Pregame: Karstens’ K’s 10, Navarro Fine, Pirates vs. Rays

Karstens’ K’s 10

Right-hander Jeff Karstens faced the Triple-A Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin on Tuesday. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle elected to send Karstens to pitch a minor league game so he could focus on getting his pitch count up, and pitch deep into the game. Hurdle also wanted to get some of the relievers work in.

“We had a good game plan,” Karstens said. “We were working pretty quick. It makes it a little bit easier when you have all four pitches working, so for that to be working, it was good. I got some work in and I was able to get up 98 pitches.”

Over 7.1 innings, Karstens scattered three hits and gave up no runs. He walked two and struck out 10 batters.

“Just a better temp, because the last game I walked four guys,” Karstens said on what he worked on. ” I walked guys on really bad pitches, so I was really working on staying in the zone and getting ahead. I had two walks yesterday, but one was a really close pitch that I couldn’t believe the guy didn’t swing at. The next one was just a ball. It’s just one of those things where it happens. After that, it was an efficient day.

Karstens said one of his goals before leaving spring training was to get to six innings, 100 pitch mark. He was able to check that off his list with less than a week before the team travels north.

“Now I know my next start will be nice and light,” Karstens said. “After that, it’s full go until Clint thinks your done. There’s no pitch count, guys pitching on certain days. Its whoever’s got to go, has to go, so we got to be ready to go once Sunday comes around.  Just kind of see where it takes us.”

 

Navarro Fine, But Doesn’t Travel

Infielder Yamaico Navarro was taken out of the yesterday’s game in the 7th inning after getting hit by a pitch on the left forearm. He was diagnosed after the game with a forearm contusion, and was sent back to Bradenton early to get X-Rays.

This afternoon, Navarro said he was fine and that the x-rays were negative. He was wearing a sleeve on his arm, and also had it wrapped with ice. Navarro is not in the lineup, and did not travel with the team today to Port Charlotte.

 

  • Good afternoon from Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:05 p.m. It is their last night game of Grapefruit League action. Right-hander Charlie Morton will face lefty David Price.
  • Morton will be making his fourth official Grapefruit League start of the spring. He is scheduled to pitch five innings tonight. Morton tossed four scoreless frames with two hits and two strikeouts on his last start against the Detroit Tigers.
  • Following Morton in relief are: Evan Meek (two innings), Chris Leroux and Juan Cruz.
  • Pirates lineup vs. Rays:

Jose Tabata 9

Josh Harrison 7

Andrew McCutchen 8

Casey McGehee 5

Neil Walker 4

Rod Barajas 2

Matt Hague 3

Clint Barmes 6

Charlie Morton 1

  • Tonight will be Harrison’s spring debut in left field. He has been getting early work in in the outfield during spring training.
  • Extras on the travel roster: Jose Diaz (minors), Kris Harvey (minors), Jared Hughes, Ryota Igarashi, Matt McSwain (minors), Daniel Moskos, Jake Fox, Eric Fryer, Michael McKenry, Kris Watts (minors), Nick Evans, Benji Gonzalez (minors), Andy Vasquez (minors), Dan Grovatt (minors), Nate McLouth, Anthony Norman (minors), Alex Presley
  • Rays lineup vs. Pirates: Ben Zobrist 4, Carlos Pena 3, Evan Longoria 5, Matt Joyce 9, Luke Scott DH, Jose Lobaton 2, Sean Rodriguez 6, Elliot Johnson 8, Chris Gimenez 7 
  • MLB Network will be at McKechnie Field on Thursday and Friday to tape the Pirates episode of 30 clubs in 30 days. Billy Ripken will be in Bradenton.
  • The Pirates will play the Minnesota Twins at McKechnie Field tomorrow at 1:05. Righty James McDonald will start against lefty Matt Maloney. Daniel McCutchen is scheduled to follow in relief.
  • Each of the Pirates last five losses have came in the 7th inning or later.
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