Tag: Aaron Thompson
More pitchers in the Pirates' minor league organization:
Tim Alderson -- R/R, 6' 6", 217 lb
Alderson joined the Pirates as part of the trade that sent Freddy Sanchez to the Giants in 2009. There was some concern at the time that Alderson's velocity had dropped. He struggled a bit when joining the Curve after the trade. He made 7 starts, for 38.2 innings, with a 3-1 record and a 4.66 ERA. He allowed 20 runs on 39 hits, with 13 walks and 18 strikeouts, though 7 of those hits and 11 of those runs came in his last start. Alderson returned to Altoona to begin 2010, and his velocity improved through the season, though it didn't keep him from getting bombarded. He'd had an odd delivery when he began his pro career, and the Giants had made some changes, thinking that the oddness would make him prone to injury. Alderson wanted to go back to his original delivery, and the Pirates were ok with that, but it didn't work out as well as he'd hoped. In his first start, Alderson pitched 5 shutout innings and allowed 4 hits. After that, things went downhill. He gave up 12 earned runs over his next 3 starts, giving him a 5.49 ERA in April. He made 6 starts in May -- one was very good, going 7 scoreless innings with 4 hits, and one where he allowed one run in 6 innings, but the rest were problematic. He finished May with a 4.32 ERA, allowing 16 runs on 37 hits in 33.1 innings. June was no better, with a 5.11 ERA, and 14 runs in 24.2 innings, including one outing in which he did not get out of the 2nd inning. Alderson gave up 15 runs in 12 innings over 3 starts in early July, and at that point, the Pirates decided to send him down to Bradenton, to be able to work on his mechanics more. The move did not help tremendously. He gave up 7 runs in 1.2 innings in his first start for the Marauders, then 7 more in 4 innings in the second. Over the rest of the season, Alderson pitched 33 innings in 6 games (2 in relief), and allowed 18 runs, for a 4.91 ERA. That added up to a 6.98 ERA for his time in Bradenton, and a 4-3 record. In 38.2 innings, he allowed 30 earned runs on 47 hits. Alderson struck out a total of 84 batters (5.8 K/ 9 innings in Altoona, and 5.9 K/ 9 innings in Bradenton). He walked 40 (3.0 walks/ 9 innings and 2.7 walks/ 9 innings). Alderson has said that he was surprised that he was traded from the Giants, and then was surprised and horrified to struggle so much in 2010. He did feel that he was able to make some mental adjustments in Bradenton, even though his results were not much better. He continued to work on his mechanics in the fall instructional league, and again in winter mini-camp. The 22-year-old should be back in Bradenton's starting rotation to begin 2011, hopefully with mechanics that are working.
Aaron Thompson -- L/L, 6' 2", 190 lb
The Pirates picked up Thompson from the Nationals on waivers in December. He had been the Marlins' first round pick in 2005, and was traded to the Nationals in July 2009. The Nationals had him at AA Harrisburg for all but one game in 2010 (one game at AAA Syracuse, with one run in 5 innings), and that was his third season at the AA level. It was an up-and-down season for Thompson. He allowed 8 runs on 24 hits in 27.1 innings for a 2.63 ERA in April. That ballooned to an 8.31 ERA in May, when he allowed 28 runs on 54 hits in 30.1 innings -- a 10-hit game, an 11-hit game, and a 13-hit game included. June and July were kind of medium, when he earned a 4.17 ERA, and won 2 games. The season ended on a shaky note, as Thompson allowed 28 earned runs on 43 hits in 33.2 innings, for a 7.49 ERA. Neither his walk rate nor his strikeout rate were really good or really bad -- 53 walks (3.5 walks/ 9 innings) and 95 strikeouts (6.3 K/ 9 innings) while at Harrisburg. Thompson just turned 24 years old. He could be assigned to AA again, or possibly give AAA a try, but both levels are going to be crowded in both the starting rotation and in the bullpen. Because he was picked up on waivers, he's on the 40-man roster.
The Pirates had a busy Spring Training day today:
LHP (starter) Garrett Olson was claimed off waivers from Seattle. Olson is a 27-year-old California native who was the Orioles' 1st round pick in the 2005 draft. He made his major league debut in July 2007, and split both the 2007 and 2008 season between Balitmore and AAA Norfolk. His combined stats for Baltimore: 10-13 record in 31 starts, 165 innings, 6.87 ERA, 111 K, 90 BB. And combined stats for Norfolk: 10-9 record in 29 starts, 164.1 innings, 3.12 ERA, 159 K, 55 BB. One big problem, though, is that he surrendered 35 homer runs over those two years. At the beginning of 2009, Olson was traded to the Cubs, and 10 days later was traded to the Mariners (with Ronny Cedeno) to the Mariners. He split both the 2009 and 2010 seasons between Seattle and AAA Tacoma. In 2009, he started 9 games for Tacoma, earning a 2-3 record and a 4.94 ERA, but in Seattle, he was also used in relief. He made 11 starts and 20 relief appearances for a total of 80.1 innings -- and gave up 19 home runs. Olson made 6 starts and 6 relief appearances for Tacoma in 2010, then made 35 relief appearances in Seattle. His record in Seattle was 0-3 with 1 save, and a 4.54 ERA. In 37.2 innings, he allowed 6 homers, 15 BB, with 21 K. Throughout all these seasons, Olson allowed about as many or more hits as innings pitched: 79 hits in 80.1 innings in Seattle in 2009, and 42 hits in 37.2 innings in 2010. His overall major league total is 10.53 hits/9 innings. The Pirates plan to have Olson compete for a spot as a lefty out of the bullpen. Scott Olsen (oh, we're going to have fun confusing those two) and Joe Beimel are also in consideration but have lost time time this spring due to injury. Brian Burres and Justin Thomas are also in the mix. In order to make a spot for Olson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates placed Kevin Hart on the 60-day DL. Olson is out of options, which is why the Mariners had to put him on waivers. If he does not make the Pirates' active roster out of camp, then he will have to go on waivers again. The hits and the homers are concerning, and the Pirates will have to see how Olson does in some spring appearances in the next two weeks.
