Spring Training Recap: Yankees 9, Pirates 2

The Pirates traveled to Tampa for a night game against the Yankees and, as in the last game between the two teams, appeared to be far out of their depth.  The Yankees amassed 15 hits and eight walks, and battered the Pirates, 9-2.

The various Pirates ostensibly fighting for jobs mostly had bad days.  To begin with, starter Luis Ortiz made a strong case for a trip to Indianapolis.  He faced ten batters, giving up seven hits and a walk.  The only reason he recorded three outs was that Miguel Andujar threw out a runner at second.  Ortiz departed in the second inning with two on and nobody out.  Colin Selby relieved and immediately gave up a bomb to Aaron Judge, leaving Ortiz with five runs on his ledger.

The other young pitcher vying for a starting spot didn’t help himself, either.  Johan Oviedo showed the same aversion to the strike zone that led the Cardinals to move him to the bullpen.  He walked four over two and a third innings, but managed to allow only one run.

Nobody pitched especially well until the Yankees put in subs for everybody.  Wil Crowe and Yohan Ramirez each had some trouble, although they each gave up just an unearned run.  Both of those scored on an error by Ji-Man Choi.

Nate Webb and Jared Jones got the last two innings.  Like all the other pitchers except Ramirez, they had trouble throwing strikes, but they each walked only one, and Jones gave up one hit.  They both struck out two.

The hitting was Haines-level futile.  The Pirates had four hits and a walk.  On the spring they’re 30th by wide margins in BA and OBP, and 29th in walks.

The job competitions continued to see little actual competition.  Tucupita Marcano, starting at second, Connor Joe, Chris Owings and Kevin Plawecki all went hitless.  The only starters with hits were Travis Swaggerty and Andujar, who were each 1-for-2, Andujar with a double.  Swaggerty’s hitting .300 on the spring in limited action.

The other two hits came from Cal Mitchell, who doubled and scored the first run, and Chavez Young, who homered in the ninth.

Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

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No worries guys. In 2020 Spring Training, we went 3 – 18 and then in regular season…….oh…….maybe we should worry.


Actual quote from Oscar Marin “Our pitchers are going to fill up the strike zone this year”. I laughed at it at the time and still find it humorous.


Pirates team will be better this year primarily because starting pitching and bullpen will be better. It’s hard to see that in a spring training setting.
Hitting does need to show improvement.


I get that this is spring training and winning means very little, but the Pirates need to play like they are trying to win this year. The second batter of the game Oneil Cruz (one of the fastest players in the game) hits a high fly ball in deep left that gets dropped. As the ball rolled off the fielder’s glove, Cruz only wound up at first base. He should have been on second or third. The next batter hit a ground ball which was a double play (instead of a run). I have seen Cutch bust out a routine ground ball for an out and our young guys Nick Gonzalez, Henry Davis, Travis Swaggerty and more always hustle. However, I have seen Cruz, Hayes, Reynolds and even Bae jog on routine grounders.

The point is the Pirates need to play with a little urgency and that they care about winning this year. That not only starts at the top, but players need to hold each other accountable.


I hear you. So do you think we are still rebuilding going after draft picks for another year or are we going to try to change the culture this year?


Who is this “Haines” fellow and why is hitting “Haines-worthy”…

Asking for a friend.



He makes underwear on the side.


Don’t think for a minute I did not see that one coming down 5th Avenue.



Scam likely

Haines and young Shelton getting on the hot seat?


Three years of sub .400 Winning Percentages from BC and DS, and a Spring Training from hell to start the 4th year. If BC cannot do what needs to be done with Shelton, then maybe Nutting needs to fire them both.

The Pirates have too much talent at the MLB level to be playing this poorly. Sure we are very young, but we have to start getting serious about building lineups to generate runs until the big hits start coming. Can’t just flip the switch later this month!

It has been like an open cattle call for both position players and pitchers so far in ST 2023, but we are 10 games deep into ST and I think we are 2-6-2. Time to start trimming the roster and making decisions. Total AB for starters – Castro 13, Cruz 12, Suwinski 12, Joe 11, Santana 11, Hayes 10, Reynolds 9, Hedges 9, Choi 8. Bae is struggling, but would still be my pick for Super U and possibly leading off. Decisions have to be made in the OF. Swagg’s, Young (out of options), and Mitchell are hitting and playing well.


Pirates in a league of their own. Probably still finish last.


Ugh. Brutal.

I’m sure they’re just working on their pitches and learning to work counts as hitters (to 0-2).

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