Day Eight of Spring Training

Good morning from Pirate City.

— Right-hander Charlie Morton is the only pitcher scheduled for a bullpen session today. Here is a short video of his bullpen.

— Duke Welker, Rudy Owens, Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, Mike Crotta, and James McDonald are scheduled for early work (8:45 AM) in the bullpen.

Tomorrow Jeff Locke, Daniel Moskos, Logan Kensing, Tim Wood, Kyle McPherson and Bryan Morris are scheduled for early work.

— On field’s 1 and 2, Pirates position players are scheduled for running, throwing program, fundamental cut-offs and relays, individual defense, staff BP, drill work and bunting today.

Field 1: Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, Jake Fox took grounders at first; Neil Walker, Anderson Hernandez at second; Clint Barmes at short.

Field 2: Matt Hague, Jeff Clement took grounders at first; Nick Evans, Yamaico Navarro at third; Josh Harrison, Chase d’Arnaud at short; Jordy Mercer at second.

The Pitchers are scheduled for throwing program, PFP/ Rag balls, bunt game, slug bunt, and conditioning.

— This morning, is reporting that the Nationals locked up Ryan Zimmerman. Yesterday Bob Nutting discussed doing the same with the Pirates core players. You can read that quote here.  He also discussed the high expectations he has for the team in 2012.

— Yesterday Bob Nutting addressed the team and the media. Here are a few more quotes from what was discussed:

On if trading for A.J. Burnett went over financial budget this year, or if the increased attendance helped from 2011:
The Burnett trade to me, the most interesting part was there is no question we could have done that trade for significantly fewer dollars. As we looked at the additions to the roster midway through the season last year, there were very few handicaps that [General Manager] Neal [Huntington] has, but one of them is we are all committed. We are not going to sacrifice future, we’re not going to sacrifice talent, we’re not going to sacrifice high end prospects, and if we need to stretch further in dollars, it’s more appropriate and better for the long-term future of the club. That’s exactly what you saw at the mid-season last year. It’s exactly what you saw with Burnett. I’m very comfortable with that choice because the position for the long-term, but also allows us to acquire talent that we need right now to achieve at PNC Park.

With the draft now having cap amounts, where will that extra money that would have been spent on draft go:
From my perspective it has always been an overall allocation to the baseball operation. Neal and [President] Frank [Coonelly] have been very strategic, I believe, and effective so far finding ways where we can really impact talent. Whether that continues to be in the International market this year, where an additional commitment of resources really can have an impact. The draft picture has changed. Some of the inefficiencies that have been very effectively took advantage of the last few years, more aggressively more than anyone in baseball, some of those windows have been closed. We are actively looking for where do those reopen because we need to be smart. We need to be more efficient, more effective than any other team in baseball. And we need to strive to do that in order to make sure we have talent at the Major League level.
It certainly stays inside the baseball operations. I’m really going to really rely on Neal. How can we use those dollars more effectively? How can we have the biggest impact, the talent in the organization? And also achieve that at the Major League level. He knows clearly that the level of expectation is very high. It’s very high for him this year. It’s very high for the club this year. He’s fully aware we need to continue to solidify and improve.


  • Alvarez needs to take charge at the plate..look ar Braun etc. they fight you all the way. He just seems like it’s OK to’s the Pirates… that is why we are at 19 and counting…

    •  This is a prime example of why I have a problem with many of the people that hassle Alvarez.  If you don’t know him, aren’t acquainted with him, or really understand his personality, I don’t understand how you know exactly what he’s feeling and what his attitude is.

      Yeah, maybe he has a bad attitude sometimes, I don’t know.  But I do know that everyone projecting how they or other people would react in his position isn’t helping his situation. 

      Think about it from his perspective.  How would you feel after having a bad, injury plagued season, in your first full year, and everyone bad mouths; you, your personality, your attitude, and work ethic.  If I were him, I would have a bad attitude and hate all these ‘yinsers. 

      Ultimately though, the best thing for everyone is if he’ll just come out and put some balls over the fence.  That’ll shut everyone up.  Then it will just be entertaining to see how many of the people that are so down on him now out buying “ALVAREZ” jerseys the next week.

      • I am not hasseling him… I am saying he needs to be more aggressive.. He takes the first pitch..fouls 1 or 2 off and the pitcher knows he can strike him out… I hope he does well.. But you have probably never played baseball.. You can’t allow the pitcher feel he is boss.. I played many years until injury to my elbow finished my playing days. I could tell a player that believed he could hit my best fastball…and who had fear of it.. This kid has tons of talent…but he must be aggressive early in the count. I saw pitchers never throw him a strike and strike him out…they play with his head. Strikeouts are a part of the game… Willie Stargel did not worry about them either…he was aggressive and a great guy:-)   I hope Alvarez sells millions of jerseys… I know nothing of his attitude or ethic..  Don’t really care…just hope he gets into it this year or soon…

        •  Actually I did play, I just sign in through facebook which my wife usually stays logged in to…much like it is right now, and frankly it’s not worth to go back and sign out just to go back in, and if I do that I usually lose my train of thought, lol.

          However, I suppose I wasn’t really attempting to rage on your comment about Alvarez as much as I was toward the comments directed towards him in general. 

          If we’re talking strictly about the approach at the plate and the mental aspect thereof, I definitely think that’s where he needs to grow the most.  I just don’t think it’s an issue of him not caring.  He may have an incredibly lame personality, or at least while on the field, I just don’t understand how all the people that complain about his attitude actually know what they’re talking about.

          To reiterate, his approach, both physically and mentally need a drastic overhaul from what he showed last year.  However, I’ll take a guy that needs to improve his approach over a guy that has a great approach with no talent.

  • Any reason why Mr. Alvarez did not take grounders today?

  • They haven’t gave us times yet, but when I find out I will post it.

  • Do you know what time the B game will be at Pirate city on march 10