Phillies 3, Pirates 2
The Phillies rallied in the bottom of the 9th for a come-from-behind win over the Pirates in Clearwater, FL this afternoon. With Chris Leroux on the mound, the first two batters of the frame both singles. Former Pirate/Indian Erik Kratz bounced a pinch-hit grounder to third, but instead of going for the double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell went for the tag of the runner going from second to third. The runner avoided the tag but was called out anyway because he went out of the basepath. That left runners on first and second with one out. The next batter slapped a grounder to second, and though 2B Josh Harrison made a great stab to keep the ball from going into right field, he was only able to make the out at first. With two runners in scoring position, Leroux gave up a single up the middle, and both runners (including Kratz) scored, for the walk-off win.
Catching up after being away for a few days...
On Saturday, the Pirates sent four pitchers to minor league camp:
RHP Bryan Morris and RHP Kyle McPherson, both on the 40-man roster, were optioned down, with Morris going to AAA Indianapolis and McPherson going to A+ Bradenton.
Two lefties, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, were also sent to the minor league camp, and though their exact level is still not official, both should begin the season with the Indy Indians.
More moves were made today:
From the 40-man roster--
LHP Jeff Locke, LHP Aaron Thompson, and RHP Ramon Aguero were optioned to AA Altoona
LHP Daniel Moskos and LHP Tony Watson were optioned to Indianapolis
Outfielders Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley were optioned to Indianapolis
Moskos and Presley both spent part of 2010 with Indianapolis, while Watson and Hernandez will make their debut at the AAA level. Locke, Aguero, and Thompson all spent part of 2010 with Altoona.
Not on the 40-man yet --
Infielders Chase d'Arnaud and Brian Friday and outfielder Andrew Lambo were reassigned to minor league camp. Friday played in Indianapolis for most of 2010 and should return there. D'Arnaud and Lambo were in Altoona for 2010; Lambo is ready for AAA, though d'Arnaud may be asked to go back to Altoona for part of 2011.
Pirates 2, Yankees 0
Six Pirate pitchers combined to shut out the Yankees at McKechnie Field this afternoon. James McDonald and Aaron Thompson each pitched 2 scoreless innings, and each allowed 2 hits. That was all the hits the Yankees could get. Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 innings, retiring 6 batters in order, including 2 strikeouts. Chris Resop, Ramon Aguero, and Daniel Moskos all contributed one scoreless and hitless inning, and Moskos earned the save.
The Pirates posted just 6 hits. Two of those belonged to C Chris Snyder. He singled to lead off the 3rd inning, but was caught trying to steal second base, then singled again to begin the 6th, and was replaced by pinch runner Jeremy Farrell. 2B Josh Rodriguez bunted Farrell to second base, and SS Pedro Ciriaco drove in the first run of the game with an RB double into left field. The Pirates scored again in the 7th, when DH Garrett Jones opened the frame with a walk. 1B Steve Pearce bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall, moving Jones to third base. 3B Josh Fields brought in Jones with a sacrifice fly.
CF Alex Presley walked, singled, and was hit by a pitch in the game. LF John Bowker also singled. Also getting in the game: CF Gorkys Hernandez, LF Miles Durham, RF Andrew Lambo, 1B Garrett Atkins, RF Matt Diaz, C Wyatt Toregas, 2B Brian Friday, and SS Corey Wimberly. Doug Bernier, who played for the Indy Indians in 2010, got into the game for the Yankees.
The Pirates have signed 3B Christian Colonel to a minor league contract. Colonel was the Rockies' 5th round draft pick in 2003. He has played all around the field, he has spent more time in the infield, and most of those at third base. More about Colonel to come in the next few days.
Former Pirate farmhand C James Skelton (Bradenton 2010) signed with the Brewers.
Pirates 21, Manatee-Sarasota 1 (7 innings)
The Pirates' top prospects and players fighting for a major league job got the chance to show off their stuff this afternoon in the Pirates' annual charity game against the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. The Pirates pounded out 20 hits, including home runs by 1B Garrett Atkins and 2B/3B Brian Friday. Atkins and Josh Fields, who took turns as the DH, and at third and in left field, each had 3 hits. 2B Corey Wimberly, 1B Steve Pearce, CF Gorkys Hernandez, Friday, C Wayne Toregas, and C Tony Sanchez all had 2 hits. Pearce's two hits were both doubles, and along with a walk, he drove in 4 runs. Atkins and Hernandez each had 3 RBI. The Pirates jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the 1st, with 3 runs. Pearce's first double drove in two, then a sacrifice fly by RF Andrew Lambo brought in Pearce. Wimberly began a rally in the bottom of the 2nd with a double, and the rest of the Pirates took off, adding 7 more runs in that inning. The Pirates scored in each of their 6 at-bats (it was only scheduled for 7 innings).
The Pirates' pitchers were not to be outdone. Aaron Thompson began the game by striking out the Manatees in order in the top of the 1st. Tyler Yates pitched the 2nd, and gave up the lone Manatees' run on a single, a wild pitch, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly. Yates gave up another single before ending the inning. Jeff Locke surrendered a single in his scoreless inning, as did Rudy Owens. Mike Crotta struck out the side, and Justin Wilson and Kyle McPherson both struck out 2 batters without allowing a hit.