearance.
Bravos de Margarita 3, Caribes de Anzoategui 1 – Justin Thomas pitched a hitless but wild 4.1 innings in his start for Los Bravos. He struck out 4 batters, but walked 5 and was responsible for Los Caribes’ only run. After retiring the side in the top of the 1st, Thomas walked one in the 2nd, but erased him with a double play. He walked 2 batters in the 3rd and left both on base. One walk in the 4th, also left on base. One more walk to lead off the 5th inning, then a fly out, and Thomas was relieved by Renee Cortez. Cortez gave up another walk and two singles, allowing the runner Thomas had walked to score. Los Bravos scored 2 runs in the 4th inning on two singles and a double, then added one more in the 7th, on a solo home run by C Henry Blanco.
Looking in on the Pirates’ players and friends in Friday’s winter league games….
Bravos de Margarita 3, Caribes de Anzoategui 1 –
The Pirates have signed reliever Justin Thomas to a minor league contract for the 2011 season.� Thomas was removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster at the end of the 2010 season.� He has been pitching for Los Bravos de Margarita, where he has made 5 appearances, for 12.1 innings.� He has a 0-2 record with a 6.57 ERA.
AFL:� Scottsdale Scorpions� 8,� Mesa Solar Sox� 3
The Solar Sox scored their runs on 3B Brandon Wood’s 3-run homer in the 7th inning, and that was all the scoring they managed, despite having at least one runner on base in all but one inning.� The Solar Sox threatened in the 4th inning when C Tony Sanchez walked and RF Andrew Lambo singled, but neither came around to score.�� The Scorpions did their scoring early, with 2 runs in the 2nd and 3 runs in the 3rd all off starter Robert Carson (Mets), who surrendered 8 hits.� The Scorpions added another 3 runs in the 4th inning off reliever Eric Niesen (Mets), on a homer, a walk, a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly.� David Cales (Cubs) finished the 4th and pitched a scoreless 5th for Mesa.� Nicholas Carr (Mets) threw 2 scoreless innings, and Brian Leach followed with a scoreless 8th, with one walk.� Robert Fish (Angels) wrapped things up for Mesa with a scoreless 9th.
Toros del Este� 8,� Leones del Escogido� 1 — C Jason Jaramillo singled and doubled for Los Toros, and the double drove in a run for Los Toros in the 6th inning.� SS Pedro Ciriaco was hitless in 5 trips to the plate.� He committed one of Los Toros’ 4 errors, though his error did not lead to Los Leones’ run.
Tigres del Licey� 7,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 5� — C Luke Carlin and CF Starling Marte each had one hit for Los Aguilas, who could not stand up to Los Tigres’ 3 runs over the final two inning of the game.� Carlin walked and Marte reached on a fielding error in the 2nd inning, and in the 4th, Carlin singled and Marte bunted him to second base, but they did not score in either of those innings.� Marte doubled to lead off the 6th inning, and he came around to score in that inning.� C Robinzon Diaz doubled to lead off the 5th inning for Los Tigres, and he scored on two singles and a ground out.
Estrellas de Oriente� 7,� Gigantes del Cibao� 5� — Franquelis Osoria had the win for Los Estrellas, as he was the pitcher of record when his teammates scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th.� Mike Dubee pitched a total of 2 innings for Los Gigantes.� He entered the game in the 6th inning with one on and one out, then ended the inning by picking the runner of first and then striking out the next batter.� Dubee retired the side in the 7th, then began the 8th with a ground out and a hit batter, before being relieved.� (That runner did not score.)
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina� 3,� Criollos de Caguas� 0� — 2B Benji Gonzalez had two singles for Los Gigantes, though he was not involved with the scoring.� The only runs of the game came in the top of the 5th, on a 3-run homer for Los Gigantes.� SS Luis Figueroa had one hit, and 3B Ramon Vazquez collected 2 singles for Los Criollos.