First Pitch: Sunday Notes, App Updates, and Upcoming Important Dates

The Pirates are expected to announce Ben Cherington as their new General Manager tomorrow. He will need to get right to work, as the deadline to protect players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft is on Wednesday.

I’m sure this will be a busy week beyond just Cherington and the Rule 5 protection list. We’ll have all of the news covered that comes up along the way.

I’ve also got a series of articles looking at the last GM change, which took place a little over 12 years ago, and how the transition went from one front office to the next.

I was also working on a site update for the end of last week. That will run early this week, leading into future updates, and I’m excited about all of them.

I’ve got some behind the scenes stuff to do for site updates. I will say that I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the Pirates Prospects app. That has been taken down right now, and it’s related to the upcoming announcements.




By John Dreker

Five former Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade of note.

On this date in 1933 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded longtime left fielder Adam Comorosky and second baseman Tony Piet to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Red Lucas and outfielder Wally Roettger. For the Pirates, who finished in second place with an 87-67 record, it was their biggest move of the off-season going into 1934. The trade seemed fairly even at the time, but Lucas was the only one to put in significant time with his new team. In five seasons with the Pirates, he won 47 games and was known as one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball, getting occasional pinch-hitting at-bats throughout his career.

Ty Taubenheim, pitcher for the 2008 Pirates. On June 28, 2008, Taubenheim started against the Tampa Bay Rays and pitched six strong innings, allowing two runs. The Pirates ended up winning the game in 13 innings. That was the last Major League game of his career. Taubenheim spent all of 2009 at AAA for Pirates, before finishing his pro career in 2010 in the Phillies system.

Jim Mann, relief pitcher for the 2003 Pirates. He pitched two games for the Pirates in 2003, allowing four runs over 1.2 innings. Mann also spent time in the majors with Mets (2000) and Astros (2001-02). The Pirates let him go at the end of the 2003 season, but signed him again in June of 2004 after he was released by the Yankees.

Tom Dettore, pitcher for the 1973 Pirates. In one start and 11 relief appearances, he went 0-1, 5.96 in 22.2 innings. Prior to Opening Day in 1974, the Pirates traded Dettore to the Cubs for Paul Popovich. He went 8-10, 5.10 in three seasons in Chicago. Dettore was drafted three times by the Pirates, finally signing as a third round pick in the 1968 draft.

Orlando Pena, reliever for the 1970 Pirates. Went 2-1, 4.78 in 23 relief appearances during his only season in Pittsburgh. Pena was signed as a free agent by the Pirates on June 9, 1970 and released just over two months later. He spent 14 years in the majors pitching for eight different teams. He won 56 games and picked up 40 saves in his career.

Don Flinn, outfielder for 1917 Pirates. Hit .297 in 14 games as a September roster addition. Flinn played pro ball from 1914 until 1924, but never played in the majors again. He spent the 1917 season in the Texas League, where he hit .300 with ten homers in 109 games.