Winter Leagues: Sam Kennelly Makes Debut in Australia, Julio Vivas Impressing in Venezuela
Dec12

Winter Leagues: Sam Kennelly Makes Debut in Australia, Julio Vivas Impressing in Venezuela

In Australia on Friday, Sam Kennelly made his season debut and went 0-for-2 before being pinch-hit for in the eighth inning. He played second base and handled all three chances in the field cleanly. Kennelly signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 for $225,000 and at 18 years old, he is one of the youngest players in the Australian Baseball League. What stands out about that is that this is his third year playing in the league....

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Winter Leagues: Elias Diaz Homers, Alen Hanson Takes Batting Practice
Dec11

Winter Leagues: Elias Diaz Homers, Alen Hanson Takes Batting Practice

The biggest news from winter ball happened in Bradenton, where Alen Hanson took batting practice and looked good as he recovers from a hand injury suffered during a game back in late October. Hanson was hit by a pitch on his right hand and immediately removed from a game six weeks ago. He needed to come back to Pittsburgh for an evaluation and while nothing was broken, Wednesday was the first real good test of the hand. If all goes...

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Winter Leagues: Tony Sanchez Sent Home From Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel Gets Hit Around
Dec10

Winter Leagues: Tony Sanchez Sent Home From Dominican, Stolmy Pimentel Gets Hit Around

Monday was a very slow day for winter league action. There were only two games on the schedule and one Pittsburgh Pirates player saw action. There was big news however from the Dominican. Tony Sanchez was sent home due to poor performance. That isn’t surprising as he was hitting .100, having issues on defense, and in his last game, he batted ninth and was pinch-hit for in the seventh inning. While we consider winter leagues as...

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First Pitch: The Upper Level Roster Crunch that Might Give Way This Week
Dec09

First Pitch: The Upper Level Roster Crunch that Might Give Way This Week

I’ve been finishing up the profiles in the 2015 Prospect Guide over the last week, getting ready to send the book to the publisher on Friday. In the process, I’ve noticed a bit of a roster crunch in the upper levels when it comes to first base. The Pirates currently have more first base and outfield options than they have positions in Altoona and Indianapolis. A few of the prospects who will play in the upper levels are...

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Winter Leagues: Joely Rodriguez Loses Shutout Streak in Third Start
Dec08

Winter Leagues: Joely Rodriguez Loses Shutout Streak in Third Start

In the Dominican on Sunday afternoon, Joely Rodriguez made his third start and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out three batters. He did a good job keeping the ball on the ground, getting nine ground outs, two of them double plays. Four of the hits he allowed were also ground balls. Prior to Sunday, Rodriguez had thrown eight shutout innings in the Dominican and given up five hits and no...

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