Spring Training Notes: Stolmy Pimentel and Tony Sanchez Impress


Stolmy Pimentel threw two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Stolmy Pimentel threw two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.

It was during the Black and Gold game last year that I first saw Stolmy Pimentel. The right-hander was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in December 2012, and pitched in relief in the intrasquad game to kick off the Spring Training schedule. I was impressed with Pimentel at the time, and I wasn’t the only one. Last week I wrote about Pimentel, and included Ray Searage’s reaction to that game, when he first noticed the Pirates had something with the hard throwing right-hander.

Today Pimentel returned to the Black and Gold game, getting the start and throwing two innings. He started off strong, retiring the side in order in the first. That included two strikeouts — one against Jaff Decker and one against Andrew Lambo, a few pitches after Lambo crushed a foul ball over the boardwalk in right field. Pimentel returned for the second inning and gave up one hit, but got out of the inning without a run, and added another strikeout.

Pimentel said that he was focused on keeping his mechanics quiet and focusing on controlling his fastball.

“We like what we saw of Stolmy,” Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle said after the game. “It was his first time out, so we were able to get him two reps on the mound. Velocity and finish were good. It was a good first day for him.”

Pimentel will throw again on Sunday, going up against the Phillies, who will have A.J. Burnett on the mound. No word on whether he will start the game, although he will almost certainly go multiple innings, much like he did today.

Sanchez Working the Opposite Field

**Tony Sanchez went 2-for-3 today with a double and a three run home run. Both hits went to right field, continuing a trend for Sanchez of going opposite field. He’s been doing a better job of that the last two years, and especially in 2013.

“It’s something that he’s well aware of, and he took a big step in the right direction maturing as a hitter last year in Triple-A,” Hurdle said. “He was actually able to bring that focus and that approach with him. Just continuing to stay on it. Today it played out well for him again.”

That’s going to be a good approach for Sanchez in the future. PNC Park isn’t friendly to right-handed hitters, and can rob some power due to a deep left field. His ability to consistently go opposite field, and hit to the opposite field with power should be a benefit, and will allow him to maintain good power numbers by using the Clemente Wall as a target.

Injury Notes

**Travis Ishikawa left the game after the first inning with a tight right leg.

**Robert Andino was a late scratch due to a personal issue.




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Kids like James Santelli just move on from Pittsburgh at a very young age. I don’t blame him, but he would put Dejan out of a job if I ran the Trib.


Totally agree with you on Santelli’s talent. If he sticks with sports reporting he has a future of national significance ahead of him. Not only is his analysis sharp, he writes well too.


This has everything to do with the Pirates not signing or trading for a 1B with MLB experience. A majority of fans are rooting against the Pirates this year because they want to see Nutting and Huntington look bad for not spending money or selling the farm for a 1B. Just get used to this negativity all season long. Smizik and Kovacevic have got probably two thirds of Pirates fans hoping for a bad season.


What Pittsburgh really needs is an upgraded set of sports reporters. In the last forty years the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins have all won National Championships. Outside of some notoriety for Myron Cope years ago has any Pittsburgh sports writer received any national recognition? Pittsburgh deserves to have the level of it’s sports reporting raised to the level of the performance of it’s teams. Maybe we can get Tim a full time gig at one of the local media outlets?

Chuck Conner


If your trying to get a writing gig from Tim, me thinks you blew it. Just saying….my opinion.


Tim does his very best to be objective, but, like all of us, he has his favorites. Is that wrong? Not in my opinion. What is wrong is that I second the complaint made a week or two ago of trying to read 24 to 30 inches of rhetoric one or two words per line at a time. Please find a way to eliminate that. My suggestion – nothing over 20 lines long, whether you have 10 words in a line or 1 word in a line.


Tim- he’s talking about the way each page will indent more and more when you post a reply to a reply, and eventually its just a few words per line going straight down. They were asking you to look into finding a way to fix that.


I appreciate it. Thank you


I was hoping to see how good joely and Sadler looked. Also who tony two bags had his hits off of.


You felt the need to mention in this post about how well Stolmy pitched…. that Lambo hit a long foul ball…. in an inter-squad game before striking out? Really?

And you wonder why some think you are a PBC cheerleader?

Tom Shock

I wish i can see some video, or even the box score of the game.

I don’t get what you mean by calling the author PBC cheerleader.

Maybe i am wrong , but it doesn’t sound like a compliment.
Back to more pertaining matters, any chance someone has or has seen the box score for the game, if one is even available?.

The more info i can get on the Pirates, the better.
Does that make me a cheerleader also?.

Andy Zibuck

Was it really necessary to mention that Pimentel gave up a single in the 2nd inning? He gave up no runs so who cares what else happened. You’re so negative. You’re not even a Pirates fan and it shows. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling us what kind of pitch the batter struck out on.


