The Pittsburgh Pirates played a B Game at Pirate City this morning, going up against the Minnesota Twins. The B Games at Pirate City are incredibly relaxed, without the typical structure that you see in a regular Spring Training game. That was seen today at the end of Vance Worley’s third inning.

The right-hander retired the side in order, but finished his outing too efficiently, and didn’t get enough pitches. So as Worley and his teammates started walking off the field after the third out, Ray Searage shouted out for everyone to stay on the field. The Twins sent another batter to the plate, and Worley got him out. Once again, Searage told everyone to stay on the field. Finally, Worley gave up a hit, and the inning was over, with his pitch count at 41, including the extra batters. Of those pitches, he threw 28 strikes. He went to the bullpen to finish throwing the rest of his pitches.

The outing was a good one for Worley, who went up against top Minnesota Twins prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, striking the pair out a combined three times on the day.

“Better than my last outing,” Worley said of his performance today. “I had better command of all of my pitches. I was able to get ahead in the count. Spin some off-speed stuff — cutter and curveball. I was just trying to get out there, get ahead in the count, get quick outs, and there were a couple of extra outs because of the pitch count.”

As for Buxton and Sano, Worley smiled when I asked about them, saying he knew about the matchup.

“I had seen them over there, so I wanted to make sure I gave them a little extra. Not so much velocity, but for me it’s all about mixing speeds and trying to stay ahead in the count. Today I feel that went really well for me.”

He struck both guys out in the first inning with his cutter. He struck out Buxton once more in the third inning. Here you can see video of him striking out Buxton in the first.

Vance Worley strikes out Byron Buxton #Pirates

A video posted by Pirates Prospects (@piratesprospects) on

Here is Worley’s second strikeout against Buxton.

Worley strikes out Buxton again. #Pirates A video posted by Pirates Prospects (@piratesprospects) on

Here is Worley striking out Miguel Sano.

Vance Worley strikes out Miguel Sano #Pirates

A video posted by Pirates Prospects (@piratesprospects) on

The Pirates won the game 2-1 in six innings, getting a lot of good pitching. Mark Melancon threw a shutout inning with two strikeouts, including one to Sano. Clayton Richard threw two innings of work, needing 30 pitches, with 20 strikes. He gave up the lone run on a solo homer to Jorge Polanco. The runs for the Pirates came on back-to-back RBI doubles by Jose Tabata and Willy Garcia. Tabata had two hits, one being an opposite field line drive over the right fielder’s head. The other one was a pulled line drive for a single between the shortstop and third baseman. Corey Hart made his Pirates’ debut as the designated hitter, and went 0-for-3.

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  1. It’s looking more and more like Lambo is a 4A guy. Either that or his head won’t cooperate with his swing when pressure is on.

  2. Given the choice of Worley, Burnett, Morton or Locke to win a game based off last year’s stats I think my first pick would be still be Worley. Of course this is a new year, and it will be interesting to see how the all stand with respect to each other at the end of ST.

  3. Tabata keeps it up, he is going to be the 4th outfielder, Lambo is going down the same road he went down last year.

    • Tabata is already likely the best outfielder outside of the three starters, but what does sending Lambo down again really get you? Literally nothing left for him to learn or prove in AAA, and the club clearly believes they at least need to see what he can do.

      It would certainly make life a lot easier for all parties involved if he just started hitting the damn ball a bit, but I don’t think it changes a thing if he doesn’t.

      • My own opinion, which means nothing, is that Decker is a much better defensive bet than Tabata. And waiting for a longball from Tabata is like waiting for a pig to fly.

        • I agree. Plus, if Tabata makes the team that leaves them zero LH bats off the bench. I’d like to see both Tabata and Decker take some reps at 1B. Honestly, if either of them could do a passable job, I bet that’d spell doom for the Lambino.

        • You arent looking for defense in the 4th OFer at this point, its PH that will be more key. If a guy gets injured and they dont like Tabata on defense, you call up Decker after the injury. That 4th OFer spot should be a PH type.

          • Gotta lean toward leo on this one. Traditionally, the 4th outfield is the guy you *want* to be a good defender, preferably able to cover all three positions.

            If you want a PH bat, no sense relegating the search to only outfielders. If you want a 4th outfielder, no sense not getting the best all-around player. Certainly room for exceptions, and this may be one, but good conversation either way.

            • Traditionally you don’t have center fielders starting at all three outfield positions. The Pirates don’t need a good defensive outfielder in the fourth spot. They need a bat off of the bench.

            • If Josh Harrison wasnt a thing, id agree. But the team has a weird amount of depth. If an OF goes down and they need someone to take over, they can just as easily move Harrison there (the best overall option at that point) and let Kang play 3B for a spell. Thus letting the 4th OF really be a late inning option that mostly is a PH. I dont see this team having a huge need for a defense first option in that role.

    • You can’t take much from this game as far as offense. Twins threw out three pitchers for two innings each that have combined for one game above AA in their career

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