Lefty Pitcher Owens Looking for Bounce Back Year

BRADENTON, Fla. — After back-to-back seasons in which left-hander Rudy Owens won the Pirates Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year Award (2009, 2010), the 24-year-old had a down year in his first season at Triple-A in 2011. Owens was expected by many to reach the majors towards the end of the 2011 season, but unfortunately things didn’t work out that way. The left hander struggled in his first year with Triple-A Indianapolis,...

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McDonald Gets Butterflies in First Spring Outing

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Butterflies. Nerves. Anticipation. That’s how right-hander James McDonald felt when he took the mound for his first Spring Training game on Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. After going through two weeks of Spring Training workouts, conditioning, and bullpens, McDonald was anxious for his first start this morning. “It’s good to feel those nerves again, just to feel that anticipation....

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Leroux Using Offseason Success to Fuel Him for 2012

DUNEDIN — Right-hander Chris Leroux had a very successful offseason pitching for the Toros del Este in the Dominican League. Having altered his arm slot and adding a new pitch during the 2011 season, Leroux saw even better results pitching for the Toros. Leroux, who will try to break camp with the Pirates this spring, went down to the Dominican to focus on throwing inside and using his changeup. “I did that, and it went...

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Prospect Sanchez Homers in Intrasquad 4-4 Tie

BRADENTON — Catching prospect Tony Sanchez may have had a disappointing 2011 season in his first season at Double-A Altoona, but for his first Spring Training game in 2012, Sanchez made a good first impression. In his first at-bat in game action this spring, Sanchez took the first pitch from righty reliever Jared Hughes over the center field wall for a three-run bomb in the 7th inning in Team Gold’s 4-4 tie against team...

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Prospects Soaking up First Big League Camp

BRADENTON — For Gerrit Cole, Robbie Grossman, Matt Hague and Jordy Mercer, getting the opportunity to put on their Major League uniforms at Pirate City is a new experience — it’s their first big league camp. The past two weeks the young prospects have been suiting up in the clubhouse for their first Spring Training workouts with the Major Leaguers. “It’s been great just putting on the big league uniform...

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