Wow sorry for posting a negative comment. As I said above I don’t think Tim is a cheerleader. I admire what he does and read this site daily.

I also stated above that if Tim had described the AB as he did in his response to my comment I would not have had any problem and in fact would have appreciated the detail.

I also understand his point that there was a lot going on in this game and hard to report on.

I must admit I am surprised at the amount of vitriol directed my way for a negative comment.

Cato the Elder

The issue was that it was a negative comment directed at Tim and it was totally unfounded. If you would have said that Lambo’s all or nothing approach – as demonstrated by an AB where he hits a foul ball out of the park but ultimately struck out – worries you, I think you would have found plenty of support. You want to say that you were only expressing a dissenting opinion (gratuitous reporting that amount to cheerleading), but when legitimately challenged on it you run away (I didn’t say that). That is disingenuous and cowardly.


It wasn’t a negative comment, it was a dumb comment. And the loyal readers of this Site called you on it. Leave Tim alone, he does a great job.

Brian Bernard


Andy Zibuck

Stop cheerleading for Stolmy!!


Yes you are right the #14 ranked prospect’s results needed to be mentioned. And the fact is he struck out.

In a blog post about how well the # 13 prospect pitched I don’t know why it matters that Lambo hit a long foul ball before he K’d.

The last time I looked hitting a long foul ball is not news nor are there any positive stats for hitting a long foul ball before striking out.

Andy Zibuck

Last time I looked, and intrasquad scrimmage in February is not news. But if someone’s going to write about it what’s wrong with, y’know, details?

You could read it that Stolmy battled back from hard contact and learned within the at-bat where to stay away from v. Lambo, so good on Stolmy. And it still fits your Tim-as-cheerleader made up narrative.


I don’t believe he is a cheer leader, I am was just saying that some people do.

Also Tim described above that one of the reasons he mentioned it that it was it was a good battle by Stolmy.

I acknowledge that I may have been too literal in my reading and if Tim had written the article as he explained above I would have had no problem and in fact appreciated the details.

However, without seeing the AB and based just on how it was written it seemed to be an excuse for Lambo’s K. And in light of Tim’s support of Lambo as 1B against RHP seemed to me to be gratuitous.

Cato the Elder

I don’t think that you know what “literal” means. Tim literally said that he struck out Lambo after giving up a long foul ball. You are the one adding all the subtext regarding Lambo and 1B. You’re free to express your opinion, but it is notable that you didn’t actually voice an opinion outside of your criticism of Tim’s reporting, so while you accuse him of being gratuitous, it really appears that you are the one with the axe to grind. Furthermore, you can’t honestly tell me that in 1 AB sample sizes that details don’t matter. A 3 pitch K is not equal to a 10 pitch battle is not equal to a hard line drive at a fielder is not equal to a infield popup, right?


Hey absolute, you are being absolutely obnoxious.


I’m sorry that stating an opinion that you don’t agree with requires you to resort to insults.


Tim: Let me say that I think you do a great job with prospect analysis; your reporting on minor leagues and your 40 man roster payroll spread sheet is spot on. I love your site and read it every day.

And maybe I am being overly critical but when I read your post about Stolmy’s performance today and I saw your qualification of Lambo’s K that he hit a long foul ball before he K’d I found it to be totally gratuitous.

Especially in light of your stated opinion that Lambo should be given the 1B option against RHP.

Maybe you didn’t mean it to be but that is the way it came across to me.


Fair enough and if it was writtne that way I would not have had a problem.


Gez, Tim. Get with the program. Next thing you know you will be showing us video bullpen sessions from a guy named Taillion that won’t even make the opening day roster or batting practice of a lanky AAA left handed hitting OF’er that may help us ‘some day down the road’.
Update us on Walker’s 15 year extension!


I wish Pedro would adopt the same opposite field approach as Sanchez when facing LHP. If he would open his stance way up and then wait forever on the ball with the hope of just dinking the ball into left field maybe he could raise his BA from .180 to .250. He could still hit 35 HR against RHP without any change in his approach against RHP.


Stolmy Pimental is just the icing on the cake. Saved $7 mil by not keeping Joel Hanrahan, and get Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimental – this may go down as one of the most one-sided trades in recent baseball history.

Tom Shock

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, Brandon(swing and a miss) Inge was handed the job as the backup 3rd basemen/utility guy. I am probably in the minority here, but i think Harrison can fill that role just fine.

I know he isn’t Brooks Robinson over there, but as a couple of days a week fill in, he can do the job just fine.
If Alvarez does go on the shelf for some ailment, that would be a big blow, but here is hoping that doesn’t happen.

Worse case scenario, is the team would have to make a deal, for a somewhat competent 3rd basemen.
The should cross that bridge if they come to it.

Nick Rexilius

Blackmax, I can only hope your joking. Lol


Did the Pirates win???


My money’s on the other team